Tatiana Britton, BS Health Promotion, ACE CPT, NASM FNS
You’ve probably experienced or regularly experience the following situation(s):
- You finally got onto a structured routine of exercise and healthy nutrition choices and now you have a vacation coming up which is going to get you all out of sorts.
- You travel regularly for work and have a hard time meeting your fitness goals.
- You feel that you should just give up on ever being in shape or being healthy because you don’t believe you can reach your goals and travel at the same time.
So how DO you stay on track while traveling? Is it even possible? Good news is that you CAN make healthy decisions while on the go AND continue meeting your health and wellness goals. “Bad” news is that it won’t be handed to you and you are going to have to make conscious choices that will not always be the easy choices! I am a firm believer that small changes truly add up, especially in regards to attainable and sustainable health choices. The following helpful tips may seem small, but when you continuously practice them WHILE traveling, you will notice you’ll have less work and “catching up” to do when you return back to your normal at home schedule. Plus, you will feel more energized lighter which is always a bonus!
- STAY HYDRATED & DRINK RESPONSIBLY
When traveling it can be easy to accidentally neglect your water intake. Pack a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and reduce waste. Make sure you are still achieving ½ of your body weight in ounces daily.
Save your calories, say no to alcohol and/or sugary drinks and stick to water. I believe you can consume alcohol and still achieve your desired physique. However, when traveling and taking long vacations drinking excess alcohol is common and leads to caloric surplus, wreaks havoc on the body and easily increases body weight. Drink responsibly!
- MAKE HEALTHIER FAST FOOD/RESTAURANT CHOICES
When traveling, especially for quick work visits, it is expected that you will be eating out. If you have the option to have a small kitchenette in your hotel room, opt for that and have groceries delivered to you to quickly cook. If this isn’t an option, or be honest it sounds like to much work to you, you can still make healthier choices when it comes to eating out.
Don’t wait to look at the menu. Look it up ahead of time, know what you’re ordering and stick to it. You are more likely to be tempted by other less healthy options come arrival and time to browse the choices when you’re hungry.
Just cause you’re traveling doesn’t mean you have to make every meal a treat. Eat as you would normally at home. Don’t be afraid to leave food on your plate. Don’t overindulge. Eat enough until you’re full and leave the rest.
Pick the choices with less fried and more fresh. If you have the option to go grilled instead of fried, do so. Pick the entrees that have vegetables for sides (no, french fries do not count) and keep sauces on the side or void all together. It all comes down to being MINDFUL. Your choices may not be perfect, but you can reduce calories and keep macros in check by making these small changes.
- GET OFF YOUR BOOTY
When you have the chance, especially on fun planed vacations, get your body moving! Aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. Plan a specific time to get up and walk. If you have the option to walk to certain destinations, do so. Even if you do not have access to a gym, or time for a full workout, you can still get movement in that counts towards improved health and caloric expenditure!
Hotel workouts have become popular thus you have a large source online to refer to. You can also talk to one of us fitness coaches here at Pulse to help set you up for success when you are away for travel. We are more than happy and able to provide you with on the go workouts that are efficient and effective.
We all know that stiff and tight travel feeling. Regularly stretch while you’re away to keep your muscles healthy. Make sure to have warmed up and moved around before doing so. Avoid stretching cold and straight out of bed.
- SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP
It is so important to get enough sleep while you travel. This is a restore and repair time for your boy. Easier said than done through, right? For some people, it feels impossible to sleep anywhere but their own beds. Luckily for me, I can sleep on a pile of rocks. If you’re not so lucky, you can still achieve healthy sleep while away from home.
Set the hotel temperature to a cool and comfortable temperature that you can fall asleep and stay asleep to. If it’s too hot, you will wake up uncomfortable throughout the night. No one likes night sweats.
Wear a sleep mask in case you’ll be sleeping at different times than usual. If there are other people/distractions with you, as well. This can keep your surroundings dark and distraction free.
Avoid the cellphone in bed and before bed.
If you’re on vacation and you’re traveling with people you know you can’t share a room with, spend the extra money for your own space. It’ll be worth it!
- LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, BE KIND TO YOURSELF!
Will these choices feel the same as when you’re at home and following your routine schedule? No. Will you possibly gain weight or lose some healthy gains? Yes. BUT, the fact that you are making conscious, healthier decisions is incredible. You will begin to notice that you come back home lighter each time and eventually get to where it doesn’t throw you off nearly at all. You are not prepping for a bodybuilding show, you are prepping for a forever changed lifestyle. Applaud yourself for doing your best, with the given situations; Enjoy your time away if it’s a vacation and avoid grumbling and complaining if it’s work travel. Do your best to feel your best and you’ll never imagine traveling any other way!
To learn more ways to stay on track schedule a free consultation with one of our fitness professionals.