Traveling Light and Fit
One of the most common roadblocks we run into on our quest to healthy living is TRAVEL. Whether it’s for fun or for business, it can certainly be hard to fit in exercise and find semi-decent food options. However, it is possible! Here are some tried and true tricks that will help you avoid the post-travel health hangover.
Scenario: Stuck in a conference room all day and at the mercy of whatever catered food is provided.
Solution: Bring snacks! Even if it’s just a couple of good quality protein bars, if you can keep yourself from getting too hungry it will be a lot easier to skip the cheese danish and choose a piece of fruit instead. And make sure to avoid sweetened beverages - stick with water, tea, or coffee instead.
Scenario: You had good intentions to try and get a workout in, but you’re in an unfamiliar city and your hotel has no gym.
Solution: See if you can link up with anyone else from your meetings to go for a walk (or a jog if you’re inclined). The hotel concierge may also be able to recommend a local park or jogging trail, or even a nearby yoga or fitness studio to try out. At a minimum, ask at the front desk if they have any workout gear for rent - hotels often have yoga mats, bands and even clothes you can borrow. See below for a mini workout you can do in your hotel room.
Scenario: You’ll be on planes and trains all day before reaching your destination late at night.
Solution: Bring as many snacks as you can - think school lunch bag! Cheese sticks, apples, peanut butter sandwiches, or protein bars are a few ideas. Supplement by buying a big salad with protein in the airport.
Scenario: You’ll be doing a lot of wining and dining while you’re away.
Solution: Choose one thing in your meal that feels like a treat - if you really want the big steak, then get a side of roasted veggies and skip dessert. If you know you want dessert, then choose a salad with fish for dinner. And if you plan to have a drink, keep it at just that - one drink. Calories from alcohol add up VERY quickly!
Scenario: You’re traveling with your kids who are picky eaters.
Solution: Just because your kids are eating mac n cheese and chicken tenders doesn’t mean you have to! Avoid the urge to finish their plates and make sure to choose a meal that will satisfy you but not break the calorie bank. It’s all about balance here, see the “wining and dining” scenario above.
Scenario: You love going out to eat while on vacation, and you want to experience local cuisine.
Solution: Eating should be an enjoyable, cultural, shared experience so of course enjoy the local fare, but just watch the portion size - if you are able to take leftovers with you, that’s great. If not, don’t feel bad about not cleaning your plate. When you feel yourself getting full, put down your fork and have the waiter take your plate! And remember balance - if you ate beignets for breakfast, pick a place with lighter fare for lunch.
Scenario: You want to keep up with your workouts, but don’t want to spend valuable vacation time in a hotel gym.
Solution: Going out for a jog, a hike, or renting bikes are great ways to explore the area and get a great workout at the same time. And bring your FitBit along - you might be shocked how many steps you take just while walking around during the day!
Finally, here's a 20 minute bodyweight workout for travel:
-30 seconds squats
-30 seconds arm circles (forward for 15 seconds, backwards for 15 seconds)
-30 seconds high knee jog in place
-30 seconds squat jumps
-hold a 1 minute plank on your elbows
3 rounds of the following circuit:
-10 push-ups (advanced: hand clap push-ups)
-20 walking lunges (or reverse lunges in place)
-30 mountain climbers
8 minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible - set a timer for 8 minutes and circuit through the following exercises until the timer runs out):
-20 V-ups (or crunches)
-20 lateral skater jumps (or lateral lunge)