I used to travel weekly for my job – and it was SERIOUSLY challenging to stay fit and healthy while constantly on the road. Airport food, unavoidable travel delays, lost luggage, sleeping in a strange bed, meetings, parties, super long days …. Seriously?!!!? Raise your hand if you are in the same boat (or airplane)!!! Even if you travel inconsistently for work a change in your schedule can make it challenging to move your body and put good things in. (It was especially hard for me when I was on the company dime …. out for dinner again? Yes, please. A glass of super expensive wine? If I HAVE to!!!)
My best piece of advice is to plan – and then be comfortable with changes. I know – sounds weird – but being without a plan can be just as stressful as being super rigid. Here are a few lessons I learned. Take what makes sense for you and leave the rest —- just know that it is possible to travel and still stay fit!
Get organized to avoid airport stress
Stress is one of the main culprits for poor eating. It can trigger production of excess cortisol, a hormone that makes your body more prone to storing fat in your abdominal area. My advice is get organized to limit your stress. You know getting through security at the airport is a stressful process, so ensure that all of your liquids are the right size and within easy reach. Keep your travel bag organized, and pack a few healthy snacks so that you aren’t tempted by all of the junk food available at airport terminals. Some of my favorite snacks are raw mixed nuts, Vega bars and perhaps a few pieces of dark chocolate (a healthy treat is always worth it!). Also – don’t forget an empty water bottle – easy to fill up once you are through the security lines.
Invest in some travel essentials to avoid body soreness
Even if you’re fortunate enough to be flying business or first class, the space on planes is becoming more and more limited and cramped. Landing at your destination feeling relaxed is important if you want to get your enjoyout routine up and going when you arrive. Here are some things I liked to have along: earplugs, eye mask, some flight socks to help with blood circulation in your legs, a neck pillow and a warm sweater. I also would put in a travel candle for my hotel room. These additional items may weigh you down a little, but trust me, traveling with some of your own comforts is much more pleasant than listening to loud conversations or not being able to rest because the light is in your eyes. Not to mention that exercising will be the last thing on your mind if your neck is stiff when you land.
Set yourself up for success
Never forget to pack your enjoyout clothes and shoes so you can stay fit while you’re away. Sounds simple, but this is something that people often forget while traveling. I will admit that I usually wear some athleisure gear on the plane. If I can’t, because I have to get to a meeting before checking into my hotel – it will be in my carry on just in case my luggage gets lost! I don’t want to have an excuse not to exercise! Plus, if your luggage does get lost, you can be comfortable when you land while power walking around the shops as you buy new clothes!
Nutrition on the go
I mentioned this in the preparation part – but this deserves saying again. First – hydration is the most important thing to remember when you travel. Dehydration can affect your skin, your energy levels, and it can lead to headaches and/or negatively impact your digestive system. The great news is that you can easily get water on the plane. You have already packed a water bottle (remember?) – so you are good to go!
Good food while traveling, however, is harder to come by. (Well – nutritious food can be hard to find – tasty food may be another thing!) Given the risk of travel delays, you could ruin your healthy eating plan if you’re not prepared. Pack nutrient rich snacks in your bag, such as nuts or protein bars, to help keep you full and away from unhealthy choices. You’ll want to keep your body fueled throughout the day to avoid binging at meal times due to excessive hunger.
Create an in-room workout routine
Fitting in some exercise during your trip may help you to sleep better and be more mentally awake during all of your meetings! Hopefully you will be staying at a hotel with a great exercise facility. If so – USE it!!! I happen to be a morning person – but even if you are not – I encourage you to exercise in the morning when traveling. This will set the tone for the day – but also it will be checked off your list. So – if the meetings go late – or you want to go out to eat right afterward its ok go right ahead!
If there is not a swanky gym or even a converted hotel room with an old treadmill and some ancient machines – you can still get a good enjoyout! There are plenty of bodyweight or yoga enjoyouts for you to do!
So – there you go. Hopefully these tips are helpful for you. Have any of your own? Feel free to share in the comments!
Remember – move your body, put good things in and ENJOY!!!