How to stay healthy whilst traveling
I have just returned back from a 3 month stay in America and one of the biggest questions I get asked is how to stay healthy whilst traveling.
I was pretty lucky as I was based at a summer camp for 2 months which allowed me access to a gym as well as a regular and reliable selection of food. This being said I was very flexible with my diet and enjoyed many days off from training and a number of indulgent meals. When traveling down the east coast of America from Pennsylvania to Georgia training became a lot less frequent and food was more of what was convenient or provided to me by the friends I stayed with. This tended to be very, very good food but sometimes not the most nutritious– Pizza, BBQ, homemade Lasagne, the works. All were extremely tasty and because of this I can safely say I had more than my fair share.
It is fine to enjoy these kinds of foods in moderation. The problem is when traveling that sometimes lack of availability of other food means these can become your only source of sustenance leading to moderation going out the window.
So here are 5 things you can do to stay healthy when traveling
Limit your damage
Get up early
Relax and Enjoy yourself
Research – this is your biggest tool. You will probably know what sort of activities you will be doing and where you will be based as you have booked the trip unless you are a complete nomad and have no planning. If you do have a rough plan then you can figure out what your time restraints are in regards to working out and also what sort of food options are available to you. See if there is a gym close by or at where you are staying or see if there is a new activity you haven’t tried before, beach workouts, yoga, maybe some sort of dance class. There is a wealth of activities to keep your exercise up; you just need to discover them.
Stay Active- I have found when I travel I can spend a long time not moving, be it in a car or on a train. Sometimes to get from place to place you might spend 10 hours in a seated position. If this is the case then try to stay active when you can, go for a jog before you travel, and when you get chance stretch. Make time to really get your heart going before or after you travel. Not only will this burn some calories but it will also help so much with your mental mood, if you have been sat in the same position for hours and hours you probably will start to feel a little bored and tired. Getting up and getting active will make a huge difference to your mood.
Limit the damage- If you are on holiday or traveling there will be times that you might not make the “healthiest” choices in terms of food. But sometimes this has to be tried for the experience, if you are in America you have to have a slice of pizza, it is one of those things that has to be done. BUT…. this doesn’t mean you have to eat an entire pizza for lunch and dinner day after day. Go out and have a really nice pizza for lunch but then choose to have a lower calorie dinner. As expressed above everything is fine in moderation and you definitely should enjoy and experience things when traveling, as food is so varied across the world don’t ignore this but be mindful about what you are eating.
My best advice to limit the damage is when you are going to order meals chose foods you enjoy but ask for them without sauces or oils on, you can literally save yourself 100’s of calories by avoiding these and you still enjoy your food.
Get up early – If you have planned a day of activities to make the most of your experience of traveling then you don’t want to waste your afternoon in a gym. Get up early and work out so that it is completed and out the way for the day. Not only will you be done with your workout but you will also be more awake and ready to enjoy your travel.
Relax and enjoy yourself- accept that you won’t be able to work out as much as you want to (and that’s okay!) don’t stress about it. If there’s nothing you can do then ….there is nothing you can do, relax and focus on the trip you are on, enjoy it, and when you get chance to exercise then give it 110% but don’t waste your time away worrying (about anything for that matter). Be active when you can and be creative with some cardio or body weight. Remember fitness should be something you enjoy doing, not something you are a slave to.
Staying healthy doesn’t have to be hard when traveling; it just takes a little dedication and the right choices now and again. If you have already had a fast food for lunch then maybe go for something more wholesome for dinner, but this being said, enjoy the experience travelling gives you and sometimes it is not the worst thing to indulge ….. just not every day.