I’ve recently become more of an expert on staying healthy while traveling. In the past 6 months, I’ve traveled to Seattle, Hermosa Beach, San Francisco, Pinecrest, Folsom, San Francisco, Oakland, Vancouver, Alaska, San Luis Obispo, Malibu, Huntington Beach, Yosemite, and Dallas. In two weeks, I’m going on a long road trip, then Montana, along with a few local road trips, too. It’s safe to say I’m on the road A LOT.
I clearly don’t know everything about staying healthy on the go, but I’ve sure learned a lot. Essentially, it all comes down to one thing: DO THE BEST YOU CAN. That’s all. Seriously, don’t stress. Stressing will just make you gain weight, break out and/or become more exhausted. It’s just not worth it. Here are my tried and true tips.
CHOOSE HEALTHY FOOD
For food, it always starts by packing my own travel snacks. I eat every 2-3 hours to keep my metabolism high, but a lot of other people don’t, so it’s great to have those ready to eat snacks to just pull out of my bag. I recently did a post on my favorite travel snacks, but I’m really into granola bars (like KIND, Larabars, Luna bars) right now. Anything already packaged and pre-portioned is perfect.
Most of my meals are either at a restaurant or in a conference room, when I’m traveling for work. I honestly do my best to choose healthy when I can, but I’ll admit that it’s hard. I’ve found you have to be strong when ordering, and you can’t be afraid to ask for substitutions. Most restaurants are really accommodating when asking for a dry steak or extra veggies instead of potatoes. When in doubt, I usually go for a salad. That said, if I don’t have the option to eat healthy — like today, at a work lunch where they just handed us burritos — I don’t sweat it.
WORK OUT WHEN YOU CAN
In terms of working out, I don’t worry about it too much. Most of the time I’ll end up working out because it helps me calm down and de-stress. Like yesterday, for example. I’d had a long day and ordered room service. I decided to do a series of YouTube videos for 30 minutes until it came and I instantly felt better. Most of the time though, I’ll try to get in some sort of walk, whether it’s an extra lap around the airport or parking far away, just to get something in.
Sometimes I’ll bring my yoga mat, but it’s a hassle on trips when I’m flying. If I have it, I’ll do yoga or stretching, otherwise I’ll just do body weight exercises without weights. Last night, I improvised and used a bath towel instead of my yoga mat since I didn’t have it. You gotta do what you gotta do!
SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP
Most importantly, I take the time when I’m gone to focus on sleep. It might sound simple, but it’s honestly much, much needed. Especially when I’m on work trips, it’s easy for me to go-go-go until I burn myself out. The best way to counteract that feeling is to sleep it off. It’s a chance for your body to recover and rejuvenate before you go-go-go again.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Over the past year, I’ve really learned to listen to my body. I know my stomach will hurt if I eat more than one heavy meal in a row. I know that I’ll feel good when I get in a short workout and lots of sleep. So that’s what I try to focus on. I try to make the good choices when I can, but I don’t stress when I eat “off” or skip a workout. It’s all about balance.
By all means, I know that staying healthy while traveling is hard — you don’t have the luxury of eating the foods you always eat and going on the run you always go on, but I try to make the best of it. Traveling is tough, but it makes me really thankful for the time and effort I’ve put in to train my body and my mind to choose healthy. It also sure makes me grateful for those times when I am home.
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