Sometimes our lives demand us on travel. If you are a management consultant like I was for a number of years, this means you get on a plane every week for the perpetuity of your project. This week, I’ve been away for a wedding in Canada. Travel usually it means a complete disruption to how you do things normally in your home city, depending on whether you’re heading to a new city, country, or continent and having to establish new healthy habits.
It’s hard to be healthy on the road, between the temptations to skip workouts from jet lag, and eat everything novel – but it is possible by establishing boundaries and different healthy habits.
Here are some tips:
1. Set realistic goals for your week.
Before heading on to travels, get into the mindset of how you will incorporate healthy habits on your time away from the norm. Set workout times in your calendar, and decide to make healthy meal choices.
2. Drink water over soda, or other caloric drinks.
Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day with water, so you don’t think you’re hungry when you’re actually thirsty. Plus, by drinking plenty of fluids you’ll force yourself to listen to nature when it calls – getting you more mobile throughout the day too.
3. Snack on healthy items throughout the day.
When I used to live the Monday to Thursday travel lifestyle, I packed a bag of snacks consisting of hard boiled eggs, fruits, veggies from the hotel buffet lounge each morning. I would munch on these throughout the day, which prevented me from binge eating that lunch, going for a sugary mid-afternoon snack, or eating an uncomfortable amount of food just before bed for dinner after a long workday.
4. Find workout buddies and exercise together in the morning.
During my consistent travel days, we had a small group of us within the team that would meet each other at the gym and do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts together. Keeping each other accountable, we would get up at 6am each morning and roll down to the gym next door, and out of the four days I was living in a hotel, I would hit the gym three of those days.
5.Make healthier food choices for lunch and dinner.
When you’re traveling, you’ll have to always eat out – which means the cooked food naturally has more salt, sugar, and fat content to make it tastier. Try to get as close to the natural food source as possible – opt for the salad bar, limit fried foods, etc.
6. Moderate, moderate, moderate your portions.
There is always lots of food, and you may want to spend your food allowance or eat more than you’re used to just because it’s there. But remember moderation – you only have one body, it’s pretty sacred and the short-term gain of having something just for the sake of it being tasty isn’t worth it when you’re racked with digestion discomfort later on.
It is definitely hard to be healthy on the road, but with a healthy mindset, discipline and some planning, it is very doable. You should definitely enjoy yourself too, but too much of a “good thing” ends up not being so great in the long run – so choose to be happy and healthy!