Do you find it challenging to travel healthy and maintain a decent food and fitness routine? It’s all in your head; follow this simple 4 step guide and see how well it works.
I’ve traveled more than my fair share, in the old days as a professional ski racer, later on for business and today, for life and my passion, educating about health and fitness. Traveling frequently, and long distances by car or plane wasn’t a problem in my teens, but that soon changed later on in my twenties.
How did it all change? For one, age, and two self-neglect. When you are young, and an athlete, you kind of have to look after yourself, get to bed a decent time, make sure you’ve eaten well and enough, that type of thing.
Being young does help, but the key is something else: working out. If you’re an athlete, it’s your job to get out and do your thing. Playing your sport stimulates body and mind, making travel much more manageable.
We’ve established the main driver for making travel healthy – exercise and movement. The second problem we have is self-neglect, something that unfortunately creeps into life with time.
Let’s take a look at the solutions and my simple 4-Step Travel Healthy Guide.
Not moving enough is a big problem, and it’s rampant all over the world. Most people become sedentary with age and travel ads to that problem. During travel, you are mostly being transported, and that entices one to be lazy.
You’re often sitting on a plane, driving a car, or sitting on a train for hours on end. Then comes the taxi ride, you arrive at your hotel, lie down, maybe take a shower, head for dinner, where you’re sitting down again. Before you know it, you’ve spent 95% of your day going from A to B, yet you haven’t moved.
Making movement an integral part of your travels will help your cardiovascular system stay in shape, lift your mood, and will reduce fatigue. It will keep your muscles and joints strong and healthy. Please write down your movement plan and make an effort to stick to it during your trip. Planning will set you off in the right direction and help you stay with it.
En route, do this:
- Get up frequently
- Repeat every 2 hours
At destination, do this:
- Walk briskly
- Strength train in your room, gym or park
Self-neglect equals self-destruction. Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? But it’s true; I can attest to it, as I used to practice it quite frequently.
Self-neglect is apparent in several behavioral traits, such as; working too much or too late, not getting enough sleep, drinking too much, eating poorly, stressing out, and not exercising.
Most people don’t notice they are stuck in this rut, often until it’s too late and burn out occurs. Fortunately, we all get second chances at which point, once realized, we can quite quickly correct these negative traits.
3. Food & Drink.
Lack of movement and self-neglect go hand in hand with poor food and drink choices. It’s too easy to grab whatever comes your way, such as sandwiches, potato chips, french fries, burgers and beer, and very little water! To travel healthy
Lack of movement and self-neglect go hand in hand with food and drink choices, as mentioned above.
Wolfing down as much as you can at that vast breakfast buffet, and planning not to eat for the rest of the day, won’t get you far either. Taking time to sit down for nutrient-rich meals is not only essential to maintain a healthy body, but it’s also vital to keep a sane and sharp mind.
Try this instead:
- Drink lots of room temperature water in the morning, preferably with fresh lemon juice.
- Drink lots of room temperature water all day long. Hydrate, hyrdate, hydrate!
- Keep breakfast light with nutrient-rich foods, such as eggs and bacon, salad or some fruit.
- Eat real and clean meals for lunch and dinner. I recommend grilled red meats, fish or seafood accompanied by salad or sauteed vegetables.
- Stay away from pizza, fast food, and nasty looking food.
- Limit your alcohol intake to a couple of glasses of wine, and stay away from all spirits, soft drinks, and fruit juices.
Self-neglect equates to self-destruction, while live-well practices (as I call it) achieve the opposite, self-care, and love for yourself. In turn, this supports happiness, reduces stress, relaxes body and mind, and helps you to travel healthy.
How to Live Well during travels:
- Make a point to schedule a massage or two at your hotel before you leave home.
- Go for a relaxing stroll in the park or beach when you arrive.
- Try to meditate, practice breathing exercises, or yoga in your room.
- Go for a steam, sauna or jacuzzi after your working day.
- Relax, often.
Packing the bag.
Packing your bag starts at home, of course, so make sure you pack well. Include plenty of clothing items for your movement activities, such as underwear, sports socks, shorts, and shirts, sneakers, and your swimsuit! We don’t want to wind up at our destination without the gear, only to have an excuse not to move it.
Start your trip by making a plan. Schedule your activities, free time, and live-well sessions. Promise to commit to the plan, and practice self-love during your trip. Finally, be accountable to yourself, then you will be just fine.
Thanks for reading.
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Former Olympic Athlete, Health Coach and Writer.