Traveling can often be used as an excuse to let go of your routine and all your hard earned gains. However, staying fit and healthy while traveling does not need to be complicated or stressful. At the very least, all you’ll need is a healthy can-do attitude, a little bit of preparation and forward thinking and your sneakers.
PLANE, TRAIN OR AUTOMOBILE
Traveling to and from your destination can often be the first place in which you’ll come undone if you don’t plan ahead. If you’re flying you might be fortunate enough to have an airline which gives you healthy menu options – you’ll often find that you can pre-order your meal when you first book your flight. There are even gluten-free meals available, though I usually tend to go for the vegan option. Do your research and make your choice count. If you’re traveling by car, you can make sure you have healthy snacks on hand throughout your journey – go to a health food store or the health food aisle of your local supermarket and pick up some simple items that travel well such as apples, unsalted nuts, low sugar protein bars (I like Quest Bars), raw veges and a good green powder that you can just shake up with water, and you’re good to go!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
Whilst accommodation depends on your destination and budget, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there are certainly some key things you can think about before booking. Is there a gym, either in the hotel or nearby? Is it walking distance to the supermarket, local cafes/restaurants, your work meetings, friends, social gatherings? Can you store food in your room? Don’t tell yourself that you’ll organize everything when you get there, you don’t need any more excuses to knock you off track.
HEALTHY DINING. YOU DON’T ASK, YOU DON’T GET.
When dining out, it’s all about those choices. Take the time to evaluate the menu. Select foods that are steamed, roasted or broiled, not fried. Ask for dressings and sauces to be put on the side. Send the bread basket away. Swap out your starchy carbs like rice, potato and pasta for healthier alternatives like sweet potato, pumpkin or vegetables. Don’t be afraid to ask to have your food prepared in a way that is not on the menu. Most chefs are happy to make these changes. Order fresh fruit for dessert or share a range with your dinner companions. There is no need to deny yourself the pleasures of eating out, but keep your choices as healthy as possible. I am yet to come across a restaurant that doesn’t serve protein and veges in one way or another. And if you have a cheat meal in your week, plan it around your social engagements. Sometimes it’s not about being perfect, but about doing some damage control!
MOVE IT OR LOSE IT
Traveling for business sometimes means a busy and hectic schedule. Good planning and a strong commitment to your goals will help you adhere to your fitness routine. 20-30 minutes is all you need to get the blood pumping and metabolism going. Simple pieces of equipment such as a skipping rope and some resistance bands can eliminate the need for a gym or workout space, and they take up very little room in your suitcase. If you’re worried you will struggle for motivation, invest in a couple of workout DVD’s or download an app so all you need to get moving is your iPad or iPhone. If you have meetings during the day, why not try and get your colleagues to buy into the idea of having the meetings whilst walking around, instead of sitting in a conference room. The fresh air will help boost energy levels, morale and productivity and improve those bottom lines (pun intended).
If you're stuck inside and/or you have no access to any equipment, I've put together a bodyweight circuit that combines two of my favorite things - mobility and HIIT. This will not only elevate your heart rate quickly, and turn you into a fat burning machine but it will also help to unlock all those tight muscles and joints. Complete the entire circuit, then rest 60-90 secs before repeating for a total of 3-5 times.