4 simple tips for staying in shape while traveling
4 tips for staying in shape while traveling Traveling can be a great experience for your soul but not so much for your body and your recent fitness goals you’ve been trying to smash since New Year’s resolutions. I get it, a part of the trip to the unkn …
4 tips for staying in shape while traveling
Traveling can be a great experience for your soul but not so much for your body and your recent fitness goals you’ve been trying to smash since New Year’s resolutions. I get it, a part of the trip to the unknown is definitely exploring the local cuisine and hitting up a few well-known spots that have made the mark on major restaurant rating sites as a “Must-do” spots in the area, wherever you travel. In this article, I am going to share 4 tips that can help you stay in shape and keep crushing your healthy lifestyle after coming back to your home destination. Let’s start with the overview.
Why can travel be so bad for our health?
If you’ve been into leading a healthy lifestyle and trying to achieve certain physical or mental goals, you know first hand that one theme is very prevalent in the pursuit of a bodily change of any kind – consistency. Without consistency, any goal that you might have in business, personal life, or bench press, will hinder your potential for making the best out of what you do. Consistency is key and this particular principle is not only connected to travel but can also be connected to weekend binge eating or going for a 1,500 calorie milkshake after a workout because you feel like you’ve “earned it”. Traveling outside of your environment you’re used to can throw you off track and it’s important to keep in mind one simple principle – just because you travel doesn’t mean you should compromise on your health. We all have only one body and should take care of it regardless of if we’re in a bathing suit on the beach sipping coconut water or in an office crunching numbers in a spreadsheet. Exploring different cuisines can be fun but is also, most likely, full of unhealthy fats, excessive calories, and just refined carbs that make your dinner “cool and fun” but that will hinder your progress in the long-run. With that being said, let’s get down to the 4 tips for staying in shape while traveling.
#1 – Be stronger than your comfort zone
It’s easy to hit the snooze button and stay in bed. It’s easy to order a beer because your buddy also ordered one. It’s easy to watch Netflix instead of picking up that book you always wanted to read. In the same way, it’s easy to neglect exercising while on personal or business travel because you might feel like you’ve earned your time off and since you’re out of town, you don’t have to abide by the same routines or principles as when home. Travel shouldn’t be about compromising your health, rather, you can use that time as strengthening your mindset and building a concrete wall from solid principles and challenging yourself to stick to your goals even while traveling. Get out of bed and go to your hotel’s gym, go for a quick jog, bring a jumping rope and do 500 skips in the morning, go sprint in the parking lot, look up a nearby yoga studio, but most importantly, stay active every single day.
#2 – Lunch as a first meal
If your travel is personal or business, chances are you will end up going out for dinner and exploring a bit here and there, which is fine. However, even if you start your day with a great workout and then follow it up with a heaping breakfast, lunch, two snacks, and then a “going out” dinner, you will consume way too many calories and most likely end up packing on some fat as a result. BUT there is a very simple solution!
You might have heard about intermittent fasting and in this article I won’t go into long explanations but it boils down to this – you fast majority of your waken hours and eat in the rest. For example, you fast 16 hours and consume food and drink in the 8 remaining hours of the day. It’s a simple and an efficient way to control your food intake and especially when you’re up and about, skipping a breakfast won’t kill you every once in a while. By skipping the first meal of the day, the remainder of your caloric intake can be greater (lunch, snack, dinner) so you don’t have to feel guilty about going for a local food specialty and a cocktail at night.
#3 – Be a demanding dinning guest!
You’re paying for the dinner, you might as well tell them how you want your food cooked. Many restaurants around the world are becoming much more accommodating to people’s dietary needs and if you’re going to a solid food joint, they will take care of tailoring the meal to your preferences. That being said, an easy dietary swap is to skip the regular starchy sides to your entrée like chips, fries, potatoes, etc. and simply ask the server to either bring you a side salad, some type of cooked or steamed veggie side or something that still looks appealing to you but won’t add 1,000 calories to your dinner. Ask away healthy peeps!
#4 – Do your homework
Spend some time researching the destination of your travel and check out nearby restaurants, how the coffee shop scene looks like, if there are many things to do outside or if it’s primarily an indoor type of adventure, etc. This one seems like a general rule of thumb but actually checking out where you might be interested in eating and exploring the menu of the bar/restaurant can prepare you for the trip and instead of fishing for the closest hot-dog stand nearby when you’re hungry, you will know where to go and what they have to offer that intrigued you. When I travel, I try to look up healthy restaurants that will either allow me to customize my meals or that offer enough healthy entrees that I won’t be stuck with only unhealthy options during your travels. Little prep can go a long way.
BONUS #5 – Get an accountabilitator
I know, Accountabilitator is not a word but illustrates a principle of letting others that you might travel with know what your intentions are and asking them to respect it and support you in your journey. You’d be surprised how supportive the people around you can be when you let them know that you’re trying to eat healthy and that while traveling, you could really appreciate their support. Many people will support you in your goals but remember, unless you make it clear to someone what you’re trying to accomplish and what you’re actually asking them to do, they might be assuming something that’s inaccurate. Once you make your intentions known, many people will be more than willing to help out.
Putting it all together
Travel can be fun. Eating new foods can be fun. Exploring new parts of the world can be fun. There is no denial that the world is a place of extreme abundance, variety of cuisines, and a deep well of amazing experiences for everyone occupying this planet. However, striving for long term healthy lifestyle and sticking to feeding your body with the “good stuff” and supporting the optimal function of your physique can be challenging when your healthy principles get thrown out of the window while vacationing. Hopefully, these simple tips can help you enjoy your next personal or business travel while staying on target with your goals and lead a healthy, simple to stick to, enjoyable lifestyle.