I am the classic definition of a road warrior! Last year I traveled 170K air miles and this year I have already hit 75k! I travel all over the world promoting our brand, meeting with customers and exploring fitness trends. It’s a lot of travel but I love what I do! For the next 3 weeks I have no scheduled travel and I have to say it feels good. I get to sleep in my own bed, go to my own gym, not have to eat out! As I was leaving the gym today after a great workout it hit me - I’m healthier at home!
I’m not new to travel as I’ve been doing it for years. I’ve worked hard to develop good road habits but the change in geography and routine often proves challenging. I’ve lumped my habits in to 3 buckets, Nutrition, Exercise and Sleep. Lets take a look.
Ask any traveler and they will tell you that eating healthy on the road can be difficult. You are often in a new time zone, eating out, and socializing. On top of that planes and airports offer many ways to make bad food choices. Here are a couple tips to keep your nutrition on track while on the road.
- Pack HEALTHY SNACKS for the ride! As you walk through the airport it’s easy to be tempted by all of the quick food options like pizza, candy, burgers etc. On the plane, if you get a meal, its often balanced but it still tends to be high in sodium and fat. On top of this, depending on the time of day, it’s often temping to enjoy a cocktail to relax pre or mid flight. I’ve found that by bringing healthy snacks like almonds, cheese sticks and buying a large bottle of water after security really helps to keep me on track.
- Start with a SALAD. When you are on the road you are often eating out. It’s exciting to try new restaurants and to enjoy the cuisine of where you are. However it’s also easy to indulge. When I am out for lunch or dinner I always start with a salad. The fibrous vegetables fill me up and help to prevent over eating for the rest of the meal. I also am sure to start each morning with a high protein breakfast. This will keep me full longer through the day and prevent snacking opportunities that may present!
- Drink WATER. Needless to say drinking water throughout the day is best practice regardless of if you are home or away. However on the road it can be extra important. In the air you tend to get dehydrated so I try to have at least 8 oz of water per one hour flight. Business travel generally also entails socializing where you may be enjoying your favorite wine or cocktail. If your normal routine is to not drink during the week, socializing can throw this off. Make a deal with yourself that after each drink you will have glass of water. You will significantly reduce your alcohol in take and feel much better in the morning. Worried that you will stand out? Ask the bar tender to pour you a club soda and put it in a cocktail glass. No one will know the difference!
For any number of reasons it can be often to keep your exercise routine on the road. However the reality is that it is getting easier and easier.
- Workout Facilities. Healthy travelers today are looking for ways so keep fit on the road and as a result more and more hotels are providing excellent workout facilities. If they don’t have one, they often have a reciprocal relationship with a local club. Just this month I was in Phoenix and across the street from my hotel there was a 20k SQ state of the art health club. When I checked in the young lady at the front desk told me I could use it for just $5! I couldn’t wait to go. So if you don't like the facility at your hotel ask if they have such a relationship with an outside club.
- Time. Change in time zones and hectic schedules often affect your workout time. This can result in you skipping your workout all together! Don’t stress if you can’t get your full workout in. Commit to at least 20 minutes of training to get the heart pumping and burn some calories. Looking for great ideas on efficient training? See our post on INTERVAL TRAINING.
- Explore the City. One of the most exciting parts about travel is seeing the sights! Why not do this while getting in your exercise. Last week I was in Cologne Germany and before work each morning I took a run through the beautiful city. Sure my intensity may have been a bit lower as I was taking in the view but I got my training in! In the mountains? Go for a hike. Many hotels now offer group or guided runs or hikes to show off their beautiful city. Ask, explore, enjoy!
You just check into your hotel after a long journey and the first thing you see is the beautiful, inviting bed. The thick fluffy comforter, the stacks of pillows. Who wouldn’t want to jump in and stay in that bed?! My tip here is simple. Keep your sleep schedule. Try to go to bed at the same time as home and most importantly wake up at the same time! Fight that urge to black out the room and sleep in! This will keep you on track, give you the time to work out and maximize your trip!
Travel is fun, exciting and rewarding. It’s easy to get off track on the road as the opportunities and excuses are plentiful. Stay healthy by following my tips from the road and you’ll enjoy travel more, be more productive and ease back into your normal routine with ease.