Traveling is such an exciting part of life. Wether it is visiting loved ones for the holidays or flying to enjoy a dream vacation on the shores of Tahiti, we all get to experience travel at some point in our life. When taking current health goals into consideration, some may experience stress at the thought of getting thrown off of the routine and reversing progress that has already been made. It doesn't have to be that way! Let's take a look at some super simple tips that can benefit everyone.
1. Water first
Staying hydrated is always priority at home or while traveling. However, it should be the first thing on your mind when you travel especially if you’re on an airplane because the humidity inside the cabin is lower than normal. Add on the fact that you are out of your normal routine and cues to drink and stay hydrated fall by the wayside.
Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, dizziness, dry/itchy skin, dry eyes, cotton mouth, increase risk for UTI and loads of other unpleasant symptoms that you likely do not want to experience while traveling. Dehydration can also be disguised as increased hunger so drink your H2O! When you arrive at your location, fill your reusable water bottle as soon as arrive to your destination before you even leave the airport. Or find a convenience store and purchase at least 60-70 ounces of water for each day that you’re traveling.
2. Eat one fresh meal daily from the local market or grocery store
This is a two-fold benefit. If you are traveling to a more exotic place, you can experience the local markets and try new produce that you may have never heard of before. If staying within the states, this is a great way to save some money versus eating out for every meal. Focus on buying whole foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, precooked lean meats and salads. When staying in a hotel hopefully you have researched ahead and were able to book a room with a mini fridge to store perishable items. Even better if you can find an airbnb with a small kitchen.
3. Pack healthy snacks
Being prepared with a variety of healthy snacks keeps temptation at bay. Try string cheese, unsalted nuts and seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables, individual containers of hummus, sandwiches, whole grain crackers, or protein bars/powders. These types of healthy snacks can tide you over in a pinch and can prevent you from impulsively getting that pastry at the airport or chips from the convenience store.
4. Walk whenever possible
You may not be able to continue your gym routine while traveling and that's ok. Walking is a great way to keep your activity level up and it's a great way to explore the area you are visiting. If exploring a small town, plan where you will visit ahead of time and try to stay somewhere central that you can walk to most destinations. Rent bikes instead of cars (weather permitting) and plan activities that keep you active like swimming at the beach or hiking.
5. Plan ahead and research restaurants (when possible)
You can use apps like Yelp and Trip Advisor when traveling to more industrialized places. This allows you to see the menu ahead of time and decreases chances of impulse decisions which are often poorer choices. Traveling or not, when you look at food ask yourself: are you respecting your body with this meal? If you plan to indulge, focus in on fullness cues. Eat what you desire to the point of fullness to prevent over eating and feeling miserable afterwards. Always remember you can take left overs with you to enjoy later. Most restaurants [especially in America] serve way beyond the average portion size so boxing up half the meal is a great way to spread those servings out and saves money from making another meal out of it.
6. Be intentional with meals and treats
Embrace the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, follow the plan and the other 20% you can consume what you would like. Allow yourself the space to try new and exciting foods. Enjoy those foods without guilt! Making food choices should not be consuming all of your mental space while traveling. Ultimately, find what works best for you.
7. Create a calm, dark sleep space
Create a tranquil sleep environment just like you would at home. Make the room as dark as possible. Put a towel to cover the crack in the door, cover the alarm clock or unplug it, use ear plugs and eye covers. High quality sleep is a great way to ensure you can fully and attentively enjoy your trip.
8. Pack your supplements
It’s easy to forget little things like your daily vitamins when you’re out of your routine. You’ll be exposed to more viruses and bacteria that your immune system may have never been exposed to and if you’re on a plane you’re exposed to a lot of radiation. If you have a regular supplement routine at home, take them with you.
For more support or to receive help on customized planning for your health goals click here to schedule a free consultation with Sophrosyne Health