Travel Fit: Staying healthy while traveling. Guidelines from Dr. Sheba
Staying fit in general is already a difficult task. Meal prepping, working out, scheduling workouts, being conscious of EVERYTHING you put in your body. It takes time, effort and work. Trying to stay healthy while traveling is even harder, but it’s not impossible! Within the last few months, I have traveled to Peru, Mauritius, Canada, Romania, Bulgaria, as well as Alabama and Washington state for work. This is not new, clearly, I travel a lot 😊. Therefore, I have to be very careful, and strategic, to make sure I do not un-do all the progress I have made with my fitness goals.
There are a few tips that I try to stick to in order to stay healthy while traveling. Having a plan is important, and staying consistent is key! Check out my ten rules below.
When traveling…10 rules to follow
- Do your research and PLAN. When I’m traveling, I’m obviously not meal prepping, but I am still getting prepared. I am a research scientist by training, so I research EVERYTHING. This includes the food options at the airport, on the flight, at the hotel and surrounding areas. This makes me aware of the options I have, what to be prepared for and how many snacks I need to bring with me.
– Airport Lounge food
- Choose the in-flight food options wisely. These are usually packed with salt and carbs. Try to pick lighter options and more vegetables if possible. Some airlines have gluten free, low salt, low sugar or vegan options as well.
- PACK snacks. Typically, I ALWAYS have a snack with me every day, but when traveling I pack extra portable snacks. This includes apples, carrots, bananas, low sugar fruit cups or apple sauce, granola bars, travel size peanut butter or hummus packs, almond or mixed nuts, a shaker cup and Shakeology ®. These snacks are also very helpful when you reach your destination, when you’re at the hotel, on a tour bus and even at the beach!
[WARNING: If you are traveling overseas, you may not be able to bring fresh fruit and vegetables into the country you are visiting. Check the restrictions ahead of time. I had an unfortunate incident with apples in New Zealand, and had to pay a $300 penalty! The most expensive apples EVER! ☹]
- Drink LOTS of water. You need to stay hydrated, but also water can help flush out toxins from the salty and sugary foods/snacks you are most likely consuming while on vacation. Water also makes you feel full longer.
- Drink tea. There are so many great benefits of drinking tea daily (it has antioxidants, boosts your immune system, aids in digestion, etc.), but on vacation it can also help you feel full longer.
- Be mindful of hotel and restaurant food. Again, hotel and restaurant food tend to have more salt and sugar than what you would cook at home. Be mindful of portion sizes, dressings and sauces (ask for these on the side) and try to choose healthier or lighter options when you can. Also, beware of buffets and try to “resist the urge to splurge.” It is okay to splurge a little, but don’t overdo it! Since you’re on vacation you may not work out as much as you are used to, so you won’t burn all of those calories off.
-Buffet lunch in Jordan, full of veggies!
- Schedule a workout! Try to include some time in your schedule for a workout, even a short one. Try out the hotel gym, go for a jog, take laps at the pool, rent a bike and go for a ride, or follow a Beachbody ® workout DVD or program on your tablet or phone. Anything that gets your heat rate up, is better than nothing. If you’re traveling with a group, workout together!! During our King Dunston Group Getaway to Panama, I led an awesome beach boot camp and we all burned a lot of calories!
- Try to engage in some sort of physical activity. Walk around and tour your location on foot, participate in an organized walking tour, stroll or jog on the beach, explore on a bike or go hiking.
-Apparently, I found Fred Flintstone’s Gym in Tanzania
- Be mindful of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol itself is not high in calories (although the calories do not have any nutritional value) but the juice, soda, syrup and sugar that is mixed with alcohol has A LOT of calories. Stick to low calorie drinks worth minimal ingredients (wine, beer, tonic, club soda, etc). These are typically between 75 and 150 calories. Some daiquiris can be up to 500 calories! Yikes!
- Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up! You’re on vacation after all and you should enjoy yourself! And when you return, get right back on track!
Remember, it is all about balance! Do I splurge sometimes? Eat cake? Dessert? Drink a daiquiri? Absolutely! I’m human! But I try not to overdo it and I always get right back on track when I return home. Consistency and a plan are key! If you follow these guidelines, this will help assure you do not pack on the pounds while traveling!
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