For many of us, spring is a time to hit the road and enjoy some downtime & sunshine. One of my favorite things to do is TRAVEL! With my career and my husband’s commercial advertising photography work, we are blessed to get to travel quite a bit and to some amazing places. While I love travel, it can be really tough to stay on track, to workout and to eat healthy! Whether you want to stay fit on vacay or travel frequently for business, here are my personal tips to help you stay on track and may be even come out ahead after your break.
1. Water. I always carry water with me. On the latest international trip, I carried a plastic water bottle all over and was delighted to find that in most cities, water fountains were plentiful. I filled it every chance I get and as a small bonus, it weighed about 3-4 lbs which helped me burn a few extra calories, just carrying it around. In airports, I bring a disposable water bottle with me, drink it on the way to the airport so it is empty for security and then fill it at one of the many fountains in the airport so I have water with me on the plane and I avoid the outrageous costs of water bottles at the airport.
2. What to bring. In addition to what I normally bring on a trip, when I am trying to stay fit on vacay, I have a fitness packing list to be sure I have what I need ready to go. It includes:
– Exercise bands
I put together single servings of the following into zipper bags:
– Ultimate Muscle Protein 2 scoop baggies so I can easily pop them in a shaker with water.
– carrots & celery for the plane
I also bring:
– Packets of tuna
– whole fruit (apples, grapefruit, bananas, etc)
– Blender Bottle
3. Kitchen. Whenever possible, I rent apartments through a site called VRBO.com or stay in B&B’s so that I can get a place with a kitchen (all of the B&B’s I have come across allow you to use their frig and microwave – bonus!) This worked fabulously in Switzerland and in Paris where we ate almost every meal in our own kitchen or where I was able to make food ahead and bring a picnic with us. One of my favorite meals in fact, was when I took fresh lettuce, topped it with grilled local veggies, thinly sliced prosciutto and a mix of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Not super crazy, but it looked pretty and tasted great.
4. Fruit. The easiest food to carry with you on a long day is fruit. Having an apple, banana or grapefruit handy in your pack for emergencies is always a good idea. It is a much better choice than most other convenience options. All of the cities I traveled to had markets or fruit & veggie stands throughout.
5. Be Active but think outside the box! There are places where getting to a gym is really tough or days where I am out hiking for 5-10 miles. On days where I was gone from 8 am – 7 pm hiking 10+ miles with a 1000 ft+ vertical ascent, I counted those hikes as my cardio. While it was not the perfect weight training workout it certainly counts as cardio! I figured out that in one 10 mile hike, I had burned over 1700 calories. This has actually inspired me to walk more as a means of transportation at home too. Look for chances to use an activity as you workout. Can you go kayaking? Biking? Swimming? SUP? You may just find a new activity that you love!
6. Ordering. It is almost impossible when traveling not to eat out. When I do eat out, I ordered as specifically as possible. Most all waiters honor your requests and you can end up with a great, clean meal. Be careful with restaurant menus though! Did you know that more times than not, ‘steamed’ veggies are drizzled with butter after steaming? Or that steaks are dipped in a butter/oil mixture before grilling? Even when you think you are eating healthy, you might be taking in 100’s of extra calories. Be very specific!!!
7. Stretching. No matter where you go, there is no reason you cannot stretch. This is a great time to work on your flexibility! No equipment required. I also love my Yoga Studio app. That gives me a full yoga class that can be done anywhere.
8. Enjoy the experiences of other cultures. If you have the opportunity to travel, embrace what is around you. Be it locally, nationally or internationally. I had a great time browsing through grocery stores, examining packaging in different languages and trying out local veggies. I tried to be a little adventurous and had fun doing it. You can really learn a lot that way!
Plan as best you can and be ready to make adjustments when needed. The one thing that I have found is that no matter how hard I plan, things happen and I have to adjust. In those situations, I get creative with my workouts and with my diet – doing the best I can but also knowing that this is a unique, short term situation. Enjoy yourself and relax! Life is all about balance after all : )