As a fitness professional I have to do a fair amount of traveling for speaking engagements and fitness conferences. I’m not the only one; many of my clients travel a fair amount too and say that traveling puts a wrench in being healthy. Well it doesn’t have to. Here are some of my travel tips that will help you stay as healthy as possible no matter what kind of work or traveling schedule you may have:
Rule #1: Pack Your Protein
It’s not always easy to bring perishable snacks like berries, eggs, vegetables, etc. on a plane with you. That’s why I recommend loading up your suitcase with your protein powder (it’s easier to pack if you put this in a big Ziploc bag) and Quest Bars for snacks when you’re on the road. Nuts/seeds are a great snack for the road as well.
Rule #2: Hit the Grocery Store as Soon as You Land
The first place you go (after you get your luggage) is to the nearest grocery store. People often skip having 5 small meals a day when they are on vacation/business and this often leads to binge eating for the three meals you eat out. Be prepared by going to the store to get healthy snacks in advance like LOTS of water, berries, sugar snap peas, mini bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, etc.
Rule #3: Eat Out, but Be Wise
There are plenty of places that you can eat healthy foods at. Most restaurants have at least a couple things on the menu that you can try. Here’s what to avoid when eating out: NO breads, pastas, rices, fried/breaded foods, or starches (potatoes, etc.). Here are some of the things I generally order:
· Chicken and vegetables
· Fish and vegetables
· Any salad with an oil-based dressing on the side (skip the croutons, cheese, etc.)
· Fajitas (though I skip the tortilla and sour cream and just eat the meat with all the toppings)
· Don’t drink your calories away with sodas, juices or milk at these places. Drink water. Buy flavored packets like True Lemon if you like extra flavor in your water. *** Especially since these foods are extremely high in sodium you will feel more bloated. Best way to flush it out is to drink extra water. You may gain a bit of water weight from the sodium.
· If I have to hit up a fast food joint I try to get a sandwich without the bun and all the veggies they have. A salad with an oil-based dressing is another great option that several fast food places now have. I know these tips have helped me on many of my travels and I hope these tips help you make healthier decisions when you have to travel or when you're on vacation and hoping to come back without gaining 5 lbs!
Rule #4: Try to stay in a hotel that has a fitness center/gym
Many hotels now have fitness centers or gyms so you may want to take the time to do a little research before you book your hotel and stay at one that has this accommodation. If not, then there are plenty of workouts that I've done in my hotel room without any equipment. I use my luggage as my weights. You can use it for bench press (chest), curls (biceps), behind the neck tricep extensions (triceps), side shoulder raises (shoulders), upright rows (shoulders), bent over rows (back), squats/lunges (legs). You can also use a chair for dips, burpees, step-ups, box jumps, and hand step-ups with plank and many others. Don't forget about jumping squats, jumping lunges, sprinting in place, jumping jacks, high knees, side to side jumps, etc. The point is that there's a LOT of exercises you can do in your hotel room.
Rule #5: Have a Good Quality Travel Bag
You may not have the easiest work schedule but with these tips you’ll stay on track and move closer towards your goals!