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6 Steps To Be Healthy When Traveling

6 Steps To Be Healthy When Traveling

I currently travel twice per month for work for two to three days at a time, facilitating leadership development sessions for clients. When I started traveling for work I felt on top of the world. I was able to travel all across the country, do what I love doing, and best of all, it was on the company’s dime. I love visiting different cities, checking out different restaurants, and having a nice dinner with a couple of drinks.

However, it wasn’t very long before I started regretting these decisions and began rethinking what I loved about traveling. My health is my number one priority, and very few of my habits when I traveled aligned with my health goals. I’ve said for a long time that I never wanted to be the fat dude in a suit, and though I wasn’t at that point, some things needed to change.

Whether for work or pleasure, here are six steps to be healthy when traveling!

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1. Know your goals and challenges

When you travel, what are two or three things you really want to accomplish? When I travel, my three things are to be mindful of my eating, work out every day, and get good sleep. While on the road there can be significant challenges to succeeding in all three areas.

When it comes to being mindful of my eating, realistically I am going to be eating out for every one of my meals. That in itself can be a hurdle. I need to pay more attention to where I am eating and the options on the menu. Working out every day can be a challenge as well. I don’t like running outside that much, which can be dictated by the weather, and I really like my gym time. The challenge here is many hotel gyms are hit and miss. Equipment might not be working properly, the layout of the gym might be funky, or options are just very limited. Sure, I could just go run outside and/or do push ups in my room, but I’d rather have a gym. Sleep just comes down to organization of my day and night. I control that.

Take some time to think about what you really want to accomplish and what challenges you need to overcome to be successful.

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2. Get the right tools

Take a moment to think about what you want to accomplish. What do you need to be successful? To accomplish my nutrition goals, I need something to help me be aware of and manage my food information and choices. I use the website Loseit.com. I also downloaded its free app on my smartphone. Lose It! allows me to easily look up food, track my food for each meal, and it provides me with a nice pie chart that shows me the ratios of my protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake. This has allowed me to make smart decisions when I am eating out and finding menu items that align with my health goals.

For my workout goals, I refuse to roll the dice on the gyms at the hotels, so I have a membership to Anytime Fitness that I pay $35 per month for. With so many locations, I have yet to travel somewhere and not find an Anytime in the area. Now, it may not always be as conveniently located as your home gym, but if needed I will drive a little further to reach my goal. I know I’ve only mentioned a few resources here, but that is what works for me. You need to do your homework and figure out what works for you to accomplish your goals.

3. Get to know the area

Once I know where I am traveling to, but prior to booking my hotel, I open up Google Maps and look up the locations of: my client, Staples, my gym, different restaurants, Target, and Walgreen’s. Doing this research allows me to book my hotel in an area that is convenient to everywhere I want to be, making things easier on me, and most importantly reducing potential challenges in reaching my goals. Nothing will screw up your plans worse than thinking you know where you are going, realizing you aren’t going the right way, and spending more time correcting yourself.  At this point, it’s easy to say forget it, and run through the drive through on the way back to your hotel.

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4. Make your plan

If you do steps one through three, making your plan should be a piece of cake. You should already know what you need, what you need to do, and where you need to be. I know that I typically arrive at my destination late afternoon or early evening the day before I have to do training. I take that time to make my round to the places listed above to get my “necessities for success.” Based on my training schedule, I will try to determine if I am going to work out in the morning or evening and what restaurants are in the area that align with my health goals. Before I arrive I have an idea of the flow of my trip and how I am going to accomplish my goals.

5. Prepare prior to and after arrival

You might say that steps one through four fall under “preparation,” and you’re right, but I’m taking it a little further. To prepare fully, prior to leaving I map out the most efficient routes to get everything I need in the shortest period of time and I email myself the link with addresses. I make sure I have my workout clothing packed and ready to go as well. When I arrive and I start getting my necessities; I’ll grab bananas, protein bars, a four-pack of protein drinks, a gallon of water, and other little snacks I might like that align with my health goals. The last thing I want to be is dependent upon the offerings of my hotel. If I get hungry or want a snack, I don’t like my only choices being the junk food or processed food in their little store or the meals in their restaurants. Having healthy snacks and water in my room allow me to have control. Once you do this a couple of times you’ll get in the flow, and the time it takes you to prepare will be minimal.

6. Execute

If you follow steps one through five, you will know your goals and challenges. You will have the right tools and resources. You will know the area and where you are going. You will have a plan to make it all happen and you will have control and confidence because you’ve prepared. There is only one thing left to do: do it! You’ve planned your work, now work your plan!

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I never want to use the excuse of a busy travel schedule for not fulfilling my health goals. You just have to know your goals and have the plan and resources to accomplish them. Once you get in the flow of doing this, you will never stop. It’s too easy and you’ll feel too awesome. Now I fully recognize that what works for me will not work for everyone. However, I feel this can be a good starting point and you can personalize what works for you.

Feel free to share any tips you have for being healthy while traveling in the comment section below. Have fun and be healthy!

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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