When I was working in my corporate career, I was traveling 25% to 50% of my time on overnight trips, sometimes for an entire work week. I still travel for some out of town speaking engagements and conferences but not nearly as much as I use to. However, it is still a challenge to stay healthy during any business or vacation travel.
Many people end up gaining weight after their trips because of not eating healthy, sitting on airplanes or in meeting rooms for hours at a time as well as being stressed. Sometimes the rush of making flight connections results in stuffing yourself with airport fast food just to fill your stomach and when you finally get back to your hotel room, you are just too tired to do anything else.
So here are some tips that I have come up with during my travels to help you stay healthy while away from home.
Get Proper Nutrition While On The Road
It is much easier to follow a healthy balanced diet with home cooking, but when it comes to being on the road, proper nutrition is often very challenging if you have to eat out for all of your meals during travel. Here are some eating guidelines I adhere to.
- Avoid hotel breakfast items loaded with fat and salt such as sausages, bacon, and fried potatoes
- Pass on the fast food breakfasts too
- Start your day with fresh fruit, yogurt and cereals
- Stick with lighter fare lunches especially if attending conferences and meetings
- Find good salads and lower fat, whole-wheat sandwiches for lunch
- Don’t overeat, especially at buffets or you will feel it back in your hotel room
- Minimize the amount of fried, fatty foods
- Drink lots of water (bottled where tap water is not safe)
- Limit your alcohol intake as hangovers during travel are no fun
- Don’t overdo the coffee shop trips during the day
- Avoid junk food snacks – pick up some fresh fruit at local grocers instead
- Pack enough multivitamins to last your entire trip
Exercising While On The Road
When I observe people at big meetings and conferences, it is incredible just how few travelers exercise or stay active on the road. With overeating and inactivity, it is no wonder why many travelers end up gaining weight. So here are some tips to stay physically active on the road.
- Use the hotel/cruise ship gym – even 20 minutes will help prevent weight gain
- Do laps in the hotel pool if there is one (always pack your swimwear)
- Use the hotel gym weights even if you have to modify some exercises
- If the neighborhood around the hotel is safe (ask the concierge), take a brisk walk outside
- If no hotel gym, do basic calisthenics plus low impact cardio inside your hotel room
- Although tempting to party into the wee hours, get adequate sleep
Sometimes much of the challenge during travel comes from the fact that you have to do what most other travelers will not be doing. If you choose to eat healthy and exercise on the road, you will be among a minority of travelers. However, since it is your own health that matters, do not worry about what others are doing (or not doing) during trips.
It is possible to stay healthy during your travels. Although you may have to take some extra efforts to get the proper nutrition and exercise during your time away from home, you will be rewarded at the end of your trip. You will be able to pat yourself on the back since you maintained your fitness level and did not gain extra weight.
If you have additional tips on how to stay healthy or are willing to share some of your challenges while away from home, please leave your comments below.
Happy travels to you!