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How To Stay Healthy During Your Travels

How To Stay Healthy During Your Travels
    "Travelling" from Mr iMaax on flickr

    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.

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    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.

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    • 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.

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    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.

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    Happy travels to you!

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    Last Updated on October 14, 2019

    10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

    10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

    When it comes to increasing your metabolism, getting a good workout a couple of times a week is only one of many players. If you’re not a fan of lifting heavy stuff, then you’re only expending extra energy for that, say, one hour of that specific day. But what about the remaining 23 hours? How can you make sure you’re burning blubber all throughout the day? Here are 10 simple ways to increase your metabolism without working out.

    1. Stand More

    Many health practitioners claim that sitting is the new smoking. We sit in the office, we sit in the car, we sit when we get home. It’s not only terrible for your health and posture, but you require a lot less energy when seated. So, a good way to ignite the furnace a bit is to stand as much as possible through out the day. You work in an office? Put two boxes under your keyboard or laptop. There are many free solutions to making a standing desk—so you have no excuses. When you’ve gotten used to standing while working you will quickly find that it’s easier to stay engaged as well—you’re less inclined to drift away mentally. In fact, this post was written standing.

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    2. Gamify Your Life

    Toys such as the Fitbit or Nike Fuelband, or apps like Argus, can help you increase your metabolism by giving you an incentive to walk more. Argus, and other apps like it, use the accelerometer in your smartphone to measure your steps and let you know when you’ve hit your daily goal. Fitbit and the Nike Fuelband do the same, but have a host of other functions to make being healthy a tad more fun.

    3. Eat Your Veggies

    Fibrous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli increase your metabolism by putting your digestive system on overdrive. It just simply requires more energy to break down the tough fiber of these nutritional powerhouses. You’ll also start feeling like a rock star from the overload of vitamins and minerals from eating more vegetables.

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    4. Eat Protein

    This is one of those rules that’s not to be misunderstood. While it does boost your metabolism to eat more protein, it should be instead of other foods, not on top of other foods. If you’re stuffing your face with a chicken breast when you’re not hungry just to boost your metabolism, you’re doing it wrong. Of the three macro-nutrients—fats, carbs and protein—protein is the one that requires the most energy to break down. So, if you switch out some of those cheese sandwiches with a few hardboiled eggs you’re on the right path.

    5. Drink Loads Of Cold Water

    Drinking a few glasses of ice-cold water in the morning can boost your metabolism quite effectively. Your body expends energy on constantly staying in homeostasis when it comes to temperature, so if you chug a bunch of icy water you’re making your body expend more energy on keeping itself at the same temperature. Using temperature to expend more energy is called thermogenesis and it’s one of the most efficient ways of cranking up your calorie burning—more on this further down.

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    6. Spice Up Your Meals

    Spices like cayenne, chilli, ginger and turmeric ignite your metabolism and make your meals a bit more exciting. If you make it a habit to add a little bit of spice to each of your meals it can be a habit that turns you into a fat-burning furnace.

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      7. Drink Caffeine

      No, drinking loads of coffee is not bad for you. The sugar and heavy cream you could be inclined to chase it down with might be though. Caffeine helps mobilize—that is, get rid of—adipose tissue, or fat. It also helps athletic performance, and some individuals report it to have appetite-curbing effects. If you’re very sensitive to stimulants, try not to have caffeine too close to bedtime though, as it can mess with your sleep.

      8. Plan Your Meals Around Exercise

      I know the title of this post says “…Without Working Out” but this trick technically is more a nutritional trick than an exercise-related one. When you’ve exerted yourself and, hopefully, broken down some muscle fibers, your protein synthesis, or the rate at which you build muscle, increases. So, having heavy meals after a workout will make sure those calories get stored in the right places. This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to get a heavy session in before the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

      9. Do Intermittent Fasting

      It’s long been said you should always eat a heavy breakfast as it kick starts your metabolic rate. There hasn’t been any study proving this though. There have only been behavioral studies correlating obesity with breakfast skippers, but it’s always been a case of confusing correlation with causation. It’s not the fact that you skip breakfast that makes you fat; it’s the poor food choices you make throughout the rest of your day. Studies have shown that fat burning increases the longer you get into a fast, obviously depending on the body fat level of the individual. In fact, in one study lowered metabolic rate did not occur until 60 hours into a fast. Intermittent fasting is very much one of the bigger wins when it comes to increasing your metabolism.

      10. Use Cold Exposure

      For some reason it’s been common knowledge for a while that sweating increases metabolic rate. Scientist have known for a while though that the opposite is actually true; exposing yourself to cold temperatures increase your calorie burn significantly. Just slight shifts in your home temperature can mean pounds lost or gained when you gather the numbers yearly. How else do you think swimmer Michael Phelps is able to eat 12,000 calories a day? Obviously, he swims hours each day, but it’s not just the exercise he gets from swimming that allows him to consume such quantities of food, it’s also the amount of energy the body has to expend to keep itself at its baseline temperature in the cold water. So, taking ice-cold showers, decreasing the temperature of your home, or swimming in cool pools will help you burn a lot more calories.

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