Love it or hate it, you will be on the road at some point in your life–and your most well-established fitness habits will be put to the test. From passing time during an airport layover to wining and dining with clients, temptation is everywhere. But what the heck, why not have another dessert or drink. You’ll get back on track when you get home.
It’s true; a few days of indulgence won’t set you too far from your fitness goals, but too many treats can leave you feeling foggy, sluggish and wishing you had remembered to pack those healthy habits in your suitcase.
Here are a few tricks that I use to navigate the temptations of travel:
1. Do your homework
Check out the local running, walking, or biking paths and scope out the gym situation at your hotel. Before every trip, I map out my runs and plan where I would like to explore. Running or walking through a city is a really fun way to get to know a new place. You could also rent a bike from the local bike share or join a local class outdoors. Get creative and use this as an opportunity to try something new!
2. Prep your food
I have actually gone through security with sautéed spinach and grains! If this sounds a little extreme, you can still pack a few good power snacks and limit the mess. Nuts, nut butter packets, little cheese packs, fruit (apples or pre-peeled citrus), and packs of dry oatmeal can be lifesavers. If I ever run out of snacks, my go-to is actually Starbucks. They are almost guaranteed to carry a few healthy staples, just watch the sugar and stick with single-ingredient foods to limit salt, sugar, and chemicals.
3. Get moving
When you head to the airport, wear sneakers and comfortable clothing and go light with your carry-on (I always have a backpack). If you are light and comfortable, you can spend those layover hours walking instead of sitting.
When I reach my destination, I make sure that I find a grocery store to replenish power snacks and water for evenings in the hotel. These snacks are also really important as you never know what will be offered at your meeting or conference venue. My favorite options are fruit, air-popped popcorn, yogurt, and nuts. Make sure you have a fridge in your hotel room to keep everything fresh.
5. Go green and get some air
By walking or renting a bike, you will be helping the environment and your health. Leave enough time to walk to your meeting and between meetings try to escape for a quick walk so you can re-energize with sunlight and fresh air. This might also be a great way to network and make friends, as I guarantee others are working hard to keep their habits and would be grateful for a walking buddy!
6. Booze easy and eat light
Travel can stress your digestive system, so it’s a good idea to eat and drink on the lighter side and stick to familiar, simple foods. If you eat out, try an appetizer salad with protein as your go-to. Alcohol can pack on the calories and make you hesitant to wake up early for a run tomorrow, so be cognizant of your intake.
7. Get motivated
Now that you’ve done all the research on runs, gyms, and bike paths, you have to actually get out there! But if you really don’t feel like leaving your hotel room, or the weather stinks, there are tons of fitness apps that you can follow without much space or equipment–so there is really no excuse. Your body and brain will thank you later in the day.
However, try to have fun on the road by incorporating a little physical activity into your itinerary and keep your food simple and light!