Taking a trip to visit family this Thanksgiving? Cramming in loads of year-end travel for work? Hitting the road (or the skies) can take its toll on your stress levels and your health, not to mention your waistline. If you’re looking to stay on top of your diet and fitness goals while you’re traveling, don’t miss these 15 expert tips:
Be Mindful About Where You Stay
So often health and fitness goals depend on your accessibility to healthy foods and workout equipment. The harder it is to workout, the less likely you are to do it. When traveling, you are taken further and further from the convenience of your own kitchen stocked with healthy meals and snacks, as well as your usual gym or fitness class. Don’t fret!
Want easy access to a fitness center? Then make sure to stay in a hotel with a gym free for you to use.
Not a big fan of stuffy gyms? Try staying at a hotel with a pool instead so you can swim laps to burn calories.
Try and get a room on an above ground floor so you have a good reason to take the stairs every time you leave and return to your room.
Bring Fitness With You
So you’re staying at your parent’s house and not at a hotel this holiday trip? No problem! There are a handful of ways to bring fitness with you or find easy access to beneficial physical activities.
Livestream guided instructional videos no matter where you are which don’t require equipment, i.e. yoga tutorials, high intensity interval training videos (HIIT), etc.
Download a helpful app to keep you motivated like 7-Minute Workout, Aaptiv, and Physique57.
Pack resistance bands in your luggage and practice easy, effective progressive resistance training from the convenience of where you are staying. Learn how to put resistance bands on door and entryways for even more effective resistance exercises.
Increase Your Steps
While holiday travel might be chock full of indulgent treats and high-calorie meals, if you increase your calorie burn to compensate, you’ll be able to keep your healthy weight in check. Without having to track down a fitness studio to squeeze a spin class into your busy schedule, you can increase your calorie burn by:
Taking the stairs everywhere you go (mall, hotel, etc.) instead of the elevator
Parking farther away from your destination to increase your steps to get there
Finding a fun physical activity to do with friends or family, i.e. go on a bike tour of the city instead of seeing a movie
Walking or biking to a nearby destination instead of driving
So many extra calories are found in those foods and drinks which accompany a celebration, including alcohol – 1 gram of alcohol has a whopping 7 calories, more than a carb or protein. Avoid the unwanted toll on your body (and waistline) that alcohol brings with these smart tips:
Avoid cocktail mixers with high sugar content (including eggnog!)
Drink a glass of water each time you finish a drink to stay hydrated and feel fuller
Pour yourself half as much beer or wine as you normally would to extend your time of intake
Set a maximum number of drinks for yourself for the night/party and sip slowly to stay within your limit
Be mindful of cravings. Alcohol consumption can cause your blood sugar to drop leaving you craving major carbs. Try to eat healthier snacks if you are hungry, or slow your drinking down to allow your liver more time to metabolize the alcohol and re-stabilize your blood sugar.
Road trips also have a way of leading you to toss your healthy habits out the window. Fast food stops, junk food from gas stations, loading up on sodas and coffee drinks to stay alert on the road . . . the unhealthy and fattening options are endless. Skip the processed food and drinks with high sugar, fat, and salt contents and pack your own healthy trove of delicious foods to have on hand for long road trips. Carrot sticks with hummus, cheese and crackers, whole grain tortilla chips, organic granola bars, fresh berries, sliced bell pepper, individual cups of cottage cheese or greek yogurt, and a little dark chocolate will do the trick!
Holiday travels shouldn’t become your excuse for saying “bon voyage” to your health and fitness goals. Simple, smart actions like picking a hotel with a gym or packing your own cooler of snacks on the road can make a huge difference and have you feeling confident and fit come New Year’s.