Think that traveling means throwing your healthy living goals out the window? Think again, because today I’m sharing with you 5 practical ways to stick to healthful principles no matter where your travels take you.
1. Plan Before Departing
Before you leave home for your trip, it’s well worth it to do a bit of planning in advance. You’ll be a few steps ahead before you even arrive at your destination. Here are a few planning points to keep in mind:
- Pack food to eat en route. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, you’ll benefit greatly from packing your own healthy meal/snack options to eat along the way! If you can throw a cooler in the back of your car, pack things like carrots with hummus, fresh fruit, chicken strips, whole grain salads, and mayo-free coleslaw. If you don’t have access to a cooler (which is most of the time for me when I travel), pack shelf-stable snacks such as homemade granola balls, crackers, chips, nut & seed mixes, and homemade muffins.
- Research grocery stores and restaurants nearby your destination. The first thing I do when I arrive in a new place is hit the grocery store for some healthy eats, but it helps to scope out the markets in advance so that I know just where they are and what they offer.
- Pack digestive enzymes. Like it or not, no matter how hard I try to eat well, I usually end up with some type of stomach ache or mild digestive upset at some point during my travels. Digestive enzymes help to support my sensitive system. I pop a few before meals when I’m feeling flukey and usually get back on track within a day or two. (High quality enzymes can be purchased at most natural health food stores and co-ops.)
2. Keep Moving
When we travel, exercise is often one of the first habits to go. Make it your goal to keep moving and staying active despite your out-of-the-ordinary routine. Exercise keeps us feeling positive mentally and also helps stimulate the digestive system and promote sound sleep. Most hotels and resorts offer fitness centers for their guests, but if you don’t have access to one, get creative with what you do have. Walking is almost always an option, as are bodyweight exercises like planks, squats, tricep dips off of a chair, and lunges. Your bodyweight is always with you and offers the perfect resistance tool to use no matter where you are!
3. Limit Alcohol, Emphasize Water
Alcoholic beverages dehydrate us, and we’re already often dehydrated when we travel due to altitude, strange schedules, and lack of water to drink on the go. Avoid alcoholic drinks for this reason, but focus on pumping in the water! Keep a bottle handy with you all the time to sip throughout the day. If you feel a pesky “travel headache” coming on, down several cups of water to flush your system naturally. If you do enjoy a cocktail from time to time, be sure to follow each one with twice that amount of water.
4. Eat Regularly
Although our schedules can be disrupted quite significantly when we travel, keeping on a regular eating clock will in turn balance your blood sugar and prevent energy dips (and who wants those when on vacation?). Always, always, always eat breakfast if you can. It will fuel you for the day ahead, kickstart your metabolism, and minimize cravings later on.
5. Be a Smart Menu Navigator
When you’re eating out while traveling, dive into restaurant menus with a keen eye for healthy options. Focus on vegetables, lean proteins, and limited condiments. Always ask for salad dressings or other condiments on the side. Feel free to ask for dishes that aren’t on the menu but use ingredients you see speckling the menu here and there. Don’t be afraid to ask questions (as many as you have!) to the server and politely insist on firm, direct answers with exactly the information you need to know. And if you sit down and do a quick read of the menu only to find that the restaurant simply won’t work for your needs, don’t feel bad about leaving to find another place.
What are your top travel tips? How do you stick to healthy goals when you’re on the go? Share in the comments!