Healthy Habits for the Busy Traveler
Trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling can sometimes seem like a monumental task. But, if you’ve got your mind right, and you start to build good habits on the road, you’ll be the model traveler in no time.
A busy traveler’s worst enemy is boredom. Long hours of travel, along with time changes and hotels stays can easily lead to boredom and boredom leads to boredom snacking. An easy way to alleviate the cycle is to always travel with toys. Electronic tablets and smartphones should always be loaded down with your favorite entertainment, be it ebooks, sodoku, crosswords, music, magazines or audio books. Streaming services like Netflix now allow you to download movies to your devices so they can be watched at your leisure without the need for Wi-Fi.
Don’t Avoid Eating Out
Restaurants are a perk of traveling. Sampling the local cuisine should be a treat! Some people avoid restaurants thinking that it will sabotage their healthy diet, but that doesn’t necessarily need to happen. If you plan ahead, consider the menu and choose your meal carefully, you can still reap the benefits of a healthy diet. Even if you are eating out at a café or a restaurant, you can make healthy choices to ensure that your meal is well balanced. Portion control is still key so try to choose wisely, eat slowly, take your time and simply stop eating when you are full. You don’t have to clear your plate!
Before you scoff, and blow this one off, we aren’t asking you to get into a lotus position and start chanting. For this particular “meditation” (a loose term), you don’t even have to close your eyes, so feel free to do this while standing behind the guy who’s arguing at flight boarding that his XL, 150 pound bag is actually a carry-on. Just complete a few super-deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth – you’ll actually get a lot of the benefits of doing a full meditation. Proper deep breathing, even just a few short deep ones, will lead to reduced cortisol, which is the stress hormone that makes you gain weight.
Losing Sleep Is Never a Time-Saver
When life gets busy, sleep is often the first thing to suffer. If there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day, the first choice seems to be to work through the night. Resist that temptation. Cutting short your sleep will magnify all of the other issues in your life. Lack of sleep affects your metabolism, your mood, and your memory. It is associated with heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
If you have trouble forcing yourself to go to bed at a reasonable hour, try setting a bedtime alarm. Apple’s iPhone actually has a feature called “Bedtime” next to the alarm function. With “Bedtime”, your phone will remind you to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
Water is life. We all know this and we drink water as much as we can when we are home. The same should be while you travel as well. In fact, drink an extra bottle per day while traveling to help your body feel full and to fight off that travel lag that slows you down while you are on the road. Drink a bottle of water on the way to the airport and take the empty bottle with you after ticketing to refill it one more time before boarding is called.
Pack for Play
Always throw workout clothes and a swimsuit in your bag. The minute that you decide to leave them home, you have already decided to not take those extra steps to take care of yourself. If your hotel has a nice pool, swim a few laps before bedtime or first thing in the morning to start the day off right.
Live a Little
Remember, you are traveling! See the sights, visit the zoo, or take a tour. If your stay is short and packed, take a walk around the block at the hotel, walk to the closest park and see the neighborhood. Take in some of the local flavor, make each trip memorable and always take care of yourself first.