The two words at first glance don’t seem to fit well together: travel + fitness. but upon deeper reading, the two, in fact, actually compliment one another very well.
Traveling is great for expanding our horizons and experiences of new things. And fitness is great for those things too, in addition to our general wellbeing and health.
But how do we do them both?
Meaning, how do you stay consistent with your eating and exercise habits when you’re on the road.
Great question and one I’m here to answer for you. I’m going to give you my fitness & nutrition hacks, for the road.
Some of these tips will be subjective depending on the type of travel you’re doing. We’ll start with the fitness side of things..
Like tip number 1 for example: If you’re driving to your vacation destination, toss some of your home equipment like kettle bells, bands, and TRX straps in the car. Take your workout equipment with you wherever you are. Now, if you’re flying, you’ll likely leave the kettle bells at home but you can always roll up TRX straps and travel with them.
By eliminating the guess work out of where you’ll work out due to equipment access, you’re ensuring consistency in your active lifestyle.
Tip 2 deals with exercise as well. Book a hotel with a gym. Call ahead and figure out what equipment they have or look up the hotel gym photos online. This will ensure you know what workouts you can, and can’t do while you’re staying there.
Again, eliminating obstacles keeping you from working out is a huge component of consistency while traveling.
Tip 3. No Gym? No problem! Travel with a handful of 15-20 minute body weight workouts that you can do anywhere, anytime; literally. On a beach? Great! Sprints, squat jumps, push ups, and sit ups for as many rounds as possible would be a great way to start your day, no?!
Tip 4. Pack workout clothes and plan on working out X times on your trip. Make it an essential part of your travel plans. By committing to yourself that you want to work out 2 times on your 5 day vacation, that doesn’t take the ‘vacation’ out of vacationing.
Now, the hard part (according to all the people I speak with about this)…Nutrition!
Ah! You’re on vacation and want to eat like shit! Okay, so do that and be okay with the outcome (feeling like shit).
Just because we are traveling and outside of our normal routines and conveniences doesn’t mean our eating has to go out the window.
Tip 1. I always, ALWAYS travel with a protein powder. This is a no-brainer for me. We know that protein is an important building block of our nutrition every day and when we’re on the road our normal eating schedules and meals may be interrupted.
Do yourself a favor and pack a small container with 3-5-7 scoops of protein (the quantity will be determined on how long you’re traveling, but I normally pack for at least 1 scoop per day of the trip).
Tip 2. Eat like you normally eat. Hard, I know. But a no-brainer.
Unless you’re in a foreign country and eating foods you literally won’t have access to again for years, the food you’re eating on vacation is still accessible to you when you’re at home. It is, trust me.
Sure, there are high-rated exquisite restaurants you’ll visit and treat yourself to, but that still doesn’t mean you need to eat every thing on the menu and everything on your plate.
Demonstrate the same eating patterns you have at home when you’re traveling.
You want dessert, great, get it, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole thing. Try eating just a few bites and feeling satisfied with what you have.
You don’t have to eat it all and to the point of physical discomfort to enjoy it..
Tip 3. Read menus ahead of time. Got fancy dinner plans or going to a place you’ve been excited to visit? Great. Go online and check out their offerings before you’re at the restaurant.
Why? The reasons are 2-fold. 1) You’re less likely to make the healthier choice when you’re sitting at the restaurant hungry and with your senses elevated due to the smell of food and 2) Give yourself the time to read over the menu and find an option IN THE MIDDLE of decadent and restrictive that appeals to you and order that.
Tip 4. Eat a little less. So you’re hearing what I’m saying but still thinking to yourself “Ya Sara, this is great, but I’m going to eat a lot of food on vacation so how do I handle that?” To that I say: try all the places you plan on eating at and simply eat LESS of the food on your plate.
When the frequency of eating increases decrease the volume that you’re actually eating.
This may mean leaving food on your plate or getting a dish and splitting it with your travel companions.
Generally speaking, if we’re eating more often, we will be eating less at each meal.
Tip 5. Pack healthy snacks. If you have a long drive or flight having healthy snacks easily accessible is a huge win.
Fruits like apples, bananas, or berries are great. Trail mixes with nuts and minimal sugar and processed fruits are great go-to’s. I would stay away from protein bars, personally, and opt for a piece of fruit and a protein shake. Portable, single serve containers of oatmeal and granola will help you skip over the convenience items such as chips, crackers and sodas.
Tip 6. Travel with an electrolyte blend. This is another no-brainer for me. When I’m traveling I may have 1-2 more drinks than I’m accustomed too and that’s usually enough to leave me feeling a little crappy the next day.
When we feel crappy we eat crappy.
So I curb it as quickly as I can by using an electrolyte blend to replenish my depleted levels and get to feeling better, fast.
It’s simple. We know how to make the wiser option but most times we simply overlook our options or are rushed to making less ideal ones.
So give yourself time to make the decision you’ll feel good about and remember, it is whatever you feel good about eating that is important.
When it comes to travel, maintaining your healthy and active lifestyle may feel like an inconvenience or pain in the ass, but with a little forethought, it can actually be a welcomed sense of routine and ritual while traveling and experiencing new things.
I know nothing grounds me better than a workout when I’m in a new place, or setting the tone for my day by starting with my go-to breakfast of oatmeal, eggs and bacon.
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