Staying Healthy on the Road: Good Habits for Travelers
If you’re a health-conscious person, traveling can present a challenge when it comes to staying healthy. Being on the road and staying in hotels for a couple days at a time means fresh fruit and vegetables aren’t as readily accessible as they are at home. Even if you find a decent source of produce nearby, preparing a healthy meal every day may not be possible. And exercise can also be tough when you’re on a tight work schedule—even if you’re staying in a hotel that has a gym (which is probably cramped and crowded, anyway). But that doesn’t mean you have to put your health regimen on hold. With a little improvisation and resourcefulness, you can return home looking as fit and trim as when you left.
A built-in workout
You’re staying in a hotel with a lousy gym. The stairmaster doesn’t work, and some guy who thinks he’s the next great mixed martial arts fighter always seems to be monopolizing the weight bench. You call it a day and decide to dial up another movie in your room, not realizing there are exercise opportunities all around. If you’re on one of the higher floors of the hotel, the stairs present a legitimate and convenient cardio workout if you’re willing to skip the elevator once in a while.
Most important meal of the day
You’ve been hearing it since grade school, which means there’s probably something to it: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you that initial energy boost that gets your day started and jump-starts your metabolism, which helps keep your weight at a healthy level. Many hotels these days offer a complimentary continental breakfast with fruit, grains, and yogurt, so take advantage of as much free, healthful food as possible.
Keep on hydrating
If you’re in a hotel where good nutrition and healthy foods aren’t in plentiful supply, water is your best friend. Drinking plenty of water will keep you feeling full and less likely to start eating fast food just because it’s convenient. Water flushes out your system, purges it of impurities that make you feel run down, and gives your skin a healthier look. Bottled water is usually pretty easy to come by, but consider investing in a self-filtering water bottle just in case.
Don’t settle when it comes to nutrition
You may be traveling, but that’s really not an excuse—not when there’s grocery delivery services available that allow you to do some healthy food shopping right from the convenience of your hotel room. Grab some fruit, vegetables and nuts for snacking. Also, whenever possible, opt for extended-stay hotels, which have stoves and refrigerators and give you the opportunity to prepare fresh, healthful meals every day you’re away. It’ll save you a few pounds you might have picked up settling for pizza and burgers. However, keep in mind that if you do have to resign yourself to the fast food option, there are fairly healthy options to choose from.
After a long day of meetings, it’s very tempting to switch on the TV and call it a day. But even in a small hotel room there’s space to do some productive exercising. Try jumping up and down continuously for five minutes. It sounds easy but it’ll give your heart a solid workout and help you wind down for bedtime. Or stretch out on the floor and do some push-ups both after dinner and when you get up in the morning.
Every step counts
Another important thing to keep in mind is that, just because you may not be able to keep up with your regular workout routine, doesn’t mean you aren’t getting any exercise at all. If you’re traveling, chances are you have a lot to do in a short period of time—which means you may be getting more steps in than you think. Download a pedometer app to your phone so you’re able to track your fitness data throughout the day.
There’s no need to put your health routine on hold just because you’re traveling. It’s easier than you think to maintain healthy habits when you’re away from home. Make a point of engaging in physical activity whenever possible and find a grocery store, or grocery delivery service, while you’re away. A little creative effort can go a long way toward helping you stay the course in your healthful pursuits.
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