I love to travel. I am fortunate enough to have found a career that affords me the opportunity to travel and experience the world. My husband Kevin and I are on the road quite a bit and sometimes for weeks on end. It used to be challenging to stay focused on my health and fitness when I traveled because I would tell myself that I deserve to experience wherever I am and this means eating whatever I want and neglecting my exercise. I would inevitably come back from my trip feeling bloated, hungover from too much food, lack of water, and a huge sleep deficit, and also unhappy that I had to regain all of the health, fitness, and wellness benefits I had before the trip. Essentially I would come home feeling like I needed a vacation to recover from my vacation. Then one day I decided that there were no diets, no quick exercise regimens that would get me where I wanted to be and that if I wanted to be a healthy and fit person and reap all of the benefits that go along with that then this had to become a lifestyle. I had to take the healthy habits I practice at home on the road with me. We travel to experience the world and for me a lot of that is in the form of local cuisines and culture. It is all about balancing the fun with the priorities of my life. So here are 6 ways that I stay fit while you travel. This does not mean that I always make progress when I am traveling but it means that I am not doing damage to the results that I work so hard to achieve every other day of the year.
6 ways to stay fit while you travel!
1. Make healthy choices most of the time. The 80/20 travel life.
The 80/20 rule applies here. When you eat well and take care of yourself 80% of the time (to me this means working out and drinking my Shakeology every day) you can loosen up the other 20% of the time. That being said, to me, loosening up is not eating a whole pizza to the head by yourself in the dark while binge watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix. Loosening up means going out and having a good dinner with friends or family or in the case of travel, eating responsibly most of the time and having a nice dinner. When I started to do this during my travels I found it to be so empowering! Also, when I limit my craziness to one meal a day I seriously limit a lot of the feelings and physical effects of eating out like feeling like crap physically and feeling sluggish mentally. When thinking about the 80/20 rule I like to think of it is responsible enjoyment. I do not have to get the craziest thing on the menu, unless I really want it, and I do not have to eat 2 desserts and a whole loaf of bread with a stick an half of french butter (’cause that’s how I roll). I can be smart and I can pick my treats while still enjoying myself fully. I do not need to eat like a figure competitor the whole time I am away but I can be smart and not give over to total gluttony. Let’s talk benefits for a second, this has made it so I do not need that vacation from my vacation and I have not had the phenomenon of my clothes fitting drastically differently when I get home. That in my book is a WIN! We have all returned from a vacation and had that overwhelming feeling of needing a break from our break and having to start the long hard road back to health. That is a choice we make while we travel. Enjoy your adventure but be smart! Food plays a huge roll in how we sleep, our moods, mental quickness/cognitive ability, and emotional stability. When we eat consciously we can increase the level of joy, adventure, and fulfillment we get while we travel. So enjoy yourself… in moderation.
2. Exercise is key, even when you travel.
When I travel I do not push pause on my health and fitness. It is a part of my life and I still put time into it when I am on the road. I may not put as much time into it as I do when I am at home but I make time for it every day and I get it done. There are 2 things that have aided me greatly in this and they are the wide array of 30 minute workouts that Beachbody has that need no equipment and the huge catalog available on Beachbody OnDemand. I can even download 7 workouts to my Ipad and take them with me so that I do not even have to worry about ending up with a sketchy internet connection somewhere. When I am away I focus on doing high intensity interval training and core and I make sure I grab workouts that are no more than 30 minutes in length. This allows me to go hard for 30 minutes and get that feeling of accomplishment and then get on with my day. One of the other huge benefits I get from working out is that I enjoy going out to eat so much more. Some people may look at me and say,”why don’t you just enjoy yourself when you are on vacation and not worry about it?!” To this I simply say that my vacation is simply a part of my life and I want to enjoy all aspects of my life and health and fitness allows me to do that.
3. Drink water, lots of it.
BORING! I know, but a big part of staying healthy, keeping your results, and not getting sick is drinking lots of water. When we travel it is easy to live off of coffee, sugary drinks, or cocktails (if you’re into that kind of thing). I also get really dried out when I fly and spend an entire day in transit to where I am going. I am always sure to have my water bottle with me and I fill it at each airport I end up in. When I get settled in my hotel Kevin and I go find a grocery or convenience store and buy a few gallons that I pour into my water bottle and take with me wherever I go. Hydration is key when you are living your life to its fullest potential so do not cheat yourself if you are feeling sluggish hydrate first before jumping to caffeine. I drink about a gallon of water a day and when I travel I do not cut back on this and I reap the benefits of better skin, more energy, and and all around better experience. This is especially key if you drink, make sure that you are replenishing your body with A LOT of water.
4. Drink Shakeology Every Day.
To me, this is the easiest one on the list. I have been drinking Shakeology for almost 6 years now and it is a huge reason that I feel and look the way that I do. It is packed with all of the things our bodies need to function optimally and really thrive. It promotes healthy digestion, boosts energy, and ensures that I am getting my daily dose of dense superfood nutrition no matter where I am in the world. When we travel we cannot be sure of the quality of our food and we often do not eat the foods that we normally eat. This is why it is important for me to drink Shakeology every day. I can be sure that at least one meal is good for me and that I am still giving my body all that it needs. Most hotels will even blend it up for you at the bar with whatever you would like or at Starbucks they will generally do it as well. I usually just bring a shaker cup and use water and ice, it is quick, convenient, and I can literally make it anywhere I am.
5. Get some sleep.
I know, BORING! When we are on vacation we love to enjoy everything and we are always moving around but it is important to get some rest when needed. When I push myself too hard I always get sick, I think that I just get overstimulated so I make it a point to take a nap if I need to or to get to sleep a little later if I am feeling run down. Burning the candle at both ends is a quick way to either get sick while on your vacation or to need a vacation from your vacation when you get home. Getting adequate sleep will also keep you sharp mentally and help you keep your energy up. This is really important when traveling because there are always a lot of decisions to be made and plenty of things to do so rest up and enjoy your vacay!!!
6. Avoid stress and enjoy yourself.
Being “fit” to me means that I am working at being my best emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Travel can be stressful but in my experience much of that stress can be chalked up to perception. We often perceive new situations as stressful and when we are in a new culture with a new language that we may not understand we can sometimes let our body’s stress response take over. This does not benefit anyone. Do what you need to do to enjoy your trip. If this means doing A LOT of planning before you go then by all means plan it all, if this means going with the flow then just do that. The important thing for me to remember when I am on the road is that I am doing something I always wanted to do with the man I love. When I focus on the gratitude it is really easy to go with the flow and enjoy myself. Travel companions can raise the stress level and inhibit your goal of staying healthy so if you want some tips and tricks for traveling as a couple or with friends then check out this article Kevin wrote about it.