If you’re a frequent business traveller or if you plan on traveling with your family this summer, I believe that you must learn how your body works in order to stay fit while traveling. You need to understand what your body needs so that you can stay balanced and be at your best…even when you’re away from home.
Pack a day early to squeeze in a workout
Don’t wait until the day of or the day before you travel to pack your bag. Do it a few days in advance, so you can save the day before you leave, and squeeze in a workout or try to de-stress before you hit the road. I find packing the most stressful part of business travel, so getting this stress out of the way a few days in advance means that I’m a little more relaxed on travel day.
On your travel day it may be difficult to squeeze in a workout. Plan your week and adjust your workout routine so that your travel day becomes your scheduled rest day from exercise.
Get organised to avoid airport stress
Stress is one of the main culprits for poor eating. It can trigger production of excess cortisol, a hormone that makes your body more prone to storing fat in your abdominal area. My advice is getting organised to limit your stress! You know getting through security at the airport is a stressful process, so ensure that all of your liquids are the right size and within easy reach. Keep your travel bag organized and pack a few healthy snacks so that you aren’t tempted by all of the junk food available at airport terminals.
Invest in some travel essentials to avoid body soreness
Landing at your destination feeling relaxed is important if you want to get your workout routine up and going when you arrive. Some travel essentials you should remember to pack are earplugs, eye mask, some flight socks to help with blood circulation in your legs, a neck pillow and a warm sweater. These additional items may weigh you down a little, but trust me, traveling with some of your own comforts is much more pleasant than listening to loud conversations or not being able to rest because the light is in your eyes. (Not to mention that exercising will be the last thing on your mind if your neck is stiff when you land!)
Set yourself up for success
Never forget to pack your workout clothes and shoes so you can stay fit while you’re away. Sounds simple, but this is something that people often forget while traveling. I will admit that I’m a little extreme—I put one set in my carry on case just in case my bag goes missing on route. Limiting stress should be your number one priority when you travel. That’s why I keep a spare set of clothes in my carry on—you never know when surprise issues like someone spilling a drink on you will occur! Workout clothes are lightweight and practical. Just think that if your bag goes missing, you won’t have an excuse for missing a workout. When you land, at the very least, you will be comfortable while power walking around the shops as you buy new clothes if something does happen to your checked bags.
Nutrition on the go
Hydration is the most important thing to remember when you travel. Dehydration can affect your skin, your energy levels, can lead to headaches and/or negatively impact your digestive system. The great news is that you can easily get water on the plane. If you have your own personal container it will serve as a good reminder to keep sipping. Given the risk of travel delays, you could ruin your healthy eating plan if you’re not prepared. Pack nutrient rich snacks in your bag such as nuts or protein bars to help keep you full and away from unhealthy choices. With international travel, it’s always wise to keep some of your favourite healthy snacks handy. With time changes, you’ll want to keep your body fuelled throughout the day to avoid binging at meal times due to excessive hunger.
Create an in-room workout routine
Fitting in some exercise during your trip may help you to sleep better and be more mentally alert in your activities. If going to the gym is not possible, simply commit to doing a quick 20-minute routine in your room in the morning and 10-minute stretch at night. If you make regular exercise a necessary part of your travel schedule, you will have a better chance of staying on track with your health and fitness goals.
I hope my frequent traveller tips help to remind you to plan ahead. Try to avoid unnecessary stress and be sure to eat healthy when you travel. Don’t let bad habits ruin all of your hard work.
Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.