Staying Healthy While You Travel

Eat Right:

One of the best parts of traveling is getting to try a new city’s delicious food, but that often means eating out and consuming a lot of calorie-rich meals. When you eat healthier, you feel better (and you’ll be able to fit into your jeans when you get home).

  • Stay somewhere that has a kitchen. Cooking for yourself lets you choose the right foods and control your portions. It’s also an excellent way to save some money.
  • If you’re going to prepare your own meals, look for a local farmers’ market and pick up some healthy fruits and vegetables. Last year there were over 8,000 farmers in the US, so the odds are pretty good you can find one.
  • Pack some protein-rich snacks like nuts or beef jerky that you can take with you while traveling. The food in airports is notoriously unhealthy and the extra protein will satisfy those hunger cravings, making it easier to avoid temptation.
  • One great trick from Jennifer Cohen at Forbes: if you’re stuck in a hotel room without a kitchen, use the coffee maker in your room to make healthy breakfasts like oatmeal.

SStaying-Healthytay Active:

Traveling often means long hours of immobility: sitting at an airport, sitting in a plane, sitting in a car. Here are a few basic tips for staying active on the road.

  • Make use of the facilities. Every hotel will have a fitness center, even if it’s just a NordicTrack in a storage closet. Swim some laps if the pool is big enough or just tread water if it’s not (you’ll burn upwards of 200 calories in 15 minutes).
  • You can also exercise in your room if there is enough space. Pack a jump rope or resistance band. These are easy to use and, most importantly for traveling, lightweight. And don’t forget about yoga.
  • Walk to as many places as possible. If your destination is a mile away or less, try to walk there. Take walking tours of the city. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Jogging is also a great way to see the city and get some exercise at the same time.
  • Just do it. Obviously you can’t stick to your usual workout routine while you travel, but that doesn’t mean you need to forgo it completely. Even if you squeeze in just 15-20 minutes a day, its certainly better than nothing. Try waking up a half hour earlier than you need and work out before you start your day. That extra bit of activity will make all the difference.

Rest Up:
The best way to mitigate the negative effects of stress is to get get plenty of rest. Your body and mind need time to recharge for you to feel your best. Experts say you need 7-8 hours of sleep a night for optimal performance. If you have trouble falling asleep in a strange environment, try using a sleep mask. Taking time during the day to do some simple meditation exercises can also do wonders for your state of mind.