7 Essential Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling

I've recently been traveling a lot for the training program I'm in at work.  It's been a pretty demanding schedule to keep up with, but throughout it all I've managed to stay somewhat on track with my healthy habits.

Whether it's for business or pleasure (maybe both!), it's important to keep up with your normal exercise schedule and nutrition while you're away.  You might think I'm crazy for saying that (and that's OK - you're not the first!) so let me explain my philosophy.... 

First, it is REALLY easy to undo results.  We put in all this work to look and feel good, and it takes a long time to get those results.  if you come to a screeching halt by stopping your workouts and having a free-for-all on the food, you are going to be feeling pretty horrid (mentally and physically) by the time the trip is over.  The second reason behind my belief is this:  I need stamina to keep up with the demands of a travel schedule.  Exercising and eating healthy food will give me the physical and mental stamina to feel my best and make it through the long days.  Look at the BENEFITS that will come from your efforts, and don't look at is as punishment! 

To help keep your body and mind in good working order while your away, I am sharing these 7 essential tips that can help you stay healthy while traveling. 

1.  Plan ahead
Review your schedule and research the location / lodging amenities.  How much time can you squeeze in for your workouts?  Is there a gym?  Running trail?  Fitness studio??  Whether you are home or away, healthy habits are not developed out of luck, they are developed from proper planning and intention. 

2.  Bring your gym with you
I stream my workouts from Beachbody on Demand, so I know I will need to have the workouts downloaded on my device or be able to connect to Wi-Fi.  I also pack a lightweight yoga mat and resistance bands.  If I have my trainer and equipment with me, it eliminates many of the excuses I used to use for not exercising while away. 

BOTTOM LINE:  Take ownership and pack what YOU need to get your workouts in, so you are not relying on anyone or anything else to make it happen.

3.  Pack healthy snacks
Packing healthy snacks can save you money AND calories!  The 2 healthy snacks I always pack with me are my Shakeology (the vegan chocolate flavor is my favorite flavor to bring since it still tastes very yummy when mixed with plain water), 100 calorie packs of almonds, and RX bars.  These snacks are my go-to's because they all very clean, portable and portion-controlled. Fruit can be a good choice too but I find I am more satisfied with snacks that have fat and/or protein.
Carry your snacks with you so you have something to much on whenever you need.  You don't want to end up starving and paying 4x the price for an unhealthy and/or unsatisfying snack.

4.  Schedule your workouts
Regardless of the nature of your trip (business, adventure, relax, etc...) you should be planning ahead on when and what your workout will be each day.  I am a huge advocate of morning workouts because to me, exercise is the thing that has the biggest impact on my day.  Therefore, I like to check it off my list first thing in the morning.  I can't control what happens during the day so I know the longer I wait, the harder it will be to make it happen.  My advice to you is do what works best for you.  If you have no trouble cranking out a midday or evening workout, then have at it my friend!  Just make sure you have a clear commitment to your workout before the day begins.  No commitment often means no workout. 

5.  Make breakfast your healthiest meal of the day
Just like my preference to get my workout in early, I find that getting my healthiest meal in early helps keep me from totally blowing it with my nutrition.  My goal is to get my healthiest meal in first to assure my body gets the proper nutrition it needs - regardless of hat happens with my later choices.

I almost always have my Shakeology for breakfast so this works out in my favor while I'm traveling because it's such a convenient meal to make PLUS it's much cheaper and healthier than anything else you'd buy.  I bought this awesome little travel blender to the with me while I'm traveling and I've been packing a few of the Justin's almond butter single-serve packs with me since I always add healthy fat to my shake.  I can blend it up with just ice and water, or (depending on the amenities of where I'm staying) I can blend with almond milk and/or fruit.

If you don't drink Shakeology or just want a hot breakfast, a good choice if getting an omelet with little (or none at all) cheese and veggies.  Starting your day off with a high-protein healthy meal will set you off on a good start to the day and will help you to avoid the bloating and energy crash that comes from high-carb breakfast choices like oatmeal, fruit & yogurt parfait or any of the more dessert-like breakfast choices (muffins, pancakes, etc).  PLUS I consider these choices to be a no-no because these meals have WAY more carbs in one plate than you should be consuming in a day.

6.  Hydrate
This is so important!!  At a minimum, you should be drinking at least half your body weight (in ounces) of water per day.  Example:  if you weigh 160 lbs you should be drinking at least 80 oz of water PER DAY.

Make sure you always have water with you and I suggest tracking your water consumption to help you stay on track.  I use the Fitbit app to track my water, but if you don't have a Fitbit there are others apps or you can even do it manually via a note on your phone or the good old fashioned pen and paper method.

Stay away from soda and sugary drinks.  You don't need the sugar or other nasty ingredients in your body!

7.  Set some boundaries for dining out
As mentioned above, I typically will make my shake for breakfast and will have my healthy snacks on hand so I only have to worry about meals for lunch and dinner.  I like to opt for a salad with (with a lean protein like chicken or shrimp) for lunch whenever possible because dinner tends to be the meal I like to save my cheats for when I'm traveling.  I know that I'll likely have some wine or a cocktail with dinner, and once I have that drink in me I can easily lose track of what I'm eating and become more likely to choose less healthy options.

My advice is to think about your day and figure out what meal would be the most challenging to make a healthy choice.  Limit yourself to a maximum of one cheat meal per day and set a limit on drinks as well.  Having clear expectations and boundaries will help keep you from overdoing it and that is a GOOD THING because let's face it - it's not fun feeling bloated, unhealthy and tired.

And I should share one last BONUS TIP with you all because this one is pretty important:  GET YOUR BUTT BACK IN GEAR IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOUR TRIP!  Have your fun while your away but reel back in fast once you get home.  If you don't, it ill become harder and harder to get going again.  I usually do the 3 Day Refresh after a trip because that helps to flush out all the nasty stuff and kick any of the unhealthy cravings that tend to linger after I get back.  If you would like more info about the 3 Day Refresh check out my blog post here so you can learn about how it works and see my results.

I hope you found these tips helpful!  If you have any questions, please post in the comments or email me at fabfitfunjen@gmail.com.  
© Fab Fit FunJen

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