Reality is that we can always find an excuse to justify bad choices when it comes to working out and eating healthy. Our “default mode” will probably be to gravitate to eating a little too much of the things we shouldn’t and moving less than we should, which is not the ideal combination. And this is never more true than when we are on the road traveling and out of our home element – being away on the road places additional stresses on our health and fitness regimens.
Therefore, DECIDING what you are going to do ahead of time is always ideal. Then, in the moment, if you take a second to be mindful, chances are going to be in your favor that you’ll make a better choice in the moment.
This is critical when it comes to staying on track while you are traveling. Here are 5 tips (behaviors / actions / habits) that can help you make better choices and keep you on track to reach your goals, even when away from home!
You have to focus on making good choices with food. Eating IS the one thing you have more control over than you think. If there are not a lot of healthy choices available, try eating smaller portions – control your intake by eat slowly and mindfully, and keep a healthy mindset. Don’t use travel as an excuse to eat crap or drink more than usual.
ACTION ITEM: Carry healthier choices:
- Healthy bars
- Bottled Water
CREATE A WALK AND MOVE MINDSET
Find every opportunity to move you can: stand before you get on the plane. Take an aisle seat so you can get up every hour to move and stretch. Take the stairs, walk to your conference instead of drive, stand in the back of the room during lectures …find ways to move!
ACTION ITEM: M-N-NW – (Morning, Noon and Night Walk):
- Take a 10-minute walk, 3 times a day – use this time to listen to apodcast or call your family and check in…
Explore the hotel gym when you check in… or venture out even further and try a local gym, studio or fitness class. It’s a great way to explore the city and meet new people. Rent a bike, go for a walk, go shopping… just keep moving!
ACTION ITEM: Try a Park Workout:
- Go for a run or interval walk and if there is a park close by, do a“Park Workout”.
- Do step-ups on the benches and use them for dips, push-ups and even try pull ups or modified pull ups on the bars or ladders.
PACK “WELLNESS” ESSENTIALS
Bring the things you need that make your trip a more comfortable and enjoyable one… workout clothes and tennis shoes, maybe a foam roller (I pack a soft ball since is smaller and works just as well). For park workouts or limited equipment hotel gyms, I like to bring a travel band.
ACTION ITEM: Come prepared to be comfortable:
- Bring a white sound machine (or small speaker) for helping with sleep.
- Bring healthy bars and snacks, and bring a written body weight or hotel workout.
- You’re more likely to do something if you have the tools to be comfortable and work your plan.
SET UP A SLEEP RITUAL
Dealing with jet lag can be a major challenge. If you are land in a different time zone and are trying to adapt to the local time, try and get on the local schedule immediately or use a short nap to get through the day if you must, and see if that can help you get adjusted. Exercise will help you sleep and will help wake you up for the day, so you might adjust your workout time to a time that works in your new time zone. When you do sleep, darker and cooler rooms improve sleep quality.
ACTION ITEM: Get prepared to sleep:
- Watch out for drinking caffeine too late in the day and learn to let work go or work related activities at least 1 hour before bed (quiet the mind).
- Stretching, meditation, a hot bath, relaxing music, or a good book are all great ways to be asleep faster.
You don’t have to use all these tips, but grab at least one and try it out the next time you travel. You’ll be surprised how good you can feel coming back from a long trip and you’ll stay on track to achieving your goals, even when you are out of town.
Phil Dozois, Founder, Breakthru Fitness, Pasadena, CA
Here is a link to my 5-minute QUICK 100 REP WORKOUT. Commit to doing something!
- 25 squats
- 25 lunges
- 25 push ups
- 25 jumping jacks