Travel Fit: Keeping Health with you On-the-Go
Travel for work, the kids spring break and annual summer vacations might have you packing your bags and heading out of town. Unfortunately, many trips, vacations or not, can bring your health and fitness goals to a screeching halt. Shockingly, those vacationing in the USA with supersize-me portions gain an average of 8 pounds in just two weeks of being on the road! Foregoing your goals can pack on stress and extra inches, so travel fit! Avoid extra inches and have fun without the weight gain by learning to travel-proof your nutrition and workouts. Its simple! Just follow my personal guidelines for preparing and choosing smart foods and movement that fuel your health and wellness goals when you’re on-the-go.
Bring your own food & beverage with you
Pack your carry-on with items that are airport security friendly that also reflect your normal lifestyle when at at home. While the exposure to new treats and beverages can be tempting, packing healthy snack options like freeze dried fruit and nuts will save you extra money and calories when hunger strikes at meal time. Pack a travel bottle that is compatible with hot and cold liquid. In a small bag or container, you can bring several servings loose leaf or tea bags and instant coffee. Water and hot water are generally complimentary at all restaurants and cafe’s.
Pack the essentials for preparation and convenience, and then modify your meals accordingly. Many hotels offer refrigerators in their rooms, so call ahead and inquire if one is already in yours. Even if the answer is “no,” the majority of hotels out there do have them available and can move one into your room upon request. Don’t be afraid to ask — it’s the only way to get what you need to help you travel-proof your nutrition!
Foods that travel well:
- Single serving Instant Oatmeal packs
- Freeze dried fruit
- Fresh organic apples and oranges
- Raw Unsalted Nuts: Almonds, cashews, pistachios
- Protein Powder – A few scoops in a ziplock bag or tupperware travels very easily.
Guidelines for eating out on-the-go:
- Check the menu items for lean protein, healthy fats, organic vegetables and low glycemic carbohydrate options.
- Get picky! Make adjustments to menu items based on your needs. Most restaurants can accommodate a deliberate eater.
- Most food will be made with extra calories. Request that your food be prepared with no added salt or butter.
- Order fresh organic raw foods whenever possible.
- Replace unhealthy sides like chips and french fries with other options like a salad, steamed vegetables or fruit.
- Drink plenty of filtered water or herbal tea.
- Everything in moderation! Don’t deny yourself menu items that you really want. Acknowledge your desire and decide if it matches your goal of a healthier diet, or if you just need a break from the usual. It is impossible to have a flawless diet, just be aware of what works best for you and don’t let your choices run you.
- Don’t get stuck in calorie traps! Avoid complimentary bread that is offered when you are seated. Ask for whole wheat or raw vegetables if you can’t wait until your meal arrives.
- If you’re going to have dessert, pair it with some sort of lean protein like a protein shake or cottage/ricotta cheese. This will help reduce the inevitable sugar rush and insulin spike.
Don’t Skip Your Workouts!
There are endless options for bodyweight movement that will strengthen your heart and lungs, build muscle and burn fat. This means the excuse of “there is not a gym” is not going to fly. Try some of my personal favorite travel exercises like squats, planks, push ups, tricep dips, and plyometrics.
Here’s a hotel room workout we love (and it only takes ~12 minutes)
Make it fun
Get your friends or your family and get outside. Have a race, do lunges to the beach, see how long you can hold a plank in the sand. There are so many ways to get moving and have fun so get creative! Watch my Beach Workout video below and follow along!
It’s important to always consult a physician and dietitian before starting any new workout plan or diet.
Lauren Rae is a professional fitness talent, speaker, writer and consultant in Dallas, Texas. As a fitness chef she creates unique recipes with elevated ingredients that promote a lean physique, wellness and balance within the body. Lauren Rae is also a trained vocalist and has been featured in the music, food and fitness industries on the Food Network and in publications like Ironman and TRAIN Magazine.