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Staying Healthy While Traveling

Staying Healthy While Traveling

Derek Maxfield

Airports.  Hotel rooms.  Long, boring meetings.   A lot of difficult circumstances are present when trying to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle while traveling.  The fundamental requirements to stay healthy are nutritious food, consistent exercise, and restful night sleeps.  Routines are often made to meet these requirements such as packing a healthy lunch, going to the gym during a lunch hour or after work, and getting to bed at an early hour.  So how the heck are these routines supposed to be adhered to when not at home?

                It is widely accepted that airports and hotel rooms are tough places to get workouts in and make quality food choices.  Not to mention that if you are away on business, it’s likely that important and sometimes long meeting await you at your destination.  There may not be a lot of time to exercise or research some spots that sell healthy meals.

                However, it is important to do as best you can to make sure you stay the course in the journey of health.  The requirement to get in some healthy activity is not great.  Less than an hour per day can provide enough time to make sure you’re not losing your health cool while away from home.

                Hotels most often have some degree of exercise equipment to be used for free.  Getting an aerobic workout in on an elliptical or even doing some strength training exercise with machines as opposed to free weights is much better than being sedentary while away from home.  And also, as I have written previously, you can achieve great workouts without any equipment at all.  Your own bodyweight can provide ample resistance to elevate the heart and give your muscles a significant challenge.  Doing a series of pushups, sit ups, wall sits, and squat thrusts in your hotel room, or even going on a run outside is a simple way to burn some calories and get your exercise in.  If you’re away for a few days, there is no reason why a couple 30 minute workouts can’t replace the workouts you’d be getting in at home.  60 minutes is certainly better than 0 minutes.

                Making nutritious food decision may be a bit more difficult than getting quality workouts in.  Eating out is generally a means to pack on added calories that are often full of processed foods, heavy fats, and unhealthy preservatives.  And where else to eat meals while away from home but at restaurants, hotel lounges, or local Starbucks?

                In my opinion, the most important thing to do to avoid eating the wrong foods is to control hunger levels.  Generally when hunger levels rise, it is more difficult to make healthy decisions, especially when eating out.  But making sure you are not starving when you sit down at a restaurant or walk into a lunch spot can save you enormous amounts of calories and strengthen the ability to say “no” when you see the extra-large roast beef sandwich or pasta alfredo on the menu.

                Having healthy snacks available such as fruit, yogurt, or even granola bars can help keep those hunger levels at bay which should help you make good decision when sitting down for a company dinner.  There are most often convenient stores, or small stores at hotels and airports where you can buy snacks like the ones listed.  Having them at disposal in your hotel room or on your flight will not only provide you with healthy calories, but keep you from getting starving and craving unhealthy food.

                The next time you plan a trip away from home, rest assured that you can maintain your healthy lifestyle and prevent yourself from getting off track and coming home numerous pounds heavier than when you left.