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Maintaining Your Fit Lifestyle While Traveling Over the Holidays

Dec 19, 2013

The holiday season can throw off working out regularly, eating healthy and leading a stress-free lifestyle. When you mix in traveling during the holidays, you can fall even more quickly into an emotional and physical slump if you let things like unfamiliar surroundings, airport food and time constraints take over your game.

“When you go on vacation, you tend to throw everything out the window,” says Black Beckcom, personal trainer and owner at Fitness Together Mission Hills. “You start eating bad, not working out and you take major steps backward by the time you get home. You have to have the will and the want or you will just be left with a bunch of excuses.”

Instead of striking out during your holiday travels, stay focused on your game plan for a healthy and fit lifestyle by sticking with some simple but effective home-field strategies while you’re on the road.

Consider Your Holiday Trip a New Fitness Adventure

Whether you’re going to your hometown for the holidays or taking a trip to a new destination, one of the most important things to making sure you stay active during your travels is to maintain a fitness-minded approach throughout your journey. Take what you do in your everyday life and bring it with you on your trip.

From packing workout clothes and accessories that are appropriate for the climate to transporting healthy nutrition for your trip, taking control of your destiny allows you to control what you put in your body so you don’t have a vending machine or hunger putting you in a position to make a bad choice. By preparing yourself with healthy fitness and food essentials, you'll have a better chance to stay on course during the holiday travel season.

“Enjoy a destination workout because these kinds of workouts are a blast,” advises Beckcom. “I used to love traveling to try new gyms, work out with new people and try new things. You just have to plan ahead, think through it and travel with a fitness mindset.”

When you decide on a hotel or a place to stay, the first thing you should ask about is the type of fitness equipment or instructors that are available on site, how far away the closest gym is and if there are nature trails nearby for long walks or jogs. Also, putting together an in-room circuit workout can be an easy way to maintain your fitness lifestyle. Simply using a towel for resistance, lifting books for strength training or walking/running up and down the stairs can provide an effective mix of cardio and muscular exercise that is good for your mind and body.

Turn Holiday Stress into Fitness Fuel

With the focus during this time of year on serving others, attending end-of-year events, and making lists and checking them twice, it's easy to get overwhelmed and sideline your fitness routine for the rest of the season. If you’re traveling back to your parents’ place or where you grew up, you may even be stressed about falling back into unhealthy routines or roles that you lived as a child.

Instead of becoming a victim to the vicious cycle of over-commitments, unhealthy outside influences and holiday stress benching you from participating in a healthy and fit lifestyle, use your emotions to motivate you to actively vent and work through your tension.

“We’re all stressed out, so it comes down to what you’re going to do about it,” says Beckcom. “You have to take everything that you’ve been dealing with, focused on and troubled over and put it all into your workout. It’s a great emotional uplift and it’s great for you physically, too, because you go out and burn off that anxious stressful feeling.”

Elevate Yourself to the Top of Santa’s Wish List    

One of the biggest trends during this time of year is that people overload their calendars with too many things to do and they don’t value the importance of elevating themselves to the top of their priority list. Instead of focusing on taking care of yourself, you wear yourself too thin and let your nutrition and fitness go out the window. Missing workouts and eating poorly can lead to getting sick, gaining weight and feeling defeated by the time the New Year rolls around. And, the reality of it is that the older you get, the longer it takes to recover from unhealthy choices and behavior.

Instead of abandoning your healthy lifestyle during the holiday travel season, Beckcom suggests keeping some type of activity level going, even if it’s just exercising for 10 minutes each day. He also recommends that you take pride and ownership in the person you’ve become so that it’s easy to adopt a healthy mindset when you travel that focuses on carving out time for yourself to exercise, make healthy food choices, and be mindful about keeping everything in perspective and moderation.

“There are so many things you can do so you don’t end up crowding yourself out,” says Beckcom. “If you want to stay the course while traveling this holiday season, you have to sample the fares, pack your equipment with you and bring things that are healthy alternatives to eat.”

By making the choice to live a healthy and fit lifestyle regardless of where you are, you'll be one step closer to hitting a holiday home run. Implementing these game-winning strategies will help you be able to enjoy your holiday vacation while still staying on plan throughout all of your life’s adventures.