10 Tips for Healthier Travel

Your next business trip doesn’t have to mean a week of lost workouts.

Whether you are headed to a competition or trying to maintain your healthy lifestyle while traveling for work, these 10 travel tips will help keep you at your best.

  1. Some exercise is better than no exercise. Do not forgo a workout because you cannot fit your full workout routine into your day. Even 10 minutes of cardio, stretching, or bodyweight exercises before you have to hit the road can help you stay on track.
  2. Pack food to bring with you. Most of what you can find at the airport, gas station, or train station is very unhealthy or very expensive. Make sure you choose whole foods or foods with few ingredients. Apples, oranges, carrot and celery sticks, and nuts travel well, as do trail mix, and dried fruit. Breakfast bars can be good also, but look for 5+ grams of protein with less than 10 grams of sugar. A PB&J will fit nicely in a small container and will not get soggy if you spread peanut butter on both pieces of bread before you spread the jelly.
  3. It is especially important to stay hydrated while flying. Bring a water bottle to fill at the drinking fountain after you have gone through airport security. You will save at least $4, and if you ask nicely, the flight attendants will refill it for you on the plane.
  4. Many airports now have yoga rooms in the terminals. If you have a long layover, make the most of your time and do some stretching and yoga while you wait. You will feel much better, and much more mobile, if you do.
  5. Wear your running or walking shoes to the airport (or at least bring them in your carry-on luggage). If your airport doesn’t have a yoga room, walking around the airport terminal is a great way to stay active while traveling. No one to watch your carry-on luggage? Bring it with you and think of it as weight training.
  6. When you are traveling by airplane, especially if your flight is over an hour long, wear compression gear (socks or tights). Wearing them under your normal clothing will help keep the blood in your legs from pooling, and your legs will not feel as heavy and tired when you land.
  7. Take advantage of the hotel gym. Sure, it might not have the squat rack and barbells you are used to, but you can still get in a killer lift with those dumbbells (think high-repetition; 3-4sets of 15).
  8. If the hotel gym does not have a C2 for you to log your meters, believe it or not, you can get a great workout in on the elliptical. If you crank up the resistance above 10 and keep the strides/minute above 60, your heart rate will climb and you will get a great cardio workout. To maintain rowing fitness while cross-training, you will need to put in a few extra minutes. For reference, 1000m on the C2 equals 5 minutes of cross-training (so 10K on the C2 = 50 minutes XT).
  9. Sleeping in a new or strange place can be difficult, especially if there are screaming children or a loud TV in the room next to you. But trying to maximize sleep quality is very important for recovery from both exercise and travel, especially if the quantity of sleep is low. Make sure you take advantage of those blackout curtains. You sleep better in total darkness. You can also download a white noise app on your phone. They have hundreds of sounds to choose from, so you are likely to be able to find a soothing sound that reminds you of home, the beach, or your favorite appliance.
  10. Keep sleep sacred: no phones, computers, or TV in bed. That means in a hotel bed too. Most hotel rooms have a desk for you to set up your computer or a chair you can sit in to watch TV. When it is time for sleep, turn the TV off, put your phone away, and then get in bed. You will fall asleep quicker and sleep better because your body knows that crawling into bed means time for sleep, not movie time.

Hitting the road doesn’t have to mean hitting the ibuprofen:

Don’t Let Chronic Pain Ruin Your Vacation