Some women consider travel days to be “cheat days” during which it’s okay to skip normal fitness and diet routines. For the occasional traveler, that may be acceptable, especially since such cheat days are an important part of any fitness program. But for frequent travelers, that attitude is clearly not acceptable. No valid fitness regimen consists mostly of cheat days.
There are legitimate obstacles to overcome, mostly because the schedule and/or the accommodations may not include a fitness gym. But there are some ways to maintain your physique away from home.
Sometimes, fitness routines become deeply ingrained in the daily schedule. That includes everything from the time of day to the running route to the number of pushup reps. After all, the body rather quickly adapts to a routine. Sometimes, that adaptability is a good thing and sometimes it is not. All these routine things will most likely be unavailable on the road, so make adjustments. This process usually begins by varying a home workout routine, to make change more acceptable both mentally and physically.
Use Available Exercise Equipment
If there is no available Stairmaster, actual stairs will do. Strength training is another good example. Since it basically only requires weight and resistance, there is lots of available travel-friendly exercise equipment. Resistance bands are easy to pack and easy to use, making them ideal for road trips.
This meal is important for both daily energy and to kickstart metabolism. Breakfast also helps prevent daytime snacking and mealtime binge eating. Try to include lots of protein, so don’t be afraid of eggs. They have a lot of protein, and the government recently relaxed the daily cholesterol limits, citing the rather weak evidence that links high cholesterol and heart disease.
Drink Lots of Water
In addition to the inherent benefits of proper hydration, such as a higher blood volume and better-lubricated muscles, water decreases cravings for sugary sodas and other such beverages. To monitor hydration, rather than counting bottles or servings, have a look at your urine. If it is bubbly or colored, you are probably dehydrated, even if you are not thirsty.
Restaurants are great, but they often serve very large portions of foods that have high fat content. Buying groceries solves both these problems. You control the portions, and you select the menu. As an added bonus, cooking your own food is a lot cheaper than eating out.
Walk, Don’t Ride
Even moderate walking is a great way to stay fit, so don’t deprive yourself of this opportunity. Inside, try to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Outside, take an extra lap around the block or park far away from the door.
Get Plenty of Sleep
The body does not react well to a lack of rest. Fatigue increases C-reactive protein levels. CRP has both short and long-term ill effects, as it’s associated with both increased inflammation (pain) and a higher heart attack risk. Lack of sleep also impairs certain cognitive functions, such as memory and creativity, that are especially important while on the road.
Create Healthy Habits at Home
Almost all these tips involve activity before the airplane leaves. Travel usually does not significantly disrupt well-established healthy habits. A healthy diet, moderate exercise, and plenty of rest all feel good, and your body craves these things at home and away from home. Travel is an opportunity to build on these habits and perhaps create new ones as well.
Travel is disruptive, but it doesn’t have to derail your healthy lifestyle. All that’s required is a little planning, a little knowledge, and a little willpower.