So much of a good health and fitness routine relies on a schedule. Keeping that schedule helps to sustain the lifestyle changes that are needed in order to make a permanent difference in your overall health and fitness. However, travel tends to throw a wrench in that schedule. From morning to night, nothing is the same: not your sleep schedule, not your free time, and not your nutrition options. This is why it can be so difficult to keep up with your health routine while traveling.
The first step in making sure you stay on top of your goals while traveling is to make a plan. This plan is the only sense of normalcy in your routine, so it’s imperative to have one. You’ll also want to bring some healthy snacks, incorporate your health goals into your travel plans, and find a balance in your activities. More than anything, it’s important to be realistic and allow yourself some flexibility.
1. Make a Plan
Your plan doesn’t have to be an itinerary of every minute of your travels; it just has to be an idea of how your health and fitness goals are going to fit into your time away from home. If you’re flying, make a plan to eat before you get to the airport so that you aren’t scrambling for an unhealthy snack while you’re there. If you’re driving, plan to get a workout in before you hit the road and sit for a few hours. If you are traveling by RV, plan some active stops and meal prep for the road. If you’re staying in a hotel, be sure there is a fitness center and plan on getting your workout in in the mornings to free up the rest of your day.
Making a plan is setting yourself up for success when traveling. It’s too easy to fall off of your routine and succumb to poor food choices or missing workouts. A workout regimen and nutrition prep helped in your normal health routine, and it can help with your travel health routine as well.
2. Bring the Snacks
Snacking is an essential part of eating healthy — as long as those snacks are healthy ones. When you’re flying, staying in someone else’s home, or relying on restaurants, eating healthy isn’t always an option. To eliminate the need to eat something bad for you out of snacking desperation, bring some snacks with you. Some great travel snacks include apples, dried fruit, or trail mix. Not only will this help you to eat better, it’ll also help you to stay on budget.
If you’re driving, the snacks you can bring are seemingly limitless. Thankfully, the snacks you can bring through a security checkpoint on a plane are vast as well. Though most liquids are limited to 3.4 oz, many solid food items can be transported in your checked bags or carry-on luggage.
3. Incorporate Your Health Goals
If you’re worried that your activities will keep you from your health and fitness routine while traveling, you might try incorporating your health goals during your travels. For example, you might try visiting a location that is pedestrian friendly where you can walk everywhere and get all of your steps in. You might focus on restaurants that fit with your diet preferences so that you can try new restaurants while still eating well. Look into activities that get your blood pumping like rock climbing, skiing, or swimming instead of sitting at a movie or a restaurant for your entire trip.
There are plenty of health-focused restaurants, events, and establishments that you can sprinkle into your travels. Do some research and include a few in your plan. Maybe the city you’re visiting has a great farmers market, a new juice bar, or an amazing cycling studio. Those can be a part of your trip.
4. Create Balance
It’s important to remember you need to have some balance when you’re traveling. Just like at home it’s important to keep track of your health and fitness while also keeping track of the rest of your life. Get a workout in, but don’t spend your entire trip thinking about when you can get your next one in. Pay attention to your eating choices, but you can allow yourself a bite of your friend’s fettuccine. Maybe you decide to skip workouts but eat healthy on your trip. Maybe you decide to stick with your workouts but have a few cheat meals while exploring new restaurants and dishes.
Don’t ignore the other aspects of your trip. These may include your work obligations if you’re traveling for work, spending time with family if you’re traveling back home, or having an adventure if you’re traveling for vacation. It’s important to have balance and stay with your routine while also taking part in the other aspects of your travels.
5. Be Realistic
Honestly, many people use their travels or vacation time to cheat on their health routine. This is totally fine. It’s important to be realistic about your trip. You might not have the time to workout, and you may not want to eat a salad at all of the amazing restaurants you visit. If you’re worried that this trip will completely derail you, or you’d much rather stick with your routine, by all means make a plan, eat healthy, and stay active. You can also fall somewhere in the middle and allow yourself a lazy day or a cheat meal or two. Whatever is the most realistic for you is what you should do.
Be aware that for some, travel is exhausting and takes a toll on the body. You might be battling jet lag, sleep deprivation, flying headaches, or travel nausea. If this happens to you when you travel, it may derail some of your health goals a bit. Don’t push your body too hard, and be realistic about what you’ll be able to handle.
For many, a routine is imperative for the success of their overall health and fitness goals. When travel plans put a wrench in that routine, it can be hard to get back on track. For others, though, a bump in their routine won’t get them off track completely — but it would still be nice to stay on the program when their routine is off. No matter which scenario you’re in, there are a few tips to help you keep up with your health routine when traveling. You’ll want to have a plan, bring healthy snacks, incorporate your health in your travel plans, maintain balance, and be realistic. At the end of the day, it is possible to stick with your goals even when you’re traveling.
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