When you’re outside the comfort of your home and its surroundings, it can be difficult to stick to your typical nutrition and fitness routine. Anyone who’s ever tried to stay on track while traveling can vouch for this. With fewer healthy food options and less control over what you eat, no guarantee of a gym or equipment, and a lack of time, people find it hard to stay healthy while on the road. But it is possible. Here are five nutrition tricks you can follow, so you can enjoy your travels without doing any serious damage.
5 Nutrition Tricks for Traveling
1. Stock Up on Healthy Essentials at Your Destination
When you’re traveling, there’s a possibility that you’re constantly relying on restaurant food, hitting the vending machines, ordering from room service, or having greasy, overpriced airport food.
But when you prepare your own healthy travel snacks, you avoid the temptation of convenient items and provide yourself with better options.
Once you arrive at your destination, find a nearby grocery store. Stock up on fresh salads, fruits and vegetables, and mixed nuts. Keep your eyes peeled for protein, in particular, since this is typically the hardest to get in. Deli meat and tuna are simple and affordable options.
Side note: Nutrition shakes are always a great supplement to have on standby. Either bring your protein powder with you or look for powder (or ready-made shakes) once you arrive. If you’re considering nutrition bars, take care to check the label first. These often contain tons of unnecessary ingredients and hidden sugar.
Remember to choose items that are rich in fiber, protein, unsaturated fat, and vitamins, instead of foods that are high in simple carbohydrates and sodium. The goal is to stay fueled, energetic, and happy.
2. Research Local Restaurants Ahead of Time
While traveling, a smart (and easy) way to stay healthy is to research the restaurants you might be eating at ahead of time. Check out their menus online and see what available options are fit for your diet.
Don’t see something that works? Then this might not be the restaurant for you. If you’re still unsure, you can use food and dining apps or consult locals for possible choices.
Don’t be caught off-guard by restaurants that are going to derail your nutrition efforts. Find places that are compatible with your healthy habits and plan to eat there ahead of time.
3. Don’t Drink Your Calories
Liquid calories are dangerous because they’re so easy to consume. Avoid alcohol, pop, and other sugary or otherwise calorie-dense drinks that don’t offer any nutrition value. If you’re out with friends, family, or colleagues, opt for healthier low-calorie alcoholic drinks.
On a similar note, you don’t need us to tell you how important it is to stay hydrated — but we will anyway. Keep in mind that alcohol, coffee, pop, and juice cannot replace water. You’ve probably heard the rule of thumb to drink eight glasses a day. In reality, you might need much more. Some experts and coaches encourage one ounce per pound of body weight.
Bring water with you everywhere you go, especially if you’re traveling to a climate that’s drier than you’re used to. Staying hydrated will keep you energized and also help fight off cravings — plus the countless other benefits that it offers.
4. Bring Travel Snacks for the Drive
Don’t rely on the next drive-thru you come across. Whether you’re taking a road trip or simply know you’ll be driving a lot at your destination, healthy road trip snacks that you can keep in the car are a must.
You might even consider bringing a cooler that you can pack with chilled drinks and foods that need to be kept cold, like meat and cheese. If you’re feeling really ambitious, check out portable grills and stovetop burners. It’s almost like bringing your kitchen with you. (Almost.)
5. Always Make Time to Move
Nutrition and fitness go hand-in-hand, so it’d be wrong not to include this.
If your accommodations don’t have a gym and aren’t located near one, opt for bodyweight exercises in your room. Think squats, lunges, push-ups, and jumping jacks. No matter where you are, you can almost always get a travel WOD in.
Take advantage of simple everyday activities to move your body and get your heart rate up. Choose to take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Use your bags and luggage as weights. Wake up 20 minutes earlier to move your body a little before your busy day starts. All of these smaller details really add up.
We know it’s difficult to keep moving during long haul flights, but there are a few tricks you can employ. Believe it or not, “airplane yoga” exists and might work wonders for stiff and tight muscles. Once every 30 minutes or so, get up and walk the aisle to keep the blood flowing.
It also helps to use a device like PowerDot and its Long Haul Flight program to keep your blood flowing, muscles active, and mind relaxed during long travels. With the setting of five-minute sessions every 30 minutes, you can avoid cramps and lower body swelling and massage away tight muscles and upper body tension that comes with minimal movements for a prolonged period.
To top it off, it’s portable, accessible via your mobile, and TSA-friendly, so you can use it anytime and anywhere.
The Bottom Line
Staying healthy and fit when traveling can be challenging, but it’s achievable. With the right planning and preparation, you can provide yourself with more nutritious food options. Staying on the right track is possible when you’re careful with and mindful of your food and beverage selections. Lastly, when you find ways to move your body, regardless of how long your travels are or how busy your trips get, you can return home in the same shape you left in.
Getting ready for an upcoming trip? Learn more about how to keep your muscles moving during travel.
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