Now that we’ve officially kicked off summer, it’s all about finding a nice balance between abject gluttony and keeping to a semblance of your bikini body nutrition plan. In between beach days, BBQ’s, and vacations, making healthy choices can be a gargantuan feat.
I am just finishing up a 2 week trip to China and Taiwan, where I went into full vacation mode. No macro counting, no workout plan…I didn’t even wear my Fitbit! And though I indulged quite a bit (because life without splurging from time to time gets boring), there were ten things I did while on my trip to make sure I didn’t completely derail. If you’re traveling this summer, follow some of these tips to stay healthy and on track with your diet and fitness while you’re away from home.
1. Drink Lots of H20
Of course, we can never stress this point enough. Water is seriously the miracle elixir, and hardly anyone drinks enough (myself included). A long plane ride is not only dehydrating, but it brings on the bloat. Drink some (a lot) of H20 to help your body flush everything out. I understand it’s rough while traveling to carry around a water bottle all the time or to have to find a bathroom (esp. a clean one) while you’re traveling, but drinking plenty of water is worth it. You know it, and I know it.
2. Bring Your Own Snacks
It’s too easy to grab those airport snacks that you’d normally have the willpower to say no to. After all, your brain is on vacation mode and that one package of Peanut Butter M&M’s looks fairly harmless. Stocking up the hotel with some chips and sodas sounds like a great idea, but consider bringing a few healthy snacks of your own. That way when you get the munchies, instead of ordering up some french fries from room service or noshing on junk food, you can grab yourself a Quest Bar or a package of raw almonds that you brought from home. Plus it saves you some money to buy more souvenirs.
3. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep!
If you’re traveling into a different time zone, you’ve royally screwed up your body clock, and it’s going to take a few days to adjust (just in time to leave and come home!). Plus, sleep on an airplane (for me, at least) is elusive. By the time I get off the plane, I feel like a zombie – and then it’s onto all day sightseeing tours while trying to cram everything I want to see and do in a few short days. Do the best you can to get as much sleep as possible. I’ve had to keep up my work schedule while I’m in China, and so I’ve been waking up at 1 am to work for a couple of hours and then sleeping in for a bit. I don’t recommend the broken sleep, but I aim for 7-8 hours total a night – a bit more than I get at home!
4. Bring Hand Sanitizer/Disinfectant Wipes
I’m *this close* to being a germophobe. I cringe when I see dirt or feel like something is dirty, and I know most people don’t have the same standards of cleanliness that I do. But here in China (where the bathrooms and personal cleanliness habits are far, far below where I’d like them to be), I make sure I have plenty of sanitizer and wipes so that I’m as disinfected as possible. Plus, I’m traveling with an 11-year-old who loves to touch everything – from the street signs to the subway rails and everything in between before holding my hand or playing with my hair.
5. Eat In Moderation
This is one of the toughest for me. I want to eat everything I see, and I don’t want to stop. Some foods over here are not available back in the U.S., so I won’t know I’ll get the chance to eat some of my favorite foods again. But if you can discipline yourself to eat smaller amounts of a few things, you’ll go a long way to staying on track for your goals.
6. Bring a Magnesium Supplement (or Prunes)
For those that find it difficult to stay regular (or keep those insides moving along) with the different foods, time zones, and stress that happening while you travel. I recommend bringing some travel packets of Magnesium (I use the travel sized pouches of Natural Vitality Natural Calm Plus Calcium Magnesium in Raspberry Lemon.). I drink this every night before bed when I am home, and it helps on the road as well. My mom swears by prunes. I’ve not really tested the benefits of prunes, but prunes may be easier to consume (no hot water, no fuss).
7. Stay Active
Confession time – I didn’t bring workout clothes or running shoes, and I haven’t had a real workout since I left. I knew that our hotels didn’t have gyms, and I knew that running would be a bad plan since I have no sense of direction and no GPS to guide me, so I didn’t schedule any workout time. I did, however, know that I’d be walking nearly everywhere, so I packed some really good walking shoes. Also, every time I’m presented with the option of going up the stairs or the escalators in the subway, I chose stairs (and trust me, subway stairs are no joke!). The important thing is to stay active. Make sure you’re stretching – even on the plane – and keeping your body moving.
8. Activated Charcoal
I always have a jar of Activated Charcoal with me. Yes, it sounds weird, and 9 out of 10 people always look at me sideways when I mention it, but activated charcoal has many benefits, the big one is its ability to clean out all the toxins in your body – from long travel days to bad food to a night of binging on cocktails. It helps alleviate gas and bloating, cleanses the digestive system and a whole host of other benefits like whitens teeth. I’ve taken it in the capsule form and in pressed juice. It has no taste, and there isn’t any horrible after taste either.
9. Get a Massage
Getting a massage while traveling is a wonderful way to help you loosen some of those sore muscles from sleeping awkwardly on the plane, or in a strange hotel bed. My whole body just ached the second night I was here, and I ended up getting a painfully good deep tissue massage. It loosened quite a few knots and helped reduce a lot of the swelling that I had in my hands and feet. Consider bringing a travel foam roller with you like the Thera-Band Portable Roller Massager and rolling every day.
One huge plus about being in the complete opposite time zone as home is the fact that I can unplug and not feel guilty or feel like I’ve missed out on something. It helps that I don’t have an international data plan so I can’t really use my phone or laptop without Wifi anyway. Doing a little digital detox, even for a few hours does wonders for the psyche and gives your poor brain a little break from the typical grind.
Whether you’re traveling across town or around the world, you can stay healthy and on track with your diet and fitness goals! It’s not going to be easy but trust me, when you return home, it’ll be a lot easier to transition back to your regularly scheduled life, diet, and fitness regime if you are mindful of your health while you’re traveling.
Stay healthy and safe travels this summer! What are some things you do to help you stay healthy while traveling?
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