A couple weeks back, Cole reached out to me and thought that since we’re all about being healthy when out in the world ‘round here, that you guys might appreciate some ideas on what to do during the holidays.
Excellent idea, indeed!
Yes, it’s a tricky time of year, filled with airports, parties, buffet tables, and every kind of food you can imagine. Not the easiest situation to maintain healthy habits.
How do you cope?
Cole: take it away…
Let’s face it: traveling can give you an excuse to break your routine and splurge on foods you wouldn’t typically eat. Suddenly, a 5-course dinner seems like a perfectly normal choice. Unfortunately, those choices add up and can lead to health issues not only in the short-term (tired, cranky, bloated), but down the road as well.
Here are a few easy tips I came up with for following a healthy diet while traveling.
1) Fly Smart
When you are taking a plane, be sure to scout the airport for fresh foods. Plenty of places offer fruits and salads to choose from. Opt for lean and grilled options whenever possible. Avoid foods that are overly salty, fried and covered in cheese. You will feel bloated and uncomfortable the entire plane ride. If you are up for it, do some quick yoga at the airport to get blood flowing.
2) Choose Your Hotel Wisely
Before you embark on a journey, choose your hotel and destination wisely. Try to find a hotel equipped with a fitness center, and check out the surrounding restaurants for healthy choices. You may even want to see if there are grocery stores nearby so you can buy some snacks for your hotel room—this saves money and calories.
I took a family vacation to the west coast a couple months back and wanted to make sure that I could keep my beach body intact while there. I began researching online and found a great site that allowed me to read reviews from other travelers on San Francisco hotels, restaurants in the surrounding area, and things to do. This made it easier than ever to plan out my vacation to ensure I could maintain my healthy lifestyle while soaking up the sun.
3) Make Better Choices Dining Out
The key to preparing to eat at restaurants is research. Increasingly, restaurants are offering low-calorie options for their customers, but this information may be difficult to find. Consider pulling up the restaurant’s menu online and looking for healthy meals that contain the words “grilled, fresh, or low-calorie.” Choosing your meal before arriving can help you avoid temptations, and if your dish is a huge portion, you don’t have to eat the whole thing! Ask your waiter to box up half for another easy meal. It also takes a few minutes for your body to recognize that it is full, so if you scarf your food down quickly, you could end up paying for it later.
4) Exercise When You Can
Move as often as you are able: walking, yoga, stretching. Whether it’s organized exercise classes or not, get out there. Again, hit the fitness center at your hotel if you can. You might also be able to find running trails near your hotel to get in a burst of calorie burning. Carry all of your bags for extra strength training in your day—and make sure that you hydrate throughout it all. Drinking water is extremely important to ensure that your body is nourished and you aren’t getting de-hydrated.
Following a diet and staying healthy while traveling isn’t always easy. When you make a few modifications, you will find that keeping up your habits can actually be fun and relatively simple. No need to make it more complicated than it has to be—enjoy yourself out there!
Cole Millen is an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life’s best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate “experiences.” Follow his blog at Cole’s Mill.