Despite the wonders of technology – mobile telephones, video conferencing, email, skyping, people are still being flown all over the country and the world for buisness and pleasure. And with new places brings great new experiences, challenges and stresses to those trying to lead a healthy lifetsyle. Now I am no expert, but I thought I’d create a page with some of my tips, and you can share yours too if you want!
- Fruit first – its the first thing I buy from local shops, and the first thing i eat when cravings hit. Its portable and acceptable to eat (well more acceptable than skulling a spirulina shake) Even if you give into a bite of massive mcmuffin, you will be more full and (hopefully) stop earlier. Or the fruit itself will remind you of your choice for a healthier lifetyle.
- You don’t have to finish your food! I am NOT one for waste, but in this case remember the meals you are given are not just made for you. They are made to keep you… and that fat guy over there… and that skinny bird.. and that teenager with hollow legs… unhungry. And they dont want people complaining that their serving sizes are skimpy, so chances are you’re getting more than what your tumtum needs. Think “would I eat this much at home”?
- Prior planning – not only will you avoid being pressured into making poor choices by peers, you’ll feel more in control and less likely to make silly decicions (like defaulting to a salad that ends up to be a caesar!) Try hotel or restaurant websites or reviews online or ask someone at work if they have been there before. If you are going overseas reseacrch into the food culture – pick out what you MUST try and what looks healthy, learn what the locals call them, that way you dont get confused about what you are ordering.
- Make a rough, flexible eating plan if you cant get menus. Things like “toast, vegemite and skim milk” for breakfast “plain protein with salad OR tomato pasta, skip the garlic bread” or “broth-based soup” will give you direction and might help you avoid the danish pastry tray. Have a backup too! This can be just planned in your head the night before.
- Bring your own. Sometimes this wont work, but if I go out to a healthy restaurant the night before, I will get a doggy bag to take for lunch the next day. No fridge? Bring healthy ingredients to supplement your lunches (it does feel funny bringing in your own bread or sauces to lunch, but depends on where you are) or skip the too-tempting breakfast buffet and have your own cereal instead. Exotic fruit will also seem more appealing than a bruised banana if they bring out afternoon scones and jam,
- Bring your own #2. Things that travel well – protein powder (dont put white powder in zipply lock bags, get a legit looking jar!), museli bars without chocolate, muesli, fruity cups, popcorn bags, crackers, powdered soups (so good cos you can alwys find boiling water). You dont need many, you can probably stock up when you get there, but I usually have about three days worth of snacks just incase its really bad.
- One trip without provided meals, I met up with a friend who lived locally and offered to cook her healthy meals and pay for my share all week if she bought the produce and I could use her kitchen. Another time I was in a hotel-apartment and just took turns with work friends to cook instead of eating out every night. Its all about being creative and making do. This is your life – just because you’re not at home doesnt stop the world ticking. Take control and be proud that you stayed healthy while travelling!
- Before you go check out if the hotel/facilities you are at have a gym or fitness option. Also check out the local gyms to see if they do casual or trial rates. If not, pack some portable fitness gear AND pre-plan workouts!
- Find out if any of your work mates also have fitness aspirations and commit to meet each other for sessions.
- Use what your room has – do pushups with your feet on the bed, dips from the coffee table.. but be careful!
- Parks, beaches, fitness groups or even a quiet flight of stairs can spice out a boring in-room routine.
- New places = exciting new things to try… In new places I often get up a little earlier to explore my surroundings, try newexperiences, often late at night, meaning my sleep suffers. This is detrimental to both your brain, your waistline and your work! Who wants to sit in a conference with a grumpy-pants who reeks of coffee but can barely string a sentence together, all because the tapas bar had a two-for-one cocktail special at 9pm the night before? so PRIORITISE YOUR SLEEP.
- Combine your curiosity with your fitness – go for a morning jog AND stake out the healthy looking places to eat, workout or buy things from. Ask the locals if there are markets on the weekends. Go for a swim at the beach and MAKE it your exercise (rather than driving around and then trying to squeeze in cardio later at night)
What are your tips for keeping fit and healthy when travelling?