Travel tends to throw some people out of whack. Maybe it’s because you can’t follow your normal daily routine while you’re on the road. Or maybe it’s just too easy to be seduced into blowing off your diet and exercise routine until you’re back among familiar surroundings. In either case, traveling can be disorienting and stressful, and it’s very tempting to put that part of your life on hold until it’s all over and you’re left with no more excuses for not exercising and eating right. The good news is you don’t have to drag your weight bench or your set of kettlebells along in order to get in a workout while on the road. There’s always something you can do to stay fit no matter where you go.
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A Hearty Breakfast
There’s a reason they call it the most important meal of the day. A big breakfast is an excellent idea when you’re traveling. It provides the nutrition you need and gives your body some carbs to burn during your busy day. In other words, breakfast is what fuels you when there’s a lot on your itinerary. It also keeps you feeling full so you’re less likely to nibble and snack on unhealthy food. As a business traveler, you’ll undoubtedly stay in hotels that offer a free breakfast of some kind in the morning, so take advantage of it and fuel up. Try to stick with protein (i.e. eggs) and grains (i.e. whole wheat toast) and maybe some yogurt. Steer clear of the blueberry pancakes swimming in butter and syrup.
The benefits of drinking lots of water are well-known. When you’re traveling, water is your best friend. It flushes out your system, keeps you feeling full, and makes it easier to avoid defaulting to diet soft drinks. Hotels, businesses, and airlines are big on stocking bottled water, so there are plenty of opportunities to stay hydrated while you’re on the road. Consider getting your own filtered water bottle so that all you have to do is fill up at the nearest water fountain or sink.
Pass Up the Elevator
If you’re on a business trip, you’re probably riding an elevator somewhere along the way, either at the hotel or when you arrive for the big meeting. Try taking the stairs instead, at least when you’re not on the clock. Work those leg muscles and you’ll get a nice cardio workout while you’re at it. You may not be able to climb 25 floors via the stairway in your business suit, but you can sure make frequent use of the stairs in your hotel. It’s often a better option than waiting your turn in a cramped and sparsely equipped exercise room.
Walk, Don’t Ride
If you’re going to dinner at a restaurant that’s only two or three blocks away, why not forget about cab fare or your rental car and just walk? It’s good exercise and a great way to work off a big dinner that’s going to blow your diet through the roof. Use common sense — if it’s after dark and you’re in a sketchy part of town, maybe save that walking workout for the stairway.
Hittin’ the Road with Rover
A few years ago, the idea of traveling for business or pleasure with a dog would have seemed absurdly impractical. Today? Not so much. More hotels, restaurants, and airlines are willing to accommodate your four-legged friend than ever before. Travel-savvy dog owners love to go hiking, trail running, or have their pooch join them in a healthful activity like yoga.
Travel doesn’t have to mean that your exercise and diet regimen is “going dark” until you get back home. You can keep it up and maintain your momentum while taking care of business. Make time to walk, run, or jog, and be sure to make healthy food choices.
Guest post: Henry is the co-creator of FitWellTraveler. The site blends two of his favorite subjects (travel and health) to provide readers with information about how to get the most out of both.