As we approach the end of this 30-day journey of ‘Living Your Best Life’, I wanted to comment on how staying fit just doesn’t end at home or at the gym. We all lead busy lives and some of us have to travel for work while others travel with their family to and from sports tournaments on weekends or family getaways. Regardless where you are travelling to, staying in shape and eating healthy while on the road can be effortless with the following tips.
If you are planning a leisure trip, it’s very easy to schedule in active excursions. Taking a break from your regular routine can not only benefit you physically but also mentally. Call the hotel or resort ahead of time and find out where the local hiking trails are located and how accessible they are to the hotel. Ask the hotel about bike rentals or hiring a guide to take you in and around the city on a bike to see the sights rather than on a bus or car. Go for a walk into town instead of hiring a taxi. This gets you not only active but also provides you with the opportunity to meet more people and discover new places.
Scheduling activity into a business trip doesn’t have to be challenging. If you know where you are staying and what hours you are working, you can take time to do a workout in your room or go outside for a jog. If you fly frequently, many airports now offer fitness centers and spaces to practice yoga for travelers to get away from it all to work out their bodies and relax their minds. If you want more information on which airports have these amenities, it will be posted on their web site.
Taking a road trip with the family? Schedule stops on the way to your destination to allow you and your family to get out and stretch your legs and go for a short walk. This prevents stiffness in the joints and the back from sitting for long periods of time. If you have a long drive ahead of you, look into scheduling an active excursion for your entire family into your itinerary. It can be anything from going for a walk on a local trail to visiting a playground or going for a swim. It’s all about getting the body moving.
If you are travelling by plane, then make sure you eat before arriving at the airport. Even though many airports are offering healthier foods, it can still be very expensive and there is not always a lot of variety to choose from. At some airports, many of the foods that are provided in food stands or restaurants can leave you feeling bloated. If you are traveling for a long duration, you don’t want to feel uncomfortable for any period of time, so choose your food wisely.
Packing food to take with you on a business or leisure trip is one of the best things you can do for your body. When I travel on business trips, I always carry with my water bottle in my carry-on bag. Once I pass through security, I find a water fountain and fill it up with water. It saves me money from buying bottled water but also it keeps me hydrated for the long flight ahead of me and it’s great for the environment.
Being a whole foods vegan, there is not a lot of variety of foods for me to choose from. Even if I pre-order vegan meals on a long-haul flight, I have found items that are not vegan served to me in my meal. In most cases, I eat a good meal about 1-2 hours before boarding my flight and then I rely on the following snacks to get me through the flight:
Breakfast – I bring some packaged oatmeal along with some dried fruits and nuts and ask for hot water to cook them. Not only is it filling but it’s packed with vitamins and minerals.
Lunch/Dinner – If I can, I ask the hotel to pack me a sandwich to take with me on the flight. It can be anything from grilled veggies and hummus to nut butter and fruit on a bagel. If it’s a short-haul flight, I will buy a salad in the airport made with fresh greens, veggies, and nuts & seeds to eat during the flight. This will tide me over until I reach my final destination.
Snacks – I make my own muffins, make my own trail mix made up of dried fruit, mixed nuts, and coconut. I also bring some vegan crackers and home-made hummus with me in my carry-on bag. I find that hummus in the airport is packed with oil. As a whole foods vegan, I try to omit oil as much as I can. You can also purchase fresh fruit at the airport news stands and takeout kiosks.
Hotels with Amenities
Whatever hotel or resort you stay in, call ahead of time to find out if there is some kind of gym available for you to work out in especially if you do a lot of business travel. Many hotels now offer the service of hiring a personal trainer or personal running coach. Running coaches come in very handy if you don’t feel comfortable running in the local neighbourhoods. Safety comes first. Many hotels are offer longer hours or 24/7 access to their fitness centers to allow those to stay on their local time zone. If you know you are spending a couple days in transit, then make sure that you work out the day before you depart and take those one or two days of transit as your rest days. Plan ahead!
If your hotel doesn’t have a fitness center, you can call the hotel concierge ahead of time to find out where the local gym is located. If you like to run, research ahead of time to find out where the local running groups meet and call ahead to schedule in a run with them. Hotels are becoming more about personalized service and providing the total customer experience.
No fitness center at your hotel? Have you tried doing your own workout? Many times I have brought with me an exercise tube to get in a fully body workout. It’s weighs next to nothing and takes up so little room in your suitcase. Get up a few minutes early in the morning and do your own workout before you go to your meeting or have a family activity scheduled.
Remember you don’t require a gym to get fit. Try a surf lesson or go for a run on the beach. Go for hike at a local park or rent a bike for the day. If you’re close to a beach, then try some stand up paddle boarding (SUP) or rent a kayak for the day. Go dancing or take some tango or salsa lessons depending on where you are. Go to a local park and join in a bootcamp class. The options are endless. Get creative and have fun to stay active.
Finding healthy food is not as challenging as you think. I have had no problems with the hotels that I’ve stayed at in terms of accommodating my food choices. A little tip is to call ahead before you arrive to let them know about your dietary needs. This way they can contact the chef so they have time to prepare some great dishes for you. I find after speaking with some of the chefs in various countries, that they really enjoy creating dishes with new ingredients instead of just preparing what is on the menu.
The concierge at your hotel is your new best friend. They can recommend local restaurants that cater to your dietary needs and send you to some great farmers markets or local grocery stores to load up on your favourite foods. If I’m travelling for leisure, I coordinate with the hotel manager to empty the mini bar so that I can store my own foods in it. I have never had a problem with this request. I find that most restaurants and hotels are more than accommodating to help you out with your healthy food options. All you have to do is ask ahead of time so they can prepare to meet your needs.
Tomorrow’s Task: Planning a trip? Prepare and take some healthy snacks with you for your next trip. I provided you with some options already. Also, create an active excursion for you to enjoy either during transit or in destination.
Travelling itself can be quite chaotic sometimes but it doesn’t have to be if you plan ahead. Like being at home, you just have to be organized and prepare ahead of time. Writing about tips for traveling on fitness and vegan options is one of my favourite topics as people want a break from their regular routine but also don’t want to pack on the extra pounds.
Stay tuned for more information on travelling as I will have more tips and tricks to keep you in shape and help you eat healthy while on the road.
Art & Maureen