As fall foliage shifts into winter brrrrs, we’re all bracing ourselves for the onset of travel madness. And don’t get us wrong, while visiting the ‘rents or heading out with the old high school gang for a hometown throwdown can be fun, it’s no wonder we tend to be exhausted this time of year. Read on for expert tips on how to recharge your batteries and lift your energy levels. No caffeine required!
1. Pack for fitness
“From business trips to family vacations, it seems we are spending more time on the road. The time spent living out of a suitcase, eating out and sitting for long periods of time can take its toll on our well-being, and our waistlines. But it doesn’t have to,” offers Jennifer Adams, lifestyle expert and designer. “Before you even hit the road, take a few minutes to see what fitness facilities your hotel has or if there are other facilities near by and access what you can easily bring with you that will add the least amount of bulk to your bag. At a minimum bring a pair of light weight athletic shoes, exercise clothing, music and headphones. You might even consider bringing a fitness DVD, resistance bands and a jump rope to get a more intense workout,” says Adams.
2. Be committed
“Staying healthy while on the road is a commitment to making healthy choices, making time to move and getting enough sleep. Leave your workout clothes right next to the bed so you will be motivated to hit the gym instead of grabbing the remote when you have down time. Relieve stress by stretching,” offers Adams. “Some simple neck rolls and forward bends will not only relieve tension but can elevate your mood as well. Just because you are tired doesn’t mean you have to skip the workout, just commit to moving for 15 minutes and you might inspire yourself to go a little further.” Really in a time pinch? Try these 1-minute workouts that top trainers consider some of their go-tos.
3. Stay hydrated
“Obviously getting up to pee on an airplane every 20 minutes is not fun, but making sure that you are adequately hydrated throughout the day is essential to delivering nutrients throughout your body and regulating body temperature,” shares TruFusion trainer Sammie Mack. “Aim to drink 0.5-1.0 ounces of water per pound of body weight over the course of an entire day. Try packing an empty 32-ounce HydroFlask bottle to fill up after the security line to help monitor water intake and maintain an ideal water temperature throughout the rest of your trip,” Mack adds.
4. Make your breakfast count
We know it’s the most important meal of the day (Thanks, every health expert slash nutritionist ever, for the newsflash!), but oftentimes on vacation, it’s the first healthy meal to go. “Instead of bagels and homefries that make you feel tired and sluggish, opt for fresh fruits or whole grains like quinoa porridge or oatmeal that will satisfy you without dragging you down,” suggests Lisa Hayim, RD, and founder of The WellNecessities. On-the-go? “If you’re traveling, try bringing oatmeal packets with you and a piece of whole fruit.” Portable, affordable, and real, wholesome food.
That’s nutrition-speak for “Bring Your Own Snacks,” not spirits, sorry folks. “Airports and even airplane snacks can be so hit or miss when it comes to food options, its best to always be prepared. Foods pre-packaged are best for travel, but beware of their processing and additives. Travel involves a lot of down time, and can lead to over eating caused from mindlessness or boredom,” cautions Hayim. Try nutritious options like PALETA Power Up bars, nut butter packets with a slice of whole wheat bread, or a handful of nuts and a piece of fruit to stave off hunger when you’re en route to your destination.
6. Work out wherever you go
“Wear athletic shoes on the days that you travel. You’ll be in a seat for long enough on the plane so get up and get moving every opportunity you get. Take a quick walk down the terminal if you are flying. If you are traveling by car, take frequent breaks to get out and stretch and walk around. A couple of things to keep in mind: Every little bit helps and the more you move the better you will feel,” advises Adams. Remember, even if you can’t find time to fit in a full-fledged iron session, incorporating active movement into your daily activities makes a difference.
7. Stash healthy foods in your travel-time abode
Just because you’re traveling, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat your body to real, nutrient-dense food. “Traveling and being in the airport often leads to regretful dietary decisions that provide little to no actual nutritional value for your body,” Mack says.
Adams suggests planning in order to eat healthily and save money. “Look for hotels with a mini fridge and a microwave. Hit a grocery store or market and get easy items like packs of tuna or grilled chicken, bagged salad, hummus and precut veggies, and even some fruit for easy meals in your room and snacks you can throw in your bag,” comments Adams. “Your waist will thank you for skipping the room service menu!”