Traveling is a pleasure for most people, even when you travel for work. The excitement of packing your bags and preparing to get out of your normal routine for a different place is hard to be described. It doesn’t matter how near or far, or how interesting the location is going to be, the mere fact of getting out is generally positive. The problem is that, in most cases, it means that we pay less attention to our health while we are out of our homes. Keep reading to find bullet-proof tips to be healthy while you are away from home.
Plan, plan and re-plan again
The first and foremost tip to maintain your health routine while traveling is planning. If you do not think ahead and plan accordingly, there are vey slim chances you can make health-conscious decisions. Some of the things that I personally consider every time I’m going away are:
- Hotel selection: If you have the opportunity, find a hotel with a fitness room. I know, most hotels have a very limited one, and you may think it is worthless, but it is better than nothing. And yes, you can do one of my bodyweight workouts in your room, but let’s face it, you can find a million excuses against it. So having a fitness room downstairs 24 hr will mentally eliminate some of those excuses.
- Hotel location: Research the area where the hotel is located. Find gyms and parks nearby, that can scratch that itch for a better workout than the fitness room. Find healthy restaurant options and supermarket or convenience stores, where you can get fresh fruits and other sustenance not involving terrible hotel foods. Some times it will take some driving, but I promise it will be worth.
- Activities: Plan for active and health conscious activities. Yes, it is vacation or even work, but that doesn’t prevent you from doing things that are good for you. Yoga by the beach? Walking tour of the city center? Cooking class with the locals if traveling abroad?
- Task list: It sounds really hard, but making a mental (or even written) plan for your days is important. Think about how many things you want accomplish that day, what places you have to visit, how long it would take you to get there and how long you plan to be in each. It doesn’t need to be very rigid that it sucks all the fun, but if you prepare a mental plan, it will be easier to schedule your workouts and your meals so that they don’t get “forgotten”.
Now that you have done your research on the area and the activities and you have a mental plan of what you want to do, it is important to prioritize. Some things will not work out as planned and, to be honest, part of the experience of traveling means having certain flexibility and freedom to improvise. That’s why instead of having a fixed schedule it is better to have a priority list. The things you would want to accomplish, but also which ones are more important and which ones would be the first to drop when life gets complicated. Here is where your workouts, meals, meditation and other healthy activities need to be placed on top of the list.
Do not beat yourself
It may sound contrary to the previous two items, but at the end of the day, it is better to not to overthink things. When some of these items change (notice I said “when”, not “if”) don’t beat yourself up. In these cases, doing a “half-effort” is better than doing nothing. You could not do your 1-hr workout? Do 15-mins instead. You cannot do a heavy weight lifting gym workout? Do a HIIT bodyweight instead. You ended up eating in a fast-food restaurant? Make sure you make a conscious decision on what to order. And if you end up doing nothing, well, the world moves-on, you’ll do better the next day
But warning! This is not a free pass. Do not play the “half-effort” card everyday, don’t let your brain convince you that it is ok. Think of this as an emergencies-only pass. You can use it when you really need, but most of the cases make an effort to continue your routine no matter where you are.
Living a health-conscious life doesn’t take vacation, it is part of your own self. At the end of the day, do you stop brushing your teeth or putting on clothes when you are traveling? The same applies to your healthy habits, they don’t need to stay home while you travel. If you follow these 3 simple tips, you will be setting up your travel to a good start and when you return you will feel happy and proud that you were able to maintain your health routine, despite the changing circumstances.