Woo Hoo! It’s time to travel! Got Spring Break coming up or a summer vacay planned? Here are some tips to stay healthy.
First, don’t derail all your progress just because you’re not at home! Things you eat & do (or don’t do) on vacation definitely count. You can have fun & be a little more flexible, but don’t go crazy. If you typically follow 80/20 or 90/10 during the week at home for things like alcohol, sugar or working out, pick another split & stick to it – maybe 60/40 or even 50/50.
Look at your daily routines & think about what you can easily carry over on vacation. I always have my warm water first thing in the morning before coffee, and my Natural Calm at night before bed to help with sleep & regularity (don’t start taking NC on the road, it can cause issues – start at home first & then stay consistent with it on your trip).
Stay hydrated! It helps prevent dehydration (duh!) and helps with digestion & regularity. Feel free to add Nuun tabs (make sure you don’t get the ones with caffeine) or Ultima powder. Bring along your reusable water bottle & keep it filled and with you! This is especially true when flying.
You’ll probably be eating things that aren’t in your usual diet. Consider taking digestive enzymes with meals containing foods or ingredients that aren’t your usual.
Get gassy/upset tummy when flying? You’re not alone! Check out THIS ARTICLE stating that lower air pressure & a rapid increase in air pressure actually do make you more likely to have issues with gas. Consider consuming lower FODMAP foods the day prior to travel and taking something with simethicone (like Gas-X) just before boarding and maybe a few times mid-flight. Avoid carbonated beverages in flight and move around the cabin as well. You may also want to think about self-massage for digestion before & after your flight – VIDEO HERE.
Make sure to have at least one 100% meal per day – oats with fruit for breakfast, a big salad with light dressing for lunch, grilled protein (whether it’s seafood or tofu) and steamed veg are some suggestions.
Enjoy some indulgences but make sure they’re worth it! Savor the decadent dessert at a restaurant, but skip the Kit Kat at the airport or gas station.
Bring along healthy snacks for the trip – I pack raw nuts and fruit (fresh or dried).
Stay active – get all of your steps in for the day! I love trying new boutique fitness classes when I travel, but feel free to also hit the hotel gym, see if your gym has reciprocity with a facility near you. Some members-only videos that would be great while traveling are:
Prioiritize sleep – aim for your usual number of hours per sleep. It likely won’t be a problem to catch up on a little extra sleep, but don’t sleep in too much, stay up too late, or do anything that you know will throw you off (like sleeping with the TV on, excessive scrolling, eating too close to bedtime, excessive alcohol close to bedtime.)
Schedule your work: try your best to have designated work time & truly be ‘out of office’ the rest of the time. Schedule any calls/meetings and do any other tasks around those times, then disconnect & be present & enjoy your trip!
Keep your space somewhat clutter-free. No one loves living out of a suitcase. I’ve recently started unpacking soon after checking in & will never go back! When your environment is cluttered, your mind is cluttered & you are less likely to make good decisions.
What am I missing? Share your favorite travel tips in the comments!
Someone asked me today for 3 simple things they can do to live better starting NOW – so I thought I’d share:
Eat more mindfully.
Sit at a table and eat from a plate (no snacking in front of the fridge or while standing in the pantry)
Before your first bite, take a moment for gratitude and take five deep breaths to get into a parasympathetic “rest and digest” state before eating.
Increase your N.E.A.T. (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis which is basically any activity during the day that isn’t sleeping or formal exercise): Look for ways to incorporate movement and activity (note: I didn’t say to workout or go for a run) – just get moving & aim to reduce the amount of time spent sitting.
Listen to your body’s cues. Notice where you hold tension – I clench my jaw & make fists; you might hold your breath or your shoulders may creep up toward your ears. When you become aware of these tendencies, observe what may trigger them & note if there’s anything you can do to prevent the trigger. At a minimum, try to let go of the tension in the moment. Try a few rounds of Box Breathing- see the video below for a few minutes of guided breathwork to help de-stress and relax.
A recent article in Time, ” Why you shouldn’t exercise to lose weight” references studies showing that overweight individuals didn’t lose weight by exercising. Don’t let this title deter you from working out. We all know that the primary driver of weight loss is related to what and how much we’re eating. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
BUT… don’t forget about the myriad benefits of exercise:
“It’s been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, dementia, depression, colds, back pain, osteoporosis and premature death. It can also improve sleep, boost energy, fend off old-age feebleness and even enhance our sex lives.
What’s more, while it’s not very helpful for melting away pounds, exercise can prevent weight gain and improve your appearance by increasing muscle mass and reducing visceral fat, the type indicated by a large waist that’s linked to heart disease and diabetes.
Imagine a pill with this long list of benefits. We’d all be clamoring for it.” SOURCE
So you get up at 5am to get in a workout? Great! But then do you go to work and sit for the rest of the day, drive home & sit some more? Bad news -” too much sitting, as a distinct concept from too little exercise — is a novel determinant of cardiovascular risk”.
“Prolonged, uninterrupted sitting detrimentally affects several biological processes related to cardiovascular risk”, and “…new evidence suggests the potential for broad cardiovascular health benefits through reducing and interrupting sitting time through practical and acceptable approaches involving ‘sitting less and moving more’.” SOURCE
Sitting for more than an hour can result in a reduction of production of the fat-burning enzyme lipase by up to 90%, which in turn reduces the rate at which glucose is metabolized and lowers levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.
Excessive sitting can also lead to:
Weakened legs and glutes
Pain in the hips & low back
Stiff neck & shoulder pain
Potentially increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. SOURCE 1;SOURCE 2
Increased risk of varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis
Get up & move! Experts suggest going for a walk and staying active throughout the day. Enjoy some ‘exercise snacks‘, consider a standing or convertible desk, make a habit of taking phone calls while standing or moving about your office when feasible, take the long way to the bathroom or copier – just don’t sit in one place for too long, aiming to get a few minutes of movement for every 20-minutes of sitting.