Just because you’re on vacation (or traveling for work) doesn’t mean your fitness regimen should slide completely off the rails.
It’s mentally and physically challenging to maintain your workout and nutrition schedule, but with a bit of advance planning, wellness on the road can be (almost) as simple as it is back home. Here are three easy tips on how stay healthy while traveling, whether for work or for pleasure.
Have a Big-Picture Plan
The key to keeping well on the road is exactly the same as at home: have an overall plan. Know your goals and what options (including food, drink, and fitness) will be at your disposal while traveling to help you achieve them. Depending on your destination, you may not need to alter your daily schedule all that much.
If you’re looking for a practical plan for travelers, we like Linden Schaffer’s Living Well on the Road. It’s a purpose-built playbook backed by science for maintaining a lifestyle of health and wellness, even while traveling.
Focus on Your Diet First
Barrel-sized margaritas, beachfront barbecue parties, and late-night bars — all the trappings of a true vacation destination. However, your body doesn’t know or care that you’re on vacation. Again, the rules of wellness at home are just as applicable on the road. Nutritionists and every athlete worth their salt agree that what you put in your body is the single most important factor in maintaining your overall health. If you just can’t resist the over-the-top food at your destination, steal a play from the fad diet playbook and give yourself a weekly “cheat day” or two.
The three more important things to remember are to:
- Drink lots of water.
- Eat plenty of protein.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals. (Want to pack snacks but not sure what to bring? Start with these tips.)
Know Your Workout Options
Most mid-range and upscale hotels in the United States and Europe offer a predictable list of amenities that include a relatively decent fitness center. However, those in Asia, Latin America, and the developing world (where “five-star” is a fluid term) can vary widely. While we’ve come to expect pools and modern gyms in most hotels stateside, they may be lacking or non-existent outside the country. Check with the hotel in advance to confirm your options, especially if a proper workout space is important to you. Don’t be afraid to call — hotel websites aren’t always up to date.
Or, you can skip the gym entirely in favor of simple bodyweight exercises and a run on the beach. We’ve got you covered with a complete rundown of the best exercises for travelers — no weights required. You can also get a little help from an exercise app.
Article originally published April 12, 2017. Last updated June 5, 2018.
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