Just because you’re on vacation 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 while traveling. But, it needn’t be. With a bit of advance planning, wellness on the road can be just as simple (mostly) as it is back home. Here are three quick and easy tips to stay healthy while traveling
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.
Know Your Workout Options
Most midrange and upscale hotels in the United States and Europe offer a predictable list of amenities that include a relatively decent fitness center. But, 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, including calling them if a proper workout space is important to you. Hotel websites aren’t always up to date. Instead of a gym, some hotels now offer workout equipment delivered to your room. Or, skip the gym entirely in favor of simple bodyweight exercises and a run on the beach.
Focus on Your Diet First
Barrel-sized margaritas, beachfront BBQ parties, and all-night bars — all the trappings of a true vacation destination. But, 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. The three simplest tips: drink lots of water, eat plenty of protein, and eat smaller, more frequent meals (pack snacks if that helps). If you just can’t resist the over-the-top food at your destination, steal a play from the Jenny Craig playbook, and give yourself a weekly “cheat day” or two.