Suitcase in hand, you walk out your front door; as you lock the door behind you there is a tiny part of your brain that starts doing a tap-dance and yelling “Woohoo!! Vacation! Party time!” But then the sensible part kicks in to lecture: “Actually no, this is a work trip, and you really need to be good. Resist the donuts, say no to the catered lunches, and take it easy on the happy hour appetizers…”
Sound familiar? Especially for those of us who travel frequently for work, it can be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle while away from home. We’ve compiled some tips to try as you keep making good food and fitness decisions while traveling.
-Take your own food and drink
Airport regulations being what they are, it isn’t always possible to travel with your own snacks, drinks, and lunches. But remember that you don’t necessarily have to take your food from home, just take the empty containers: lunch containers, water bottles, etc. Chances are very good that there will be a grocery store wherever you are going. When you reach your destination, make your first stop a store where you can stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks options, and packable lunch items. Go back to your hotel room and meal prep a few lunch options- maybe prepack salads for the days you’ll be there- just like at home, if the meal is already ready to go, you’ll be much more likely to pack a lunch. A few minutes of prep time can save you from scrambling later, and having to eat from a carb-loaded lunch buffet.
-Eat like you would at home
We get it, this is not easy to do. But try to eat meals how and when you normally would at home. If you normally eat breakfast, say a yogurt and granola bar, but don’t eat breakfast on a work trip- come 10 a.m. that tray of donuts on the conference table is going to feel pretty irresistible. Do you normally make a protein shake mid afternoon? Do it while traveling too! You’ll be signaling to your body that nothing has changed AND ward off the 3p.m. slump as well!
Not all hotels have adequate fitness centers, but that doesn’t have to keep you from working out while on the road. Especially if just for a couple of days, you can keep your body moving with minimal equipment and simple body weight exercises. For example: Morgan Fewel’s (CBRC Fitness Director)Sick Sixty routine is a simple routine that could easily be done in your hotel room. Another idea is the name game workout: spell out your name on the chart and do those exercises. Again, no special equipment required, but your body is still moving and working!
-Keep your water glass filled
Just like at home, taking a water bottle/glass EVERYWHERE is a really good idea. Having water accessible means you are more likely to drink enough water. Drinking enough water keeps you from boredom eating, overeating, digging into the candy bowl, and, of course, dehydration.
You might get a funny look when you pull out a lunchbox at a conference, or when you haul groceries up to your hotel room. But guess what? Behind the glances, you can bet they are wishing they had thought of it too. You don’t need other people’s approval- you’re doing this for you, to keep YOU healthy. Feel empowered knowing that you are sticking to your goals. No “Vacation Hangover” here, you’re going to arrive and leave feeling great!
Have a good trip!
We wish you good heath,
~Columbia Basin Racquet Club