Imagine lying on the beach, sipping on piña coladas and enjoying the sun. Later, you go to a local bar to grab some snacks and drinks. Perhaps you take a short walk – just to buy delicious street foods. Sounds familiar? If this is somewhat your dream vacation looks like, be prepared to face the consequences.
Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, staying fit on the go isn’t easy. In fact, the average British adult holidaying in the USA gains a whopping eight pounds while abroad.
Italy, France, Greece, and other popular destinations are a flat-belly nightmare too. After all, who can resist the temptation to drink the world’s finest wines and indulge in the local cuisine?
Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to keep fit while traveling. All it takes is some discipline and willpower. Sure, you’re there to relax, but this isn’t an excuse to eat everything in sight. Try to see it as an opportunity to walk more, try new healthy dishes, and improve your eating habits.
Eager to find out more? Here are some ways to stay in shape while on the go:
Start the Day with a Healthy Breakfast
There’s a reason why health experts recommend eating breakfast. This meal fuels your energy for the day ahead and suppresses hunger. If you eat first thing in the morning, you’ll stay full longer and have better appetite control.
Even though breakfast doesn’t increase your metabolism as it was once thought, it still helps curb hunger. Plus, it keeps your blood sugar stable and provides steady energy.
Nowadays, most hotels and B&Bs include breakfast, so you have no excuse to skip this meal. Ideally, opt for simple, healthy foods like cheese, oatmeal, or fresh fruit. If you’re too busy to have breakfast or you simply wake up too late, bring some protein powder. Mix it with water and drink it before leaving the hotel.
Our exercise routine gets completely messed up when we’re traveling. Even if you’re staying at a hotel with gym facilities, you might not feel like working out. However, this doesn’t mean you should skip exercise altogether.
Start the day with a quick run or plan a hiking trip in the early afternoon. Depending on your location, you can bike, hike, swim, walk long distances, and so on.
These fun yet challenging activities will keep your metabolism up and burn those extra calories. On top of that, you’ll feel refreshed and energized. A good night sleep is guaranteed!
Work Out on the Go
Perhaps you’re not the active type or don’t have time to enjoy the outdoors. Let’s say you’re traveling for business and your schedule isn’t too flexible. In this case, turn your hotel room into a mini gym.
From triceps dips and push-ups to bodyweight squats, there are hundreds of exercises that require no equipment. For instance, you can try:
- Standard push-ups, diamond push-ups, or plyo push-ups
- Handstand push-ups
- Reverse crunches
- Squat variations
- Stationary lunges and side lunges
- Mountain climbers
- Calf raises
- Russian twists
- Jumping jacks
Better yet, bring a resistance band with you. This will allow you to squeeze more exercises into your routine and make your workouts more challenging.
Hyper-Focus on Protein
The good thing about traveling from a health perspective is that you get protein easily. Most restaurants and pubs serve steak, grilled chicken, eggs, and other high-protein foods. Plus, you can always pack some protein bars and powder to have at hand while on the go.
Protein will keep you full for hours and rev up your metabolism. Additionally, you’ll find it easier to maintain lean mass despite the lack of exercise.
This nutrient can also serve as a source of fuel when carbs and fats are not readily available. If you’re planning a long trip in the mountains, eat a big breakfast before leaving the hotel. Snack on protein bars later in the day. It’s that simple!
When you’re traveling, it’s easy to forget about drinking water. And no, alcohol and coffee don’t count toward your daily fluid intake. These beverages actually have diuretic properties, so they may lead to dehydration.
Another problem is that most people intentionally drink less water before a flight so they don’t have to take repeated bathroom stops. This can result in tiredness, fatigue, dizziness, and low energy. Dehydration also messes up your electrolyte balance, which in turn, affects cardiovascular health.
Staying hydrated is the most important thing you must do while on the go. Keep a water bottle at hand all the time. Buy one whenever you find a store. Electrolyte drinks can help too as they’re rich in potassium, sodium, and vitamins.
When you’re in bars or restaurants, drink one glass of water for every glass of alcohol to prevent dehydration. Ideally, choose wine over beer and liquors.
Bring Your Own Snacks
Depending on your destination, healthy food may not be readily available. Plus, it can be quite expensive. Would you rather spend $50 on steak and salad or snack on high-protein foods like beef jerky, which cost just a few bucks?
Whether you’re traveling for a day or a week, pack some snacks in your luggage. Protein bars, trail mixes, almonds, walnuts, peanut butter, whole wheat rice cakes, nut bars, hummus, and roasted chickpeas are all a great choice.
You can even pack a can of tuna, sardines, or shellfish. These foods can last for weeks or even months, and take up little space.
As you see, staying fit on the go isn’t that difficult. All you need to do is to plan things ahead. Find opportunities to work out whenever possible, walk instead of driving, and watch what you eat.
It takes just one week of bad eating and sitting to ruin months of hard work. No one expects you to stick to your exercise and meal plan 24/7. However, a little planning can go a long way toward leanness. Take a hike, plan an active weekend, book a walking tour, or do whatever it takes to stay active. You’ll thank yourself later when you get home.