Summer is finally here – time to take a break from work and routine, something that’s essential to well-being. For many of us, this means traveling, something I love to do.
One thing I try not to do when I’m traveling is take a break from my healthy habits and routines. I’ve come to recognize that I feel better, have more energy and enjoy my time away more when I do this.
I’ve learned that the key to having a great trip is taking my healthy habits with me. This doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy local dishes or have to spend the morning at the gym instead of sightseeing. I’ve learned to adapt the basics of my healthy routine to whatever is on the schedule.
For example, I try to stay at hotels that have a gym, so I can get in some cardio, or take a class. If there is no gym, a good pair of running shoes can be my best friend, and it’s a great way to see a new city. If I know I’m going to be walking everywhere, great – that’s my exercise for the day. I’ve easily gotten into 15,000 to 20,000 steps in a day walking around a city sightseeing. I find that continuing my exercise routine keeps me in good shape when I’m traveling. I’m more mindful of what I’m eating and make better choices. And, just like at home, I feel so much better when I’m active in some way. If I have an especially long flight with a layover, I’ll use the opportunity to take a brisk walk through the airport.
The other thing I do is pay attention to how I’m eating. I love trying out restaurants in a new city and make it a point to enjoy those occasions, especially if it has a great view! What I’m conscious of, though, is the choices I make. If I want to indulge in an entrée I might not normally have, I try to balance that out with a healthy salad or green vegetables. I love salads so I will often have these for lunch when I’m away, topped with some chicken or fish. I try to enjoy what’s available but in moderation – maybe that means splitting an appetizer two or three ways. I also try to be sure to include fresh foods – salads, vegetables and fruits – which almost always are available.
And don’t forget to pack some healthy snacks. I can’t count the times I have been grateful someone brought along some protein bars.
I often forget to drink enough water when I’m traveling so bringing a refillable water bottle is a good idea if you’re like me. Staying hydrated can be especially important when you’re active or in an especially hot or dry climate.
I also try to make sure I get enough sleep, especially if I’m traveling across time zones. I know how much sleep I need to feel my best and I make it a point to stay on a healthy sleep schedule as much as possible.
In short, I try to do what I do at home, with some allowances. If I over-indulge at one meal, it’s not the end of the world and I try to get back on track at the next one.