It is hard enough to stay fit and make time for your health during the course of a busy week at home. Exercise, planning healthy meals and getting adequate rest are always a challenge. But, throw travel plans into the mix and you can forget it. There’s just too much going on while you’re away. Right?!
Wrong. That attitude will shorten your lifespan, deplete your energy and leave you feeling less confident. Maximize your trip, and maximize your life. You won’t need to devote hours or miss out on why you’re traveling. Just these 5 simple steps can do a lot when you’re a long way from home.
1. Minimize Consecutive Sitting. It’s not that sitting is such a bad thing by nature, but rather it is the amount of time that we sit which causes problems. On a plane or train for hours at a time? Set your alarm to remind yourself to get moving every hour. Head to the bathroom, stretch a little, and just take a moment to stand up before you sit back down. Muscles and joints get “stuck” when they hold a seated position for more than 20 minutes. So loosen them back up and get your blood flowing again.
2. Hydrate! One of the easiest things to do is to drink a glass of water. Then again, it is also one of the easiest things to forget. Bring water with you on all your travels. Without it, you’ll feel hungrier, moodier and less energetic. Those are the last things you want to feel you’re on a journey, so drink up!
3. Keep Nutrition A Goal. Even with our best intentions, no one eats as well as they'd like to when traveling. This is exactly why we can’t throw in the figurative towel and invoke the “That’s Ok, I’m Traveling” attitude. Nutrition isn’t a black-or-white, pass-or-fail grade. It’s not about whether, “Yes, I ate well” or, “No, I ate junk." Rather, it’s all the shades of grey between that will affect your health, weight, and wellness. Be proud when you make a nutritious meal happen, but don’t stop trying when you aren’t as successful. Balance that with enjoying yourself while on vacation.
4. Promote Recovery. Helping your body to recover is too important to ignore, especially when putting it through the physiological stressors that travel brings. While the risk of developing blood clots on a flight is pretty low for most of us, that risk does increase with prolonged travel time. This is why PRO Compression socks are a no-brainer for long plane, car or train rides. Increasing circulation is always a good thing, but it's especially important when you travel and are exercising less. Plus, you’ll reduce the risk of swelling or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) if you have to sit or stand for long periods.
5. Get Some Shut-Eye. Speaking of recovery, there is no greater form of recovery than sleep. Deep REM sleep, especially, is your friend. When you’re traveling, changing time zones and exposed to different elements, you may need more sleep (and deeper sleep) than you normally get. Besides, if your travels are work-related, you’ll perform better at your meetings. If your travels are for pleasure then added rest will help you to enjoy yourself more without fighting off a sense of depletion. Take the steps to make your slumber more effective: Block out any outside light, wear a sleep mask, get the temperature in your hotel room as comfortable as possible, and supplement with melatonin before bedtime if you’re more than three time zones from home. Together, these will add up to better, deeper sleep so that you stay healthy and energized while you’re out of town.