I have to say, I don’t travel alot. But, when I do, I make my health a priority. Yes, I still eat all the local fare, order in room service, rarely cook for myself, but I have found a way to do all this and not feel like I’ve completely fallen off the deep end when my trip is over.
So many of us feel the need to go “on a diet” or “get back on track” after a holiday. Why is that? I believe the ingredients are of a different quality and source than what we are used to. I know some who have to stay away from gluten in North America, but can travel to Paris and eat all the croissants with no aftermath at all. Same goes for eating pasta and cheese in Italy…why are those foods staples in many countries yet they are not suffering from an obesity crisis?
Bottom line is, our bodies are accustomed to eating our own local fare. So, when we travel, it’s important to taste and live like the locals, but find a fine balance. Set yourself up for healthy travel by preparing ahead of time, just as you map out your hotels, transportation and shopping trips. What, where and how you eat, exercise, drink and sleep all make for a holistic holiday. Add these tips to your next travel itinerary:
Map out the local health food stores. Even if your hotel room doesn’t have a kitchen, you can still stock up on some dry goods like healthy crackers, trail mix, power balls and pressed juices to have on hand when you need them.
Map out the local smoothie, soup and salad bars. Between all the dinners out and breakfasts in bed, knowing that you can still get in your greens and healthy snacks will make you feel so much better.
Drop-in to a yoga, spin or fitness class. Some hotels even provide fitness gear and shoes for rent, so you might not even have to pack them along. Some cycle studios insist you wear clip-in spin shoes, and they usually provide those, as well, with your bike rental.
Pack a resistance band. I’m not one to hit the hotel gym, so I get it. I do, however, pack a resistance band that I use in my hotel room. Exercises like bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, squats, arm rows and lunges, can all be done with a band. You can fasten it around the legs of the bed or a chair, around a pillar, desk, or even a tree if you feel like taking it outside. It’s light, it gives you flexibility with your workouts while you’re travelling, and it makes for a great partner workout, as well.
Find the farmer’s market. If you travel in the warmer months, most cities have farmer’s markets in the local square, offering all the baked goods, natural skin care, hand crafted wares and snacks that you never want to miss. Not only are you supporting the locals in the amazing town you are visiting, but you also get a good feel for what the town is really about. Most markets have their own website or link, often listed on the city’s page.
Pack your supplements. When I’m travelling to destinations that have water advisories, are in remote places, or that I have never been to before, I start taking probiotics a good 2 weeks prior to travelling. Find a brand that does not have to be refrigerated, contains multiple strains of bacteria, and millions or billions of CFU’s. I also take along Milk Thistle for liver support to help my body deal with free radicals and other toxins that I might need to clear, Magnesium to help me sleep, stay regular, and relax my muscles from all the walking around that I usually do, and Vitamin C to keep my immune system up. Airplanes, pollution in foreign air, contaminated food or water, and not having access to hand washing stations at any given time, can all compromise your immune system. You don’t want to get sick while on vacation, so keep yourself well rested and ready to fight off anything that comes your way.
So, go explore, get lost, and stay hydrated.