It’s so easy to put on extra pounds when you’re away from home whether you’re on holiday, a business trip or on the road long-term. I’m having a bit of a fit kick lately which brought to mind lots of things I do to keep the pounds from piling on when I’m away from home. Here are some tips and hints to help keep you fit and healthy while travelling and why travelling is good for your health.
If I’m travelling for leisure then delicious local dishes and tempting new flavours and foods can be
difficult impossible to say no to. When I’m working on an event or conference for my job it’s even worse – friendly hotel staff ply me with coffee and pastries and lunch is often grabbed on the run from a room service menu which usually means a club sandwich with fries eaten while working through a pile of emails. So unhealthy. And you thought Event Management was glamorous huh? Here’s a few tips to help give your travels a bit of a health boost.
When I’m away on a personal trip I’ll walk miles and miles and I love it – I’ll spend a whole day walking and getting heaps of exercise so this balances out all the extra foodie indulgencies. Win win. But when I’m working, although I’m on my feet more than when I’m in the office, I don’t really get the chance or the time to exercise properly. To counter this I make sure I never take the lift and always use the stairs – unless I’m on the 33rd floor where I’ll get out a few floors below my room and walk the last few flights.
Mr Jones and I love sport so when we go away on holiday we’ll often take our tennis racquets and play a few games; and if there’s a course nearby we love a round of golf too. We like to ski and find that we can eat pretty much all the naughty mountain food we want on a ski trip and not pile on any pounds. All that lovely exercise and fresh air is the key and I always feel so much healthier at the end of a week’s skiing.
I use a yoga app on my mobile phone – there’s loads of apps from beginners to intermediate and some that you can tailor to your own needs. I like Yoga Studio from the App Store- I can choose from 15, 30 or 60 minutes with levels from beginner to advanced. You can download pre-recorded classes with wi-fi and use it later even without a wi-fi connection. The great thing about yoga is that you don’t need a heap of equipment and it’s something you can spend just a little time on in your room and feel both physical and mental benefits.
Running, or in my case jogging, is a good way to stay healthy while travelling as you don’t need any special gear except a pair of running shoes and you can run practically anywhere; the beach, the streets or a park. At home there’s only a busy road to run on so I love it when I’m away and I can get out early morning before it gets too hot and run along a beach or around a resort. It’s a good way to see a place from a different perspective. If you’re not into running a brisk walking pace can be just as beneficial and there are loads of training programmes to get you to your first 5k.
If you’re staying in a hotel use the pool or fitness suite, if you’re near the beach take a swim in the sea. Swimming is a really good way to stay fit – especially if you’re not up to jogging or strenuous walking.
Very often a hotel will have a healthy option breakfast menu – in fact breakfast is often the easiest meal to take the healthy option. Avoid the full English fry-up, carbs, croissants and choose fruit or poached/boiled eggs. Muesli is a good choice and will keep you feeling full for longer. Save the indulgent choices for dinner.
Drink water and lots of it, especially if you’re in a hot climate. Very often you can be dehydrated after a long flight or if you’ve had a heavy night on the booze the night before – drink at least three litres of water a day and you’ll feel much better for it.
The FitBit Alta is a neat little gadget that acts as my personal motivator, trainer and dietician all strapped to my wrist. It keeps track of my activity, weight, body mass and lets me log in food goals and calories burned and stops me reaching for that biscuit when work’s getting boring. Using Bluetooth it syncs with my mobile phone or my laptop to give me up to the minute stats and lets me know how I’m doing compared to the goals I’ve set myself. It also encourages me to be more active to reach my daily goals – I’ve been walking more instead of driving for short journeys. It even tracks my sleep. I’ve been using the FitBit at home but can’t wait to use it next time I’m away to track all my activity and how far I’ve walked when I’m exploring a new destination. I’m pleased to say this little gadget has given me a massive fit kick and made me much more aware of my daily activity and the bad eating habits I’ve slipped into.
So now it’s over to you – what’s your top tip? I’d love to hear how you keep fit and healthy when you’re travelling…