I recently traveled to Dallas for a business conference, and I laughed out loud when I realized that while half of my suitcase consisted of clothes and toiletries, the other half was consumed by food, a water bottle, a shaker bottle and workout items.
What can I say? I know my priorities.
Traveling can be wildly disorienting when it comes to taking care of yourself; you’re away from your kitchen, your workout space and your familiar schedule. Travel demands that you become more creative and flexible to ensure you still give your body, mind and soul what they deserve…your attention. And while it isn’t always easy, with a little pre-planning, it is possible.
Below are a few strategies to make your next trip a little less stressful and help you stay-the-course with maintaining your Best Kept Self.
Be Clear on the Non-Negotiables
You very well may decide to give yourself a little breathing room with your regular routine while you are away and that can be incredibly healthy. It is important, however, to be very clear on where you will not compromise… otherwise you may end up falling down the long, slippery slope of compromise and return home feeling less than stellar.
I will take a 30-minute walk every day.
I will stay hydrated.
I will steer clear of sugar.
Travel is stressful enough without indigestion, bloat, low energy, and insomnia, all of which can be caused by the food you eat. Take little measures to be sure you have access to nutrient dense foods at all times.
- Take snacks/meals on the plane (in your carry-on AND your suitcase). A few of my traveling companions are things like protein powder, powdered greens, jerky, oatmeal, canned tuna, fruits, veggies, and almond butter.
- Make a pit stop at a grocery store once you arrive, if possible, and stock up on a few things that you would eat at home.
- Make the best choices when you eat out. Focus on veggies and where your protein is coming from. Ask for dressing/sauces on the side and request that the chef does not salt your food.
Sit Less, Move More
Avoid sitting whenever possible. Walk while you are in the airport, and take time out of your day to move. Walk, swim, go out dancing, do yoga in your hotel room, take a local class, check out a gym in the area. Movement is nutrition and your body will support you during your travels much better when it is getting it often.
Regardless if you are traveling for business or pleasure, your body will be working hard to acclimate to a new climate, time changes, and new environments. Help your body adapt more easily, so it can support you more readily by taking the time you need to decompress and recover.
Take a nap, get a massage, run a bath, meditate, journal. Do something to restore yourself for at least a few minutes every day.
Set Your Parameters
Traveling inspires us to let our hair down, be adventurous and give ourselves permission to do things that we may not ordinarily do and that is awesomely healthy. However, if you are giving yourself permission for things that may not be in the best interest of your health, set some parameters around those things to protect yourself.
How many glasses of alcohol will you permit yourself?
How many nights will you stay out late?
How much chocolate will you eat?
Permission is healthy, and so are boundaries.
Safe travels, my friend!