By: Steven Thrash
It’s hard enough to stick to a physical fitness regimen and diet when you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but then throw in the pitfalls associated with traveling that complicate your best laid plans. Whether you are taking a business trip or a well-deserved vacation, you must carefully manage the following areas in order to maintain your fitness and dietary goals.
FAST/EASY FOODS: Whether by train, plane or automobile, the actual trip to your destination can adversely affect your hard work when it comes to your fitness and health goals. However, this is one of the easiest obstacles to avoid when you plan ahead. If you’re in a car, bring your own healthy snacks (fruit, granola, yogurt) instead of grabbing unhealthy meals (burgers, french fries, pizza) and snacks (chips, candy bars and ice cream) at gas stations and restaurants. If you’re flying or train bound, partake in healthy meals or just the healthier portions on your tray, which means eat your fruits and veggies. Boredom can escalate bad choices, but don’t let it AND your thirst beat you. Instead of sugary soft drinks, have a diet cola or just water. Substitute hand-held snacks like chips, crackers and candy bars with apples, bananas or grapes.
HOTEL/FITNESS AMENITIES: It’s so easy to keep up a healthy fitness routine thanks to the fabulous amenities most mid and upper tier hotels offer. When planning your trip, check ahead of time to see if your hotel offers a gym and swimming pool. Most hospitality facilities offer either an indoor or outdoor pool, while the majority of hotel gymnasiums offer both weight machines and cardio equipment.
THE CONTINENTAL/CONVENIENT BREAKFAST: Almost every hotel offers some variation on the continental breakfast bar, but be smart when partaking in the free food offered by your hotel. The most dangerous thing you can do is grab a couple of sweet pastries, a bagel or donut on your way out the door. They are loaded with calories and very little nutritional value. Instead, take advantage of the free fruit and yogurt. If you’re lucky enough to be staying in a facility offering a hot breakfast, grab a hard-boiled egg or bowl of oatmeal. Free food is great, but don’t let it be a detriment to your fitness goals.
GOING OUT/GOING BERSERK: Be careful when visiting restaurants and pubs on your trip, because it is easy to quickly indulge in unhealthy choices that can shatter your healthy lifestyle. Obviously, most fine dining establishments offer appealing plates that make you want to pig out, but remember they are loaded with calories. Drinking can be just as dangerous a proposition. You may want to celebrate and toast a week off from work or a successful business deal, but remember that most alcoholic beverages contain lots of empty calories. Moderation is the key to going out. Enjoy yourself, but don’t overdo it.
Vacations, business trips and other jaunts can be a lot of fun, but remember don’t disregard your fitness goals. Take your routine on the road with you. It takes a lot of work and commitment to be faithful to a healthy lifestyle, so don’t let a little thing like traveling tear down all your hard work.