Travel Time! Staying Healthy On the Road

by Susan on September 12, 2013

Staying Healthy on the Road

One thing I hear often from those in my Challenge Groups and others I coach is that they were doing so well with their workouts and healthy lifestyle and then went on vacation or had a business trip or for some reason had to travel – and guess what?  They “fell off the wagon”, completely got derailed, and couldn’t get back on track.

Right now, I’m traveling.  I’ve been traveling for the past month and will be traveling a great deal for the next year.  For those of you new to my blog, our family is missionaries on the island of Pohnpei and right now we are in the United States traveling around to churches that support our work in the islands and updating them on our ministries there.  Yep, all 7 of us…in a mini van…for a year.  How do I do it?  Prayer, planning, and a whole lotta coffee!  Thankfully we do get breaks from the road in between conferences and meetings, but while on the road, I have to be extra vigilant about our family’s health.  So when people come to me saying they have a trip coming up so why bother to start focusing on health till later, I for one can tell you from experience that yes, it IS possible to get healthy and fit while on the road!

Got a trip in the near future?  Whether it’s for business or pleasure, there’s no need for your health to go down the drain!  Here’s some tips to help you stay healthy on the road:

  1. Plan ahead!  This is definitely the number 1 tip I can give, because if you just head out the door without a game plan, you will fail and end up eating junk, not exercising, and coming home even further from your goals than when you started.  So plan, plan, plan!
  2. Take an ice chest and pack it well!  We keep a small cooler in our van as well as plastic container full of non-perishable snacks.  Here’s a few of the things I pack:  yogurt, carrot sticks, bananas, apples, grapes, and other “travel-well” fruit, whole grain crackers, natural peanut butter, granola bars (choose carefully – some are nothing more than glorified candy bars!), dried fruit,  rice cakes.  These are just a few ideas of snacks to pack to keep healthy on the road.
  3. When stopping for meals, choose wisely.  Don’t just stop at the first fast-food place you see and grab a double cheeseburger and fries.  Not only is that bad for you anytime, while you’re traveling, you’re most likely not burning as many calories as you normally would, so it’s just going to go to fat!  When fast food is your only option, choose salads or other healthy options.  For example, if McDonald’s is the only option at the time, I get the Grilled Chicken Cesar Salad with balsamic vinaigrette, and a bottle of water.
  4. Pack your nutrition!  I don’t leave home without my Shakeology!  We have a small personal blender that we got at Walmart for $20 that goes everywhere with us.  Shakeology single serve packets are great for travel, but since there are so many of us in our family, we just pack the whole 30 day supply bag.  I throw in a container of natural peanut butter for our family’s favorite blend.  If I’m traveling by plane, I take along a shaker cup so I can mix it on the plane.  It’s also handy to have for a quick meal in the airport between flights.  I just buy some ice at an airport vendor and shake away!
  5. Plan for some exercise!  Pack your workout DVDs and a portable DVD player (or laptop) and plan for your workouts like usual.  I’ve even been known to workout in our hotel room bathroom at 6 AM so as to not wake up the kiddos!  If there’s no space to workout, grab those running shoes and head out for a quick run.  Remember, even a quick, less-intense workout is better than none at all!  If you’re traveling with kids, plan in plenty of time for movement for them as well.  We stop at rest areas along the interstates and have relay races, kick around a soccer ball, and pull out their skateboards, rip sticks, and scooters.  Give it a good 15-20 minutes before piling back in the car for the next stretch.

So don’t put off your health because of travel.  Start now!  Need help for accountability or encouragement?  I’m here so don’t hesitate to reach out!  And go ahead and plan that next trip, knowing you CAN stay healthy on the road!

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