Between spending time in close quarters with fellow passengers and the dreaded jet lag, travel can take its toll on the immune system. Add in early mornings, late nights, airport meals, hours of meetings, and plain old stress, and it can be easy to fall off the fitness or healthy eating routine that was working so well back home. The best approach to not backslide into a fast food drive-thru or the hotel room’s couch is to plan ahead and keep it simple.
HOTEL ROOM REPS
Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” So be sure to save room in the suitcase for gym shoes and workout clothing. If there is extra space, exercise equipment such as TRX Suspension Trainers or resistance bands travel well. Both offer a wide range of exercise and stretch options for people of all ages that can be done in the privacy of a hotel room. Whether rows or push-ups, curls or core exercises, all can be done or enhanced with a TRX or resistance band.
GET IN THE (HOTEL) GYM
One positive to traveling is that the gym is just an elevator ride (or a few flights of stairs) away. Even the most basic hotels typically offer a treadmill or a stationary bike. At the very least, after a day of sitting on planes or in meetings, head down just to go for a walk. If you can, increase your heart rate with intervals: sprint for 30 seconds, walk for 45 seconds, repeat. Lengthen or shorten the interval ratio to increase or decrease workout difficulty respectively.
NUTRITION ON THE GO
Good nutrition starts on the plane. It is best to bring food from home or a local grocery store, but if you didn’t, at least avoid the saltiest of the onboard food options. Instead, choose high-protein nutrient-dense foods, which maximize the number of nutrients (e.g., lean protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, vitamins) compared to the number of calories. And always drink plenty of water.
NUTRITION IN THE HOTEL
Breakfast is a good time to set up a successful day and steer away from a mid-morning sugar crash. Save money and avoid desserts disguised as breakfast by skipping the hotel buffet. Instead, order an omelet with vegetables and a protein. If you’re on the go, plain yogurt and plain granola with fruit is a good option. High protein and high fiber bars will also work in a pinch. Coffee is good, too, but chase it down with water and take a bottle of water to go. Pro-tip: Reusable water bottles can usually be filled up in the hotel gym (and they’re great for the planet! Win-win).