I travel fairly often for work and pleasure, and usually the trips are a mixture of both. Last night, I led the #hlsummit Twitter chat and we talked about healthy travel. It was a great conversation so I thought I would share some of the key points in the form of a blog post.
- Thinking about healthy choices ahead of time is key for a healthy trip. Packing snacks and workout clothes is an easy way to think healthy before the stress of travel begins. Packing snacks is pretty easy when you are driving, but can also be done when you are flying you just have to be a little bit more particular of what you bring and how much space it will take up. Same goes for workout gear. Thinking ahead also means thinking about what delays and travel mishaps might happen and being prepared for them.
- Even when you are stuck in an airport for hours because of delays or a layover, you can still make healthy choices. Walking around and exploring the airport is a popular way to get some movement in. (Most airports have at least some space to walk around and explore, but one of my favorites is Minneapolis/St Paul. So many different food and shopping options.) Another way to stay healthy while stuck in an airport is to do some yoga or stretching while you wait. And don’t forget about your mental health! Reading a magazine, taking a nap, or heading to the airport bar for an adult beverage might be just what the doctor ordered to keep your sanity.
- In these days of travel it is almost inevitable that your trip will be delayed at some point. It is important to take these possibilities into account before you leave for your trip to minimize stress. Make sure things aren’t scheduled too close together so you have time to get to your next flight or hotel without having to run across the airport and be stressed out. Check out airport maps ahead of time to see if you are likely to have to run across three different terminals to your connection, or if you’ll have to be in a certain location to get to taxis or rental cars. (I also like to check airport maps for food options just to see what my options are. Also, if you are checking a bag make sure you have essentials with you in your carryon – chargers, contact solution, snacks, etc.
- For some people keeping up with workout regimens keeps the normal routine while on vacation (and exploring a new city while running is always fun!) but for others it isn’t the focus. Some people prefer to take a relaxed attitude with their workout regimen since they are likely getting lots of steps just by exploring and being on vacation. I know I always walk a ton more on vacation than I do normally so I usually don’t stress about getting an actual workout in other than stretching my legs that are likely sore from walking all over. Don’t forget about eating healthy. Indulgence is often one of the privileges of a vacation, but moderation is key, too.
- Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up about it. Vacations will end and things will eventually get back into a regular routine. If you didn’t get all three runs in that you wanted to, or you had frozen yogurt every single day, when you get back home things will likely fall back into a routine. Vacations are meant to be a break from reality, don’t let it get you down and enjoy your time away while you are there!
To check out the whole conversation, head over to Twitter and look the #hlsummit hashtag!