I am traveling a fair amount this spring and did in the fall as well. It is always a challenge to keep up my training and healthy eating routines when I am on the road. I do the best I can but I thought I would list a few tips that have helped me.
- Research. I’m a librarian by training so this is no surprise. I do my research before I travel. It does not always work out the way I think it will, but I can’t use the excuse that I did not know. What do I research? Access to pools, gyms, trails and other exercise options. I have had success in finding local Y’s and city parks & rec centers that offer guest admission for a pretty low cost. I have also had the opportunity to swim in a few great college pools. Pools are the most difficult thing for me to locate but it is possible. I take my yoga mat, and a few other pieces of exercise equipment that can go in my luggage. There is almost always some kinds of exercise room at a hotel.
- I also research restaurants where I know I will be eating. Menus are online for most places these days. Many even have items marked with nutritional information or as low fat, gluten free, vegetarian/vegan. That makes it easier to plan eating.
- Be prepared. I take snacks with me. On this trip I have a bag of almonds, some oatmeal, boxes of raisins and a couple of energy bars. I also packed food for the plane this morning. I have only started doing that recently but it has been a great bonus because I don’t have to eat what ever is available on the longer flights.
- Speak up! If I have a particular need or a question, I ask. This can be about exercise options or ingredients in dishes.
- Choosing where I stay. I like Hilton Garden Inn the best but when they are not available, I look for the amenities a hotel offers. Microwave and refrigerator are at the top of my list for a room – along with free WiFi. Having at least a refrigerator makes it much easier to have some water, snacks or other good food available to put in my bag or eat in my room.
- Scope out the neighborhood. I have been pleasantly surprised at how close grocery stores are to hotels or at least a larger drug store with a decent food section. It is not difficult to find healthy food options in larger cities. This comes in handy when I just want to have breakfast in the room and there might not be a breakfast offered in the hotel. I have also purchased food for other meals if I didn’t want to bother finding a restaurant or had a tight schedule.
- Give yourself a break. If I am not perfect when I travel, I try not to beat myself up over it. It isn’t easy, no matter how hard I plan. I know that I will only be away a few days most times, however, and can quickly get back to my routine once I am home.
It all boils down to making good choices, no matter where I am. I have established new habits for healthier living over the past few years and those do not end just because I am not at home. Like I said, I am not perfect but I think I do much better than I once did and I still enjoy my trips.