Healthy hacks for staying in shape while traveling

Healthy hacks for staying in shape while traveling

Don't let the size of your gut define you. Learn and implement these simple tricks next time you are on the road.

food aggravation

The path of the road warrior is beset on all sides with dangers: flight delays, spotty Web connectivity, unhealthy food, inconsistent meal times, and grogginess caused by jet lag.Nowadays traveling involves a lot of waiting which usually means eating. And when you are tired and angry and sleep deprived you can often find yourself searching for sugary, high-calory comfort foods. Dreary  airline meals, overpriced "feel-good" minibars, buffet-style business lunches, and the airport Cinnabon became a familiar sight to many frequent travelers.

Here is what you can do to stay active and healthy on the road:

  • Pack healthy snacks instead of relying on chocolate bars and donuts to keep you through the day

Healthy snacking will not only curb hunger, it will help you avoid making poor nutrition choices.Before leaving your home, stock up on travel- friendly foods like canned tuna, beef jerky, and low-calorie protein bars. Among other nutrients, those foods are rich on Vitamin B6, which plays an important role in converting food into energy and helping the body metabolize fats and proteins. Additionally it boosts production of melatonin, a hormone that controls your natural sleep cycle and reduces jet leg by helping you fall asleep faster.
Loading up on healthy complex carbs, found in whole grain granola, bananas or legumes, will stimulate the release of serotonin, a chemical that is responsible for maintaining a mood balance. 

  • Track your calories

Calorie log

Keeping a food diary can help you stay aware of your calory intake and improve your eating behaviors. You don't even need a pen and paper for that - your smartphone or tablet can do the work for you. MyFitnessPal (Android iOS ) will let you log your meals and count your daily calory intake. It is equipped with a barcode scanner for easy logging of packaged foods. With Fooducate (Android iOS ) you will be able to quickly pull up nutritional information about food products from barcodes and make sense of nutritional labels.

  • Chose your restaurants wisely

Do some research before booking a restaurant for your next meal. There is a myriad of apps, such as Urbanspoon (Android iOS ), which will allow you to compare local restaurants by ratings, proximity, cuisine types, and popularity. Take the time to scrutinize your restaurant menu. Avoid fried foods and ask for dressings or sauces to be put on the side. Don't be afraid to check your hotel restaurant. Many hotels offer a range of healthy eating options which feature healthy salads, lean meats and various Vegan and Gluten free meals. Remember, when it comes to eating out, the golden rule is to keep your choices as healthy as possible.

  • Find time and place to work out

Many business travelers say that it is highly improbable to find a hotel with a fully equipped gym. A "state-of-the-art fitness facility" that you see on a hotel website can turn out to be a dingy supply closet with a broken treadmill and two dumbells. And inconsistent work hours only make things worse.

Find a gym nearby. Try using Gym Finder (iOS) in order to locate gyms, fitness clubs, or health centers wherever you are traveling.

Another way to squeeze in a quick workout before a meeting is to pick up a set of TRX bands. It is lightweight, yet incredibly strong and it can be attached to almost anything - to a bar, a tree, even your hotel room door. Suspension training has become a very popular way of exercising in the recent years. Many hotels partner with local studios to offer free access to TRX classes for their guests. You can also download the TRX exercise app (Android iOS ) to train on your own.

If you are really into hardcore fitness, try Beach Body On Demand, which provides unlimited access to various Beach Body fitness programs, such as P90X and Insanity. You can train indoors or outdoors, all you need is an internet connection abroad,  and some motivation. 

A woman trying to exercise
  • Tame the iron pony

If everything else fails, go for a bike ride. Many hotels offer free bike rentals so you can always cease the opportunity to pedal your heart out, burn a few calories, and explore the local scenery. If you don't want to get lost on the way (some of us are directionally challenged) opt for a good navigation app, like Map my ride  (Android iOS ). It will help you find your way around and track your weight and nutrition. Before you depart on your bike journey, make sure that your phone battery is full and that you have a reliable international mobile data roaming provider to make sure that you are staying connected to the web at all times. You can always contact Keepgo to help you with all your questions regarding reliable mobile internet service abroad.  

A woman riding her bike into sunset
  • Get your sleep on

A good night's sleep is also an important key to staying fit, energetic and healthy on the road. Unfortunately, when you are traveling to a different time zone, your biological clock gets temporarily thrown off by rapid changes in light or temperature, which causes the feeling of lethargy and fatigue. 

Make sure to change your watch before getting on the plane, it will help you get into the mindset of what you'll be doing in the place you are traveling to.

Limit your post-flight naps to two hours (if you land during the day ) and try to stay alert till nighttime. 

A nice  bath before bedtime  is a great cure for sore muscles. It will help you relax, wind down, and fall asleep faster.

Although it is highly advisable to banish technology from your bedroom, there is a couple of tricks you can do with your mobile phone to catch a few more zzzzzs after a hard day:

Sleep Cycle is a great app that tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up during light sleep which will make waking up more "pleasurable"