So, I’m pretty excited to be doing a segment this weekend about staying fit while traveling! This is something that really never seemed super important to me or even pertinent to my life but recently has become more of a stumbling block! This year our family has unexpectedly traveled more than ever before and I started to find I had to start over every time we got back from our trip. Sometimes I even felt more behind in my fitness goals than before we left! That’s never a great feeling so I began being more conscious about my action plan to stay on track when away from home. Some of my biggest struggles while away from home are eating healthy (especially if you’re depending on restaurants as your main meal source), staying fit, and booze! Here are some of the things I do to solve these issues and stick to my goals.
Eating healthy while traveling can be so difficult sometimes because we don’t often plan ahead so we depend on other people to make our food. There are 4 problems with eating most of our meals out at restaurants 1. They drench almost everything in oil, butter, salt, or fat because let’s be honest it just tastes better! 2. Food quality is not always the best, I can personally count on one hand in almost every city I have visited the number of restaurants that use organic ingredients. So our food ends up not only being drenched in fat but chemicals! 3. Portions are completely out of control and we usually eat more than we would normally because what the hell were on vacation! 4. Lastly if we eat out for most of our meals we often end up choosing much richer and heavier options than were used to having for meals like pancakes for breakfast followed by a burger and fries for lunch and an equally heavy dinner. I won’t start on the difficulty of eating out vegan.
The best way to avoid all of these issues is to PLAN AHEAD. Choose an affordable hotel or rental that has a refrigerator and some way of making hot water, at least, and at most an entire kitchen in which you can prep foods. Many affordable hotels will have a small refrigerator and coffee pot for heating water, this will allow you to keep foods such as yogurt, non-dairy milk, sandwich ingredients, etc. and the hot water will allow you to make healthy breakfasts such as oatmeal and organic coffee! If you are able to find a place with a full kitchen such as a home rental or room rental in a home where the kitchen is accessible then you’re set! I’m not saying every meal has to be prepped in a hotel or home but you can ensure you start your day right with a healthy breakfast and maybe pack lunch so you don’t have to stop when you’re busy sightseeing.
Exercise! Now this may be the LAST thing you think about when traveling and that’s OK! If your intention for staying active during your trip is walking while checking out the downtown area, that’s great! Just have the intention to move, walking is the BEST way to see a new place, hiking even better. But, if you are really set on a fitness goal of maybe leaning out, gaining muscle, or training for a race you want to do a little more than just walk while you’re away from home. So, if you have ever intended to hit the hotel gym while staying away from home you can relate with the disappointment that comes when you wake early, throw up your hair, and strap on your tennies to find a hotel gym that is well, lame. There are very few times that I have gone into a hotel gym and been overjoyed with the variety of equipment at my disposal. So what do you do in these situations?
Your first option is to get outside, maybe take a long run, do an outdoor HIIT workout, or take a hike. If your focus is strength building you just might need to search around for a gym. The great thing about finding a gym is that most gyms have free introductory time periods where you can try their gym for free for a couple of days up to a week! Take advantage of these! The other great thing about a gym is that most gyms also have childcare so if you have kids they can have play time while you get your workout in. I love checking out new gyms too there just something about going to a new place and seeing all the equipment, classes, and amenities that’s so exciting! Maybe that’s just me but I’m like a kid in a candy store when someone offers a gym tour!
And finally we come to one of my last struggles while traveling, alcohol! So, you may not know this about me yet but will quickly learn with time but I am a micro-brew addict! I love locally brewed beer, I just love beer but specifically local brews. When given the opportunity to try a new brewery I go nuts! Have you seen the lists of beers they present you with?! As you can imagine it’s pretty easy to get out of hand while traveling to a new place. Now I know I’m not the only one who has a drink or two while on vacation or away from home especially if the place you went to get burgers has a bar so maybe some of you can relate. You have a drink, then maybe another drink then an hour or so later you’re ready for post drinking snacks! Veggies and fruit are not going to cut it either we want salty and sweet and greasy…. Oh my! Then before you know it you have way overshot your healthy eating goals for the day, and God forbid you have a hangover the next day and want greasy hash browns or a loaded breakfast burrito.
To claim I have this part of the struggle down to a science would be a lie. This IS my weakness, but I’m getting better. So the goal now is to shoot for maybe one night to check out a brewery and keep my splurge to one drink. I have found personally that once I have two drinks I begin to have those junk cravings; this may be different for everyone. However, one drink is not necessarily going to way overshoot your goals for the day and won’t lead to junk binging either. Now I refer to this drink being a beer but of course this can go for whatever your drink of choice is. Yeah, I know we’ve all taken note of drinks that are less caloric than others such as vodka soda or the dreaded diet coke containing drink (just DON’T do it!) but these all still have the potential of the tipsy junk binge later.
Alright, there are my struggles and this coming week I will share just how I actively solve this and stay fit through traveling so I don’t have to start over when I get home. Meanwhile, I would love to hear about your own struggles while away, can you relate? Or do you have other struggles that you want to share? Please comment! I’d love to hear them!
Have a wonderful week! And don’t forget to love yourself and your body!
P.S. I will be sharing this journey through Instagram and Facebook so if you want to follow the journey please check in there.