I know many people who travel for a living. I traveled for 10 years weekly and am now back on the road about 5 times a quarter.
When I traveled every week several years back I had to check myself to not go off the deep end and become unhealthy, ironically enough while working for a nutrition company. It’s very easy to completely lose your health and fitness if you are a road warrior.
I think there are 3 keys to staying healthy on the road:
- Plan your food
- Make sure you work out or at least move
- Get good sleep
These may seem elementary but when you do it all the time it’s not trust me. By the way I am writing this while I am on an airplane.
Food without a doubt is the biggest challenge because you are at the will of airport food or if driving what is available at various exits, etc.
Here are my go to while on the road. While I am not a fan of packaged food in general, when traveling sometimes it has to happen so try and make the best choice. For me may go to are:
- Beef Jerky
- Water- tons
- Low carb bars
Having these available can keep you from getting too hungry and making a bad food choice or hold you until you can get to a good store or restaurant you can eat healthy at.
If I am near a healthy food store such as Whole foods or something similar I will buy food when I get there and have it on hand.
My go to restaurants are Chipotle, Panera and Starbucks. I know Starbucks seems terrible considering all the crap they sell but you can make a good choice here.
For example they sell bars that are decent. Get a tall Latte and a bar and you have 300 calorie breakfast or lunch that is not horrible. Could it be better? Sure, but sometimes you need to make the better bad food choice. With Chipotle and Panera I know that the meat is at least hormone free and decent. Again, not great but it’s a hell of a lot better than going to olive garden and destroying a bowl of breadsticks.
With food you have to be diligent in your choices. This will make or break you.
Next up is working out. Think about this for a second. You travel 30-60 minutes to the airport to get there 2 hours before your flight, sitting. Then you sit in the airport waiting for your flight. Then you sit for 2-3 hours on a plane depending on your destination and layovers, etc. Next you drive to your hotel or destination.
If you do not at least go to the hotel gym and walk for 20 minutes or got to a gym and workout you are a jackass plain and simple. Too harsh? Maybe, but 70% of the population is overweight maybe more people should be? Maybe not. You have to move. And when I say 20 minutes on a treadmill that is the LEAST you should do. I would prefer some type of metabolic conditioning that you can get done in 20 minutes but DO something. Just about all hotels have gyms these days so no excuse not to.
Last is sleep. This one is underrated. Unfortunately, studies show that we do not sleep well in hotels because our brain doesn’t shut off like it does in our own home or environment. This is WAY more technical but trust me on this one and look it up if you don’t believe me.
There is a lot to this but I will give you a couple key things to work on. The first thing you want to do is shut off all extra lighting. This means cover up the clocks, shutoff nightlights, and make sure you draw the blocking shades. This seems trivial but it is not. A real simple fix for this is bring an eye mask and wear it at night.
Next make sure you shut off the TV and hour before you go to sleep. If you are really into it bring ear plugs to block out the external noises that we all hear in hotels.
There is more you do to hack your sleep but these two will make a big difference.
Traveling can be a challenge to stay healthy but not if you are intentional in your approach. If it’s important to you it will happen.