Travel Tips Tuesday: Staying Fit on the Go
Like most people, once I hit a certain age, maintaining a fit weight became a challenge for me. Being active all of my childhood, then as well through college, I was involved in many things from sports teams, to dance teams and everything in between, including the marching band. My body was something pretty magical, both inside and out because being active was an integral part of my routine. Then, adulting happened. My crazy-active life turned into sitting at a desk for 8 – 10 hours a day, multiple client dinners, and wine – lots of wine. So eventually, after many frustrated days unable to fit the things in my closet, I realized that in order for me to maintain a healthy weight, most importantly it was about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I had to again make certain positive habits fit into a daily part of my routine, regardless of where I am in the world. In my quest for knowledge, there are a few things that seem to remain key amongst all sources, and quite frankly, these five tips have been the easiest for me to follow. Through these, I have been able to maintain a healthy state of mind and a fit body, and it all began with having a plan!
Okay look, I am a travel agent and an event planner, so to say the least, obsessive compulsive disorder tendencies are kind-of my thing. I live and die by a calendar, appointments, and reminders so it should be no surprise that I wholeheartedly believe that any successful endeavor starts with a plan. Yes, even being healthy on the go. It does not have to be a complicated plan either, just something as simple as understanding what the next few days look like and adding in your fitness needs accordingly. For instance, if you know you’ll have a break of a couple hours with no meetings or calls, plan to take a walk around the block for some quick cardio. No seriously, make it an appointment in your calendar so you don’t forget, and you can lessen the chances of something else filling that time block. Or if you know you’re going to be sitting in an airport for most of the day, plan to check all your bags (or most of them) and instead of sitting and waiting for your next flight, take a few laps around the gate area and window shop. Your mind will be distracted by potential buys, but your body will be active. We’ll talk more on creative exercises later though.
Tip two is technically rolled into tip one, because being fit is more about what you put into your body than how you modify it from the outside. So, any good, health-conscious plan must include as much “clean eating” as possible. Eating on vacation is one of the best experiences you can have, exploring cuisine from all over the world, tantalizing your tastebuds in new, profound ways. All-inclusive meal plans give you direct access to any and everything your belly grumbles for, but it doesn’t mean you have to eat like it is your last meal the entire trip either. In addition to trying your best to stick to your normal eating routine in terms of what time and how much you typically consume throughout the day, and don’t be afraid to pack your favorite healthy snacks. Having your go-to snack source will lessen your chances of ordering room service at midnight.
Onto tip three and honestly, one of my favorites because thinking outside of the gym is a total game changer. The COVID pandemic taught me a lot of things, and in terms of a healthy routine, one of those lessons learned is that you don’t need a treadmill or tons of equipment to get your heartrate up. Take the steps instead of the elevator or walk the few blocks to the restaurant instead of ordering a rideshare service. When I am in Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport (ATL), I prefer to walk between gates instead of taking the train because they have taken the time to make the stroll interesting. Instead of drab, beige hallways, ATL has art exhibitions and historic “trails” established so you can learn interesting facts and see creative things as you head to your next flight. No need for the spiderman cage at the gym to stretch your legs and back. There are yoga poses you can do in your hotel room that not only help with stretching and strength building, but specifically help eliminate bloat. Healthline is one of my favorite fitness sources and they have put together a great, quick list of how to ditch the bloat with simple cardio and yoga. Check out the article here, which also includes videos to ensure you are doing the poses correctly.
Tip number four: resistance bands are an easy, lightweight workout option for travel enthusiasts that also don’t require a gym. You can add them to your high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine to take your hotel room workout to the next level. I am personally new to the resistance band training, but I do know that training with elastic bands provides similar and sometimes even better muscle activity as weight training. Unlike dumbbells or barbells, using resistance bands allows you to perform exercises even in the smallest of spaces. You can easily google “benefits of resistance bands” to open your world up to a whole new possibility of being fit on the go. You won’t have to break the bank to purchase a good set with varying degrees of resistance either.
Last but certainly not least, the MVP of staying fit