Whether for work or pleasure, travel often has a way of derailing our health and fitness goals. Lazy afternoons spent lying on the beach (or cooped up in a conference room) can make it a lot easier to skip daily gym sessions in favor of heading straight to the buffet. So how do you balance your wellness while still enjoying your trip? We called in celebrity trainer Valerie Waters to share her healthy travel tips and advice for people always on-the-go.
1. Before you leave, bank some fitness.
If you’re going away, it’s common to want some wiggle room in terms of diet and exercise. So a few days before you jet, get in some big workouts. Maybe that means spending an extra half-hour in the gym during every session a week prior to your vacation, Walter suggests. Also, consider tightening up your diet as well as eliminating cheat meals. “Doing this could help get you down a pound or two, which means you can then afford to splurge a little on vacation because you have some credit in the bank,” says Waters. Plus, when you’re in the habit of eating well and working out regularly, you can afford to let loose a little on vacation.
2. Do some research.
Get on the computer before your vacation and learn a little about the area you’re traveling to. “Find out things like if your hotel has a gym,” says Waters. What outdoor activities are offered? What local gyms or exercise classes are in the area? And prepare the same way in terms of nutrition. Scout out healthy eateries in the vicinity, or download a free app like Food Tripping, which helps users find healthy, local and seasonal food options around their current location. It’s another great way to avoid the drive-through.
3. Don’t leave nutrition to chance.
Instead of having to resort to fast food or something from the hotel vending machine, prepare your snack food pre-vacation. “Pack a bag of almonds, protein bars such as EAS Lean 15, super grains and some protein powder in a bag,” suggests Waters. “This way you can avoid having to eat airplane food.” You can also make your own homemade energy bars ahead of time, so you know exactly what’s going into each meal.
4. Pack your gym.
Even if your hotel has a gym, it could be crowded, closed during certain hours, and possibly not have the equipment your workout calls for. That’s why it pays to bring your own “gym” — and dedicated trainers — with you. Simply download DailyBurn for workouts you can do in your hotel room or on the road. Packing equipment like a lacrosse ball for post-workout relief, and Valslides or resistance bands can also help aid your workouts and keep you accountable for staying on track.
5. Get outside and enjoy yourself.
After all, you’re on vacation, right? “It’s always more fun to go kayaking or scuba diving or hiking when those options are available,” says Waters. “But it’s important to be physically fit so you can partake in these adventures.” Instead of just lying on the beach all day soaking up rays or heading to the bar with co-workers after a long day of projects, try to be active doing things native to your trip location. Not only will you have a blast doing something out of the ordinary, you’ll be getting in some exercise as well.
What are your stay-fit travel tips? Share them in the comments below.