This week I was traveling for business (for my client, National Peanut Board) and I was reminded of how challenging it can be to stay healthy when I’m on the road. I used to travel about 40%, but now I don’t travel often. I was a little out of practice! Still, I was able to keep on track and here are my top four tips for how to:
1. Move. Meetings and conferences can be such sedentary events! If you wear a fitness tracker, like Fitbit, it’s easy to see how big of a hit your activity level can take when you spend most of the day in a room with no windows, taking notes, or standing at a booth in an expo. Take advantage of breaks to walk the stairs, walk around the building (especially outside), or schedule a workout before or after the work is done. You can see in my screen-grabs the comparison of a sedentary day, a day with a PM workout to get to my 10k step goal and a day with tons of walking (and that I have 1.5 lbs to go to meet my pre-pregnancy weight goal, which is actually a total mind-trick to keep me from overeating, since I really don’t care if I ever lose that 1.5 lbs – ha!).
2. Drink water. It’s easy to rely on coffee or other caffeinated beverages to rev you up, but water is what you really need. Flying and spending all of your time in climate controlled rooms can lead to a bit of dehydration that may lead to fatigue, dry skin and eyes, and even headaches. Instead, carry a water bottle that you refill regularly or purchase a couple of big bottles to drink throughout the day. Staying hydrated will make a huge different in helping you look and feel better during travel.
3. Eat really well. Travel, accompanying events like receptions and business dinners often opens the door to lots of high fat, salt, and sugary meals, stimulants (caffeine) and alcohol. It doesn’t take long for these foods and beverages to take a toll. Focus on fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins to give you energy and support your immune system during the stress of travel. Keep healthy snacks with you and avoid the candy or less healthy options frequently offered on the tables and during breaks.
4. Sleep. Be sure to get quality and quantity sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene and don’t forget your eye mask, noise machine (or app), and go to bed early enough to get the hours you need. Adjust to the time zone you are in quickly by getting up and going to bed according to your location and not your home time.
These are my four favorite travel healthy tips. What are yours?