How to Stay Healthy when Traveling

Travel. It’s really fun, but it can also be really exhausting, especially if you aren’t feeling well. I have been on the road about 50% of the time the last 5 years, so staying healthy while traveling is really important to me.

When I started traveling for work, I didn’t really understand how to manage my life on the road. I wasn’t active, and I was eating like crap most of the time. Also, I would tend to drink way more Diet Coke and coffee when I was traveling, which would ultimately lead to me feeling more tired.

Over the last few years, I have cleaned up my bad habits and have learned some tricks along the way to stay healthy when traveling. Now, I am in no way perfect at all of this, but I have been able to stick to these principles 80% of the time. It is important to feel good when you are on a trip, so without further ado, here are some of my favorite ways to stay healthy while traveling:

  • Take an Emergen-C before your trip, when you get to your hotel and then again when you get home.
    • I am religious about this one. When I worked at Epic, I felt like I was always catching a cold from the airplane. Ever since then, I have learned that I need to give my immune system an extra boost before and after flying. This has helped tremendously. I haven’t caught a cold from travel in a long time (knock on wood).

  • Drink tons of water (more than you normally would).
    • This sounds simple and stupid, but seriously, DRINK YOUR WATER. I am always having to remind myself of this when traveling. It’s so easy to get de-hydrated when we are on the go. It doesn’t matter if I am on a business trip or a vacation, I have to ask myself every couple of hours if I am drinking enough water. It never gets any easier – I just have to constantly remind myself to do it.

  • Keep up with your exercise routine.
    • I know a lot of people who do not and will not workout when traveling. If you are that person, stop! Traveling is not an excuse to give up on your exercise routine and goals. You should 100% keep up with your exercise routine unless you are on a trip where you are walking or hiking the majority of the time. For example, I didn’t workout when we went to Disney World over Christmas because I knew we would be walking around the parks all day. And guess what? The first day we were there, I had almost 30,000 steps! So, I think there can be exceptions like that, but in general, do not skip your workouts. You will have so much more energy even if you spend just 20 minutes in the gym.

  • Eat vegetables!
    • I didn’t notice this until last year, but I started realize that I was only eating 0-1 servings of vegetables when I was traveling. Yikes! How does that happen? Well, breakfast was usually just a coffee and then lunch would be a sandwich, chips and a cookie. And then dinner would be a piece of salmon (maybe with vegetables on the side). Ever since making this observation, I have started to up my vegetable intake. Honestly, I feel so much better when I do this.
    • Again, this all seems obvious, but the next time you travel, take note of your vegetable intake – you might be surprised!

  • Don’t overdo it on the alcohol.
    • I get it. We all like our cocktails. Especially when traveling to a new place. You want to experience the new restaurants and try some of the unique menu items. I think we should all be allowed to indulge a little and try new things, but we should do it within boundaries.
    • I will be the first to admit that I have failed at this a time or two. It’s hard. If you are out with your co-workers and everyone is drinking, you are probably drinking too. Four hours later, everyone is still drinking even though you have to work the next day. Oops! It’s easy for 1 drink to turn into 4, so be careful when you are traveling. I always end up feeling like crap the next day if I have more than a couple of drinks. When I think back to my bad decisions, I am much more likely to keep the alcohol under control.

  • Try to make at least one healthy meal choice a day.
    • When you are traveling, you probably aren’t cooking any of your meals and you are most likely going to eat more calories than you would at home. It happens, and that’s okay. Travel is meant to be fun and indulgent at times.
    • Something I have been trying the last few months is to make a really healthy choice at least once a day. For me, that usually means I order a salad for lunch or dinner. Or, I might order a piece of fish with broccoli on the side. You don’t have to eat a salad for every single meal, just make sure you are choosing something healthy half the time.
      • This is what an average day looks like for me when I travel for work:
        • Breakfast – Coffee (sometimes I have an RX Bar if I am starving)
        • Lunch – Salad with Grilled Chicken + Water
        • Dinner – 2 Sushi Rolls or Sashimi and 1-2 glasses of wine

  • Get up and move!
    • I find myself sitting a lot when I travel for business. I am typically in more meetings or working directly with my customer all day. There are not many opportunities to stand up and take a break, so I always feel pretty gross from sitting so much.
    • Lately, I have tried to make it a point to get up every hour and walk to the restroom or walk outside to get a breath of fresh air. Even if it is only 2 minutes, that’s okay. Just make a point to get up and get your blood flowing. It is so bad for us to sit for 8 hours a day, so anything we can do to prevent that is good.

What do you all think of these tips? Have you used any of these tricks when traveling? What are some of your favorite ways to stay healthy on the road?

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