It’s that time again. We’re stepping into fall which will become winter (sooner than most of us are ready for) and with this comes another stress inducing season: the holidays.
The holidays can be great – you get to see family, eat comfort food, celebrate – however, you also have to see family, will probably overeat more times than you should, and will probably be under the stress of all the holidays have to offer, plus traveling. But that’s the thing, it’s actually really hard to keep yourself on track with health and fitness goals when you are traveling unless you go in with a plan – so just like all the other planning: do your research!
1. Figure out facility access
Check out the terrain and weather if you are a outdoor runner. Check out local parks if you like that kind of outdoor facility. If you are a gym person with a membership, check if there is a location near where you are staying that you are covered for or that has an affordable day rate. If in a hotel, review their options including costs, times, and available equipment. If you know what you will have access to and a concrete idea of what you can do when you get there, you will be much more likely to take the initiative and keep up your routine.
2. Have a concrete plan and schedule around it.
If you schedule an hour or two where you are dedicated to your workouts, again, you will be much more likely to do it. Your best bet is probably going to be scheduling your time in the morning because the rest of your days are probably going to fill up with all the other things you are actually traveling for – or for holidays, you will probably be full of heavy food that will not be conducive to any kind training!
3. Think about adapting your workouts for travel.
I’m in the middle of a runner training program which means that a week from Saturday while camping, I am going to have to run 8 miles around the SCA camp ground – unfortunately, not something I can rearrange. However, I’ve been loving the FitStar Fitbit apps which have short, easy workouts which use a quick fitness test to customize workouts for your needs and ability. The app is free, many of the workout plans are free, and many are designed specifically for travel! I’ve used the regular FitStar as well as FitStar Yoga and have enjoyed both. These are designed to be no excuse workouts so while traveling and trying to stay on top of your goals, these lend much needed assistance.
4. Enjoy yourself but be conscious about how much you are putting in.
As we have definitely mentioned, traveling especially in the holidays is probably going to change the way you eat. You’ll have higher sodium, heavier meals, and bigger proportions so continuing to watch your portions is a good idea. I’m not saying don’t indulge yourself – I know I’ll be having my mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pie whenever offered, but maybe think twice before grabbing that second plate! (If you feel like you are missing out – at least with family! – you can always ask if you can take home a dish of leftovers (flatter the cooks and you’ll be able to make that lovely holiday last much longer!). And don’t forget to get in your healthy veg in alongside all the heavy hitters.
5. Don’t forget, taking it easy once in a while can be good for you (in moderation!)
If you can’t work in as much time working out as you want to when traveling, no matter the kind of traveling you do, remember not to stress the small stuff. Your muscles need rest and sometimes taking a week off and resetting your body can actually help keep you going – the important thing is to pick it back up after and not let travel-lag get in your way. If getting in your workouts is giving you more stress than it is relieving with all those extra endorphins, it is okay to skip it (or change it for a quick yoga Youtube video).
I know, I know, this week was a bit of a mix of travel and lifestyle but the two are never mutually exclusive. If you don’t take care of yourself when traveling and when you’re not, you won’t be able to do all the super cool things you want to do when you are traveling.
So stay active, travel well, and always be prepared.
This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.