By Tina Haupert
This month, I’ve spent more time traveling than at home. August started off with a weeklong trip to New York City, followed by a long weekend in Chicago and another five days in Orlando. Not surprisingly, all of this nonstop travel has included some not-so-nice companions: fatigue, stress, and weight gain.
Basically, when I feel stressed, I make poor choices with regard to my weight-loss goals. For instance, I’ll choose a slice of pizza over a salad at the airport, happy hour over a run through a new city, and working late over hitting the hay for a good night’s rest.
Slacking off on my healthy habits ultimately zaps my energy. Being constantly on the go means a shake-up of my normal eating and exercise routines, and less time to devote to taking care of myself, which makes maintaining my Feel Great Weight more difficult.
Through my travels, I've learned some important lessons about keeping my sanity and my waistline in check. Here are four:
Get some shut-eye
First and foremost, I get a good night's rest before going on a long trip. If I'm sleep-deprived, I get cranky, easily frustrated, and my cravings are tough to control. When I don’t feel like a zombie, making healthy choices is a lot easier, so I feel good about myself.
Continue choosing healthy options
Eating well while traveling can be a real challenge, especially on long flights or train rides. Many airports provide travelers with some healthy eating options, so it's usually easy to purchase a meal and bring it with me on the airplane. If I don't board my flight armed with nutritious eats, I typically end up eating poorly because of the limited food options on the plane.
My favorite go-to mini meal is Starbuck’s Perfect Oatmeal. It’s satisfying and delicious, and has only 390 calories with all of the mix-ins. I also make sure to pack nutritious snacks, like Larabars, homemade trail mix, or whole fruit, in case of hunger "emergencies."
Figure out when and how you can move more
Traveling doesn’t mean taking a vacation from my workouts. While sitting at the airport or on a bus, train, or plane, I take the time to look ahead in my travel plans to see where I can fit in exercise. For instance, a quick three-mile run before a full day sets a healthy tone for the rest of the day and prevents me from skipping my workout when my friends end up at happy hour.
Reduce stress with yoga
Constant travel is stressful on the mind, body, and soul, so I do slow-flow yoga in my hotel room before bed. I like to listen to YogaDownload’s free 20-minute sessions on my iPod. Usually, 20 minutes is all I need to unwind from the day’s travel adventures.