How to Stay Healthy When You Travel
You put in the miles, got in your cross training and you’re heading off on a big trip - now all you have to do is stay healthy and enjoy! But travel can wear down the body, and things like processed snacks, sleep deprivation and skipped workouts can add up. But there are some simple steps you can take to stay on track with your workouts and healthy eating. Whether you’re traveling to run a marathon or to be in your sister’s wedding, these travel tips for runners will help you stay healthy and make the most of your adventure:
Hydrate. Flying is extremely dehydrating, and even driving or taking a train can cause dehydration, as our routines are interrupted and we are tempted by salty snacks and may not have access to water. Plan ahead and drink extra water before you leave home. Also, bring your favorite water bottle and fill it up after you go through airport security if you are flying. For road and train trips, bring your full water bottles.
Eat fresh. Processed snack foods - airplane cookies, convenience store snacks and the like - are so accessible while traveling but are full of unnecessary additives and lacking in nutrients. Plan ahead and pack some fresh fruit and snacks for munchies on the go.
Stock up on healthy snacks. Excellent snacks to pack are unsalted nuts, apples, bananas and other fruit, veggies such as baby carrots and cucumbers, and some protein such as almond butter packets, hard boiled eggs and protein drinks (I love Orgain organic vegan protein powder mixed with oat milk). Have your snacks stocked and you won’t be tempted to grab those bland processed snacks and terrible airport food.
Get in your workouts early. Statistically, you’re more likely to get in your run or workout when you do it in the morning, and this is especially true for traveling. After a long day of sightseeing or visiting family and friends, you’ll be more likely to plop down to a big meal than workout. Strike a balance by getting in your run in the early morning or hitting the weights at your hotel fitness center, and by evening, you can enjoy the local food and company.
Eat fresh and savor local flavors. Just because you’re living healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy local cuisine. In fact, you’ll be doing much better eating fresh local fare instead of going for junk food and huge, processed portions at big chain restaurants. Try local specialty restaurants and hit up the local farmer’s market for healthy eats to fill in between dining out meals.
Relax! Don’t overbook yourself. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of traveling and to plan too much, but allow yourself at least a day for relaxing and catching up on sleep. Traveling can be exhausting - with plane travel, new foods, a change in routine, different time zones, and different people and places. So make sure you fit some R&R time into your trip to unwind.
What keeps you healthy while traveling? Share your tips below.
Marnie Kunz is the creator of Runstreet Art Runs, which bring together communities through running and street art. She is a Brooklyn resident, running coach and writer. She enjoys traveling, art, and eating messily.