I recently wrote 2 posts for WebMD on traveling; 1 on preparation, and the other on what to do when you forget all of your preparation on your counter. But let’s be honest: I don’t have much non-vacation travel experience. So my cousin Nicole is a) awesome and b) on the road a lot for work. She is also a hilarious writer and full of great info, so she is guest-blogging today to fill us in on her tried and true 5 best healthy practices for road warriors! Here is Nic…
Since I am a well-seasoned road warrior, I have both horror stories and “best practices” from what I have self-titled as “Life in the TSA Lane.” Business travel is flat-out hard on the body and soul. It presents a whole new world of challenges to a person who normally lives a generally healthy life. It is rarely glamorous and you’re always one bad choice away from finding yourself inhaling a Del Taco burrito and drinking warm beer out of a plastic cup in your hotel room. It happens. A lot. Sometimes you skip the plastic cup and go straight for the bottle. I’m serious.
Here are my top 5 best healthy practices for road warriors:
1. PLAN. I try to plan my travel schedule to allow time for some exercise. I research running routes (www.mapmyrun.com) or scope out yoga/swimming/gym options (www.fitmagnet.com) if I’m traveling to a new city. If I’m going to be there over a weekend, I scope out races at The Schedule. I reach out to colleagues that are runners/yogis/swimmers/spinners and ask if they’ll take me with them to their favorite places. You would not believe the network of playmates I have around the globe and it’s so nice to get to know folks from the office in a world outside of work.
2. PACK. I pack healthy snacks (just like you suggested) in my suitcase and my purse/computer bag. Trader Joes has the best packable items around – dry nuts & fruit, Lara Bars, and dark chocolate bars to name a few. I always bring the following items: running shoes, cap/goggles, swim suit, yoga pants, one of those little Nike backpacks, and a versatile tank top. Talk to me some other time about the top 5 reasons an athlete always checks their bag.
3. MOVE. Preferably in the morning. Your co-workers can & will side-line your diet and healthy practices faster then college students on Spring Break. It is nearly impossible to predict when or how my day will end, so it’s get up and get out. Get O-U-T if possible and safe. Hotel gyms are nasty and there is no better way to experience a city then by walking/running. It also helps immensely with jet-lag.
4. DRINK. A lot of water. Business travelers are chronically dehydrated due to the fact that we live in a constant feedback loop of uppers (un-named hideous caffeinated products) and downers (un-named beverages of the alcoholic variety) crossed with the desert like environment of airplanes and poorly ventilated hotel rooms. Travel with an empty water bottle and keep at it.
5. SHOP. If you can get to a grocery store and stock-up your hotel room, it’s the best possible scenario. I love to go to local grocery stores. I always try to stop and buy fruit – for snacks and breakfast. If my hotel has a fridge, I pick-up yogurt and other perishable items. If I don’t finish it, I leave it for the housekeeping staff with a nice note.
Finally, I follow Mark Bittman’s basic rules: I avoid meat until dinner time and try to eat as raw and unprocessed as possible – which means a lot of salads, soups, and appetizers. I fall off the wagon frequently and have the extra body-puddy to prove it, but a little effort goes a long way to making a world of difference mentally and physically for me.
So how do you (or don’t you) keep it healthy when traveling for business (or for fun)? And how totally awesome is my cuz? Thanks nic! xx