Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, it’s no reason to put your health on the back burner — although that’s often what happens. In this blog, we’ll dive into how to stay healthy while traveling.
It’s important to keep up with your workout and nutrition routines even when you’re away from home. For most people, however, traveling means an over-indulgence of food, skipping workouts, increasing their alcohol intake, and getting inadequate sleep.
This can result in some serious damage to the body. For instance, research shows that frequent travelers have higher blood pressure, higher body mass index, and are generally in worse shape.
The good news is that no matter where you are in your journey, you can learn how to stay healthy while traveling. And it doesn’t have to be complicated, either. You just have to think outside the box a little.
The trick to staying fit is to remember your intentions and go back to the basics: Move more and fuel yourself with nutritious, wholesome foods.
Below are some simple, actionable tips for keeping fit no matter where your adventures take you.
How to Stay Healthy While Traveling: 5 Tips
1. Incorporate No-Equipment, Bodyweight Workouts in Your Hotel Room
Not all travelers will have access to a gym at their hotel or other accommodations. And even if they do, there’s no guarantee they’ll visit it. According to a 2017 study from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, 46% of hotel guests report that they intend to use a fitness center during their stay, but only 22% actually follow through with it.
So, instead of hitting the hotel gym, you can get your sweat on in your own room. And best of all, you don’t need to bring any equipment, lug along your yoga mat, or stuff a pull-up bar in your carry-on bag in order to get a sweat sesh in while traveling.
You can get a full-body workout using your own weight in 20 minutes or less.
Think of movements that challenge your (1) strength, (2) conditioning, and (3) explosiveness. Here’s one example of a workout you can do anywhere, no equipment needed.
- Jumping jacks x 25 reps
- Air squats x 15 reps
- Push-ups x 10 reps
- Lunges x 10 reps each leg
- Hip raises x 10 reps
Repeat this for three to five rounds.
2. Bring the Right Gear With You
Want to know how to stay healthy while traveling? Pack wisely.
Long-distance flights can take a toll on your body. Factors such as cramping, dehydration, prolonged periods of sitting down, and fatigue due to time zone changes can leave you feeling less than your best. When you’re sitting upright without any movement over a long period of time, fluid may collect around your feet causing swelling, blood circulation may decrease, and muscles can become tense and stiff.
Statistics from the National Blood Clot Alliance show that an average of 274 people die from blood clots every day, and 600,000 non-fatal blood clots occur every year.
Air travel increases the risk when you sit for a long period of time with little space to move your legs. This can cause a particular type of blood clot called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a condition where a blood clot develops in a deep vein, usually located in the thigh or calf. Pain, tenderness, and swelling are usually associated symptoms, although most people don’t realize they have a clot.
Long-distance travel can increase the risk of DVT, and a study from the World Health Organization confirmed that the risk is higher than normal for travelers who remain seated and immobile on journeys of more than four hours. The study also recognizes that stimulating the calf muscles and ankles can sustain the blood flow in the calf muscle veins and may help to reduce blood stagnation.
It’s obvious that maintaining blood flow is crucial, and a device like PowerDot can make this so much easier.
PowerDot is the perfect companion to bring with you when you’re traveling. It’s compact and TSA-friendly, making it easy to pack and practical to use even mid-flight.
Plus, by using the Long Haul Flight Program, you can get a personalized electric muscle stimulation program that will keep you tissues healthy and active.
3. Get Enough Sleep — Seriously
It might seem contradictory, but rest plays a vital role in your traveling itinerary. Even if you’re sure that you don’t have enough time to sleep, make time for it.
Sleep is when your battery recharges and your body heals. It’s also that vital time when your muscles rebuild and grow stronger. Without enough quality sleep, you cannot maintain your health and fitness.
In fact, some research says that even if you’re otherwise a healthy person, a lack of sleep can sabotage your efforts to stay strong and lean.
Catching some shut-eye is a must.
It might feel tricky, especially if you’re in a different time zone and jetlag rears its ugly head. Even if it means sneaking in additional naps, make it a priority to catch some Zzzs.
4. Prioritize Protein
When your nutrition takes a hit, what’s typically the first macro to go?
It makes sense. Carbs are easier to consume, and many of the most delicious foods probably have fat in them. Protein, on the other hand, is harder to binge on.
That’s why you should aim to get at least a little bit of protein in every single time you eat — whether it’s a small snack or a full meal.
Instead of snacking on chips or trail mix, munch on some sliced deli meat or grilled chicken first. Instead of ordering that spaghetti dinner, opt for white fish with a small side of pasta. You could always bring your favorite protein powder with you, too, or pick some up at your destination.
Note: We’re not telling you not to eat fat and carbs entirely. All three macronutrients are vital to be fit and healthy. Just be sure you get your protein in.
5. Stay Limber, Stay Mobile
Particularly if you’re traveling for business, you might find yourself sitting a lot.
Likewise, you could easily find yourself on your feet for longer periods of time.
Either way, maintaining any position for too long (as we’ve discussed) isn’t good for your tissues. In addition to using your PowerDot electric muscle stimulation device, making time for mobility each day will work wonders.
In particular, pay attention to your hips, shoulders, and pecs, and these are where many problems start. For instance, back pain can actually start in your hips.
While staying healthy while traveling might seem like an added chore, your body will thank you for it. Take these steps to stay fit on the go.
Learn more about PowerDot’s travelers’ program.