The holidays are here and for many of us that means traveling to see family and friends. It also means being tempted with less-than-healthy foods, and foraging for fitness resources like a gym to train in and places that carry clean food selections. All of these challenges can make it extremely difficult to adhere to a regular training schedule and healthy eating habits.
However, with a little determination, it is definitely possible to stay focused when you’re on the road. The guidelines listed here will give you a blueprint that you can use to manage and stay on track with your fitness goals.
With a little creativity you can do your daily workouts while on the road. Here are some suggestions for making the most of what is available to you when you’re traveling.
- Search for gyms in the area before you travel. Once you know your destination, you can do an online search of the area to find gyms and fitness centers. In some cases, hotels have very nice fitness centers, which are fully equipped with free weights and exercise machines.
- Try hotel room workouts. It is always possible to create intense workouts in any location by performing body-weight exercises, exercises with resistance bandsand mat work. Resistance bands are lightweight and won’t take up much room in a suitcase.
- Train outdoors. In most cases, you should be able to find a local park or school where you can perform body-weight exercises, plyometrics, calisthenics, stairclimbing or running. You can use park benches or ledges for your workouts as well. Get creative, and keep up the intensity to get your body moving and the blood pumping!
Fit Foods On-The-Go
Whether you’re a seasoned competitor who is accustomed to following a strict meal plan, someone who wants to adopt healthier eating habits, you may find it very difficult to pass up regular restaurant meals, fast foods and holiday treats when you’re on the road. The holidays can be especially brutal, since evil culinary temptations abound and threaten to sabotage any efforts at maintaining clean eating habits.
If you aren’t on prep, you can still indulge in small amounts of rich foods as long as your other foods are healthy and clean. This means that your abs don't have to hibernate during the holidays. However, if you compete and are getting on stage soon, you can't exactly throw caution to the wind and consume whatever you want. You will need to keep a tight reign on what you consume while traveling.
Here are some tips to keep you in line with clean eating while traveling.
- Invest in a great food cooler bag. A food cooler bag will enable you to enjoy your trip without having to worry about what you will eat throughout the day.
- Prep your meals in advance. That way you’ll have total control over ingredients, cooking method and portion sizes. Once you have prepared your food, store single-serving sizes in individual containers or bags, which are easy to pack. Freeze the food you will eat during your trip, and refrigerate the food you will eat on the day you travel to your destination.
- Ask the hotel for a refrigerator in your room. In most cases, hotels can supply a refrigerator upon request.
- Consider a meal prep service. Meal prep services can be a blessing because they take the hassle of having to prep food out of the equation, and they can deliver directly to your destination.
- Pack emergency fit foods. Non-perishable foods like protein powder, protein bars and nuts can be easily packed into your luggage and will ensure that you have backup food.
- Consider staying in a room with a kitchenette. You can visit a local market, purchase fresh food, and prepare it in your hotel room.
- Consume a small amount of lean protein right before you have a carb cheat. This will slow down digestion so that the carbs aren't stored as readily.
- Drink at least eight ounces of water before you indulge in a decadent treat. This will help to fill you up so you consume less food afterward.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals. If you have a holiday feast to attend, make sure to eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours beforehand to ensure that you won't be ravenous come party time.
- Don’t cave in to peer pressure. Sometimes family and friends can sabotage clean meal plans by convincing others to eat forbidden foods. If you find yourself in such a situation, you need to ask yourself if it is worth unraveling your healthy eating habits in order to appease a relative or buddy.
Written by Stacey Naito for Oxygen Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.