What can I eat when I’m on the go?How can I choose healthy meals when eating out and in a foreign environment?What happens to my body when I’m sitting in planes and cars for long periods of time?How can I exercise when I can’t go to the gym or workout to my favorite videos?Read on to find out how to take care of yourself on the road or in the air.
1. Nutrition – There is no reason to leave your healthy diet at home when traveling. If you are traveling by car then bring a cooler along with your favorite snacks and quick meals. You can keep raw vegetables, fruits, string cheeses, yogurt, juices, and water, along with bread and peanut butter for a quick sandwich on the road.
While traveling by air help your body to adjust to destination time by drinking plenty of water (dehydration disrupts circadian rhythm) and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages since they can cause dehydration. No matter how bad you want that soda or Cup of Joe to stay awake try to avoid them. The low humidity in an airline cabin can contribute further to your dehydration.
When eating out or ordering ask for dressings on the side and most restaurants now have a heart healthy menu. Just look for the little heart next to the healthier selections. Try to avoid heavy, fatty foods (which can interfere with sleep, even under the best circumstances).
2. Prolonged Immobilization – Long hours traveling by car or in a plane can cause potential problems. When sitting for long hours in a car or plane you can develop blood clots in your legs. If the blood clot becomes free it can drift toward a lung and become fatal. Prevention is simple. Make sure to get up and walk down the airplane aisle every 45 minutes to an hour. If you are driving, take frequent breaks. It’s recommended to get out and stretch your legs and walk every hour.
3. Exercise – There are many convenient and great ways to exercise when you are on the road, in the air, or just out of your element.
Probably one of the best ways to stay healthy and explore your new environment is by walking or jogging. All you need is a good pair of shoes and an appetite for the open sidewalk or road and just exploring your new surroundings.
Stretch bands are a lightweight and convenient way to exercise when traveling. They don’t take up any packable space and weigh less than one of your socks and are very versatile for exercising. The bands are color coded for your strength and can be found in your local gym or online. One of my favorite sites for exercise bands is at www.fitbuy.com .
Pilates mat exercises are another great way to exercise on a hotel room floor or on your mother-in-law’s floor. These exercises not only stretch and tone your muscles, but also energize you by improving blood flow and breathing. That’s something we can all benefit from when we are experiencing jet lag.
Traditional exercises such as the push up and squat work the whole upper and lower body respectively and once again can be done just about anywhere, even on the beach! Doing two or three sets of each to muscle fatigue will keep your body strong and conditioned for the time you are away from the gym.