Travel these days can be hectic and stressful and often Baby Boomer and other travelers plan for everything except their own health and wellbeing while on the road. Whether the trip is for business, pleasure or both, take time to plan for a healthy travel experience. Here are ten tips from Jody Sullivan, head of fitness for the Hilton Hotel chain, about how to stay healthy on the road.
10 tips for staying healthy while traveling
Plan workouts. Just as travelers plan for business meetings and sightseeing, they should also plan for workouts and down time. Traveling is hectic and it is easy to forgoe one’s regular schedule for rest and rejuvenation while on the road. Instead, schedule those workouts. Figure out the day and time you plan to visit the gym and log it into your itinerary. Keep in mind the majority of our fitness centers offer 24-hour access.
Get up and stretch on flights. Travelers should take an a few minutes every hour or so to stretch and improve circulation to fight fatigue. Even for travelers sandwiched in the dreaded middle row on a plane should politely excuse themselves for a walk or stretch in the aisle.
Try new activities. Exercise as much as possible but vary the routine. The same old workout can become dull and boring. If you have access to a fitness center on the road, try out new machines and workouts. Even for those staying at budget accommodations with no fitness facilities, a brisk walk in a safe area can bed do wonders.
Watch those calories. The pleasures of eating and drinking on the road are legendary. Many travelers throw caution to the winds and eat more when traveling, returning home with a few extra pounds. Although most travelers won’t lose weight while on the road, they should at least try to avoid gaining weight. Keep an eye out for high calories, high fat food and desserts. Sample but don’t over indulge
Pack those sneakers. The best shoes to wear on a trip are the most comfortable shoes. Traveling is not the time to break in a new pair of high heels or strappy sandals. Stash some lightweight workout gear into your luggage, too.
Walk during breaks. Business travelers should make good use of the time in between meetings by walking while returning phone messages. For vacationers, sneak in a walk between sightseeing tours and dinner or better yet, take walking tours versus bus tours
Stay hydrated. Traveling can dehydrate the body. Travelers should drink six to eight glasses of water a day to flush toxinsfrom the body and remain alert. However, for those traveling to areas with questionable water supplies, drink only bottled water that has an unbroken cap. Brush your teeth with bottled water and do not open your mouth and ingest water while in the shower.
Get a good night’s sleep. Try to stick to your regular waking and sleeping hours as much as possible. Sleep is as important as exercise and eating healthy. Make sure to get at least six to eight hours of sleep every night. If a red eye flight is in your future, find the most comfortable travel pillow possible and pair it with some easrplugs to get the best rest possible.
Breathe. Travel is stressful and during stressful situations, proper breathing is important. By practicing proper breathing, overall mental and physical health may be improved.
Get a massage. For those travelers with a little extra money, book a massage or spa treatment either before or during your trip. This may help alleviate stress and rid the body of toxins. Better yet, take a spa vacation. However, be sure that your doctor gives medical approval first since massage is contraindicated in some health cinditions.
“Every little bit counts, so if you only have 20 minutes in between meetings, use that time wisely and get a quick workout in if you can,” said Sullivan, in a press release. Also, it’s important to set realistic goals and remember to be patient and consistent with your routine. By incorporating a few of these tips, you will be steps closer to achieving your fitness resolutions.”
Bonus traveler tips from the Baby Boomer Travel Examiner:
- Do not over pack. Try “pre-packing” and then discard half of what you planned to bring. Nothing can give a traveler a sore back like carrying around a heavy suitcase or bag.
- Consut a Travelers’ Health Clinic or your own personal physician about medications and vaccinations for travel in specific areas. Be prepared and have contact information for medications and doctors
- Buy Travelers Health Insurance