It’s great to visit family, loved ones, old friends. But it can be stressful when it interferes with a routine you’ve really grown into. Hours in a plane, different time zones, tons of food you have no clue the content of, and too many people to see and not enough time.
How do you maintain your regimen, sleeping patterns, and bulletproof diet plan?
The truth is, it may not be possible to preserve the healthy aspects of home life 100%. But that doesn’t mean you should just throw it all to the wind! Check out these 13 tips on how to enjoy this holiday season, and feel good doing it.
- Fight jetlag – Jetlag can lead to a weakened immune system and even reduced psychomotor coordination during a workout. How to fight it? Hydrate constantly and take melatonin (your body’s sleep hormone) a few days prior to take-off.
- Scope out gyms beforehand – With services like Yelp and Google Maps, there’s really no reason not to know where the nearest gym will be. Call up a few and see what their policies are for drop-ins. You might just find some free trials.
- Plan for a back-up workout plan – Something might come up; squeezing the gym in between family breakfast and family brunch might not be possible. Check out our post on working out when time isn’t on your side for some suggestions on where to start.
- If you’re driving, bring your own weights – If there’s room in the trunk, why not? That way, if your current regimen includes resistance training and you can’t find a suitable gym, then simply bring the gym with you.
- If you’re not driving, bring your own weights – Those who travel a lot by plane, train, or bus might find it worth considering the following investment: Water-Filled Traveling Dumbbells.
- Listen to WellnessFX – We recently asked our extensive network of physicians, dietitians, and personal trainers to provide their personal tips for staying healthy while traveling. Check out the post – there are some techniques you might have never thought of!
- Bring your own (essential) foods – Certain foods have gotten a bad rap over the years, such as butter and coffee. It seems, however, the right types of these foods (like grass-fed and organic) are actually healthy for you. By bringing along your own stash you can reap the benefits of superfoods and avoid having to use less healthy alternatives.
- Pack a little sunshine – We’re talking Vitamin D. It’s been shown time and time again to be an effective immune system regulator.
- Wash your hands! – Coming into contact with so many people, whether it’s at the airport, bus station, or at a family gathering (just because they’re your blood doesn’t mean they can’t get you sick!), is a surefire way to catch the flu . . . if you’re not prepared. Wash your hands regularly and make sure to pack the proper vitamins (see #6 and #8).
- Pack snacks – Let’s face it: you’re inevitably going to get hungry during that 3-hour lay-over between two 4-hour flights. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) they don’t hand out free snacks at the terminals. If you don’t want to end up hurting your wallet and your biomarkers at the newstand, bring your own snacks. A three-pound bag of mixed nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate pieces is delicious, fits easily in your carry-on, and will last you a week. Before leaving on your trip, grab a handful and weigh it on a scale. Now you’ll always have a rough idea how much you’re snacking on!
- Check for bed bugs at hotels – It’s a scary thing to think about, but following the simple suggestions in USA Today’s article could save your holiday season.
- Offer to do the grocery shopping – You know your family isn’t that health conscious. So, get there early enough to do a grocery run. You can make sure dinner will be that much healthier with fresh, organic, natural ingredients.
- Only one day – Even with all your discipline, your training, and your results over the last few months, you know once the flood gates open at that special dinner, they’ll be open. If you don’t think you’ll be able to help yourself from trying out a plate (or two) of all the desserts at Christmas dinner, then make a promise to yourself: only one day. Work hard to make sure you have what’s needed to eat healthy the rest of the days of your trip (see 6, 7, and 10). Even if you wake up the next morning feeling guilty, at least you know it’s right back to the trusted routine.
You’re heard our tips, now let’s hear yours!