Whether you're a road warrior or an occasional business traveler, chances are you've experienced it all–flight delays, traffic jams and more. But you don't have to cancel eating well and exercise during hectic times on the road. Try these tips for healthy travels.
Pack smart snacks. Pack a few go-to snacks, so you can grab a nutritious option whether you're traveling by plane, train or automobile. Below are some easy-to-tote items to toss in your briefcase or carry on. Pack a few so you can assemble them into a makeshift meal in case you're stuck with a long travel delay:
Dried fruit or sturdy fresh fruits such as apples or oranges
Bottled water (of course, if flying, purchase after you clear security, or bring an empty sports bottle to fill at the water fountain before boarding)
If you need a meal at the airport, look for options such as broth-based vegetable soups, salads, vegetarian burritos, turkey or grilled chicken sandwiches, vegetable pizza, yogurt, and fruit.
Eat out strategically. It's easy to pack on the pounds when you eat out day after day. Fortunately, many restaurants now offer smaller portions or calorie-controlled "lighter" options. If you're a frequent traveler, remember that eating out is part of your normal routine, not a special treat that always includes large portions and rich desserts. So, order accordingly with ideas like these:
Trade off. If you eat a big lunch, eat less at dinner.
Look for lighter items. Scan the menu for options prepared with these methods: steamed, baked, broiled, grilled, roasted, stir-fried and braised.
Make special requests. Ask for sauces and salad dressings on the side, vegetables without butter, and fruit for dessert. Most restaurants gladly grant special requests.
Practice portion control. A serving of cooked meat is the size of a deck of cards. But some steaks, for example, are three or four times that amount. Opt for the smallest size or split with a travel companion.
Eat in when you're out of town. Visit a local supermarket to stock your room with breakfast items such as fruit and instant oatmeal packs (make with the hot water from your in-room coffee maker). If your room has a fridge, pick up low-fat yogurt, cheese sticks, hummus, and cut-up veggies. Check out the prepared food section for lighter dinner options such as sushi, salads and lean sandwiches.
Keep moving on the road. Although zooming through different time zones and meeting schedules may hamper your regular fitness routine, you can stay fit on the road:
Pack a rubber stretch band to do resistance exercises.
Walk around the airport terminal while waiting to board your flight.
Do jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups and lunges in your room.
Strike some yoga poses or do some stretches.
Use the hotel fitness center or guest passes to a local gym. You might find a pool, track, weights—or even luck into an aerobics or spinning class.
Pack comfortable shoes or sneakers and ask for a walking or running route map at your hotel. Or, explore the city sights on foot. Check with hotel staff to make sure your route or destination is safe, especially if you're going it alone.