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How to Eat Healthy and Exercise While Traveling

Dec 20, 2023

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How to Eat Healthy and Exercise While Traveling

Published by Claudia Giunta.

Eating healthy and staying physically active is hard enough when you’re home and can control what you eat and how you exercise. Eating right and exercising is even more challenging when traveling and unable to stick to your normal routine. Hours in the airport may leave you hungry with limited healthy food options, a road trip may mean fast food and long hours of sitting, and a destination trip may mean lots of indulgent food your body isn’t used to eating. 

Managing your diet and activity level is a personal choice, and there’s no single definition of “being healthy.” Eating healthy means choosing foods that meet your specific nutritional needs based on your health history, physiology, and goals. Similarly, your exercise routine will depend on these factors and the type of exercise you enjoy. Remember, what works for someone else may not work for you. The best diet and exercise routine is something you can adhere to long-term and while traveling. 

Nova Vita Solutions

Nova Vita Wellness Centers are here to help improve your energy and how you feel from the inside out. We’ll set you up for balanced health before and after traveling and improve your longevity and quality of life. If your traveling has led to dehydration symptoms, our Hydrate Infusion will help replenish any losses. Our Cleanse Infusion will help remove toxins and support a healthy digestive system after lots of indulgent meals. Nova Vita regularly hosts Hydration Happy Hour with discounted infusions and boosters tailored to improving your nutrient levels. Additionally, our medical weight loss program is tailored to each individual and can help lower your risk of obesity and diabetes. Book an appointment online today and explore how Nova Vita can help improve your health and wellness journey.

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Whether you’re going on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, are going back to your hometown, or are attending a family reunion, you might, understandably, be more relaxed with your nutrition and exercise routine. And that’s okay! We’re here to provide you with simple strategies to balance your nutrition and exercise while still treating yourself on vacation. 

Plan Ahead for Healthy Eating

Snack Smart

One of the biggest challenges while traveling can be having little control over what you eat. Hunger between meals can lead to poor eating habits, including overeating, quickly eating processed foods, and not getting enough nutrients. To prevent these habits, pack healthy snacks on the go to keep temptations at bay. Try snacks with high protein such as cheese, unsalted nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, whole grain crackers, or granola bars. Look for snacks high in protein, fiber, and mono and polyunsaturated fats, instead of processed or high-sugar foods. Keep plenty of snacks on hand to avoid a trip to the vending machine. 

Choose Healthier Alternatives 

When traveling, you will likely eat out, whether it’s due to a lack of kitchen space, you’re socializing, or are looking to experience new ethnic cuisines. When you eat out, you’re likely to consume more calories because the portion sizes will typically be bigger than a home-cooked meal. 

No matter where you dine, consider swapping out some of your sides for a healthier alternative. Try to prioritize protein and achieve a colorful plate with at least half of it being full of vegetables. Some other healthy dining-out tips you can follow are listed below:

  • Pass on the processed rolls and non-butter spreads.
  • Start with a side salad or broth-based soup instead of a fried appetizer.
  • Ask for grilled items instead of fried ones.
  • Request your sauce or dressing to be on the side.
  • Ask for substitutions: steamed vegetables instead of french fries, etc. 
  • Box up part of your meal and save it for later to prevent overeating.
  • Drink lemon water or unsweetened iced tea instead of soda or alcohol. 

Stay Hydrated

Whether you’re sightseeing and walking a lot or are catching up with old friends in a local bar, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day. If you are dehydrated, your symptoms may be confused with hunger, which can lead to overeating. Staying hydrated will help prevent unhealthy snacking, energy loss, and headaches, and overall keeps you feeling your best. Carry a reusable water bottle and drink water as much as you can, especially during busy travel days filled with dehydrating flights. 

Eat Mindfully

Don’t Skip Breakfast

While traveling can be hectic, it’s important to start the day with a healthy breakfast. Eating a high-fiber and protein breakfast will keep your metabolism running, keep you energized, and help curb cravings later in the day. A quick breakfast can still be healthy; eggs, whole-grain cereal with fruit, yogurt, and avocado toast are all great ways to get the energy you need. 

Watch Your Portion Sizes

Be mindful of the portion sizes when dining out. Consider ordering a few healthy appetizers instead of an oversized entree, or share meals with your travel companions. This helps prevent overeating, as well as allows you to try various dishes. When you’re hungry, you’re more likely to eat fast and overeat, so be sure to slow down and start with smaller portions.

Balance Indulgences

Traveling is exciting and eating food you enjoy is part of the experience. You’ll likely want to try local cuisines and treats, but remember to balance indulgent meals with healthier choices throughout the day. The key is to aim for moderation, not restriction. An easy way to remember this is to embrace the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule means that 80% of the time you eat generally healthy, while the other 20% of the time you treat yourself to a delicious treat. Eating perfectly while traveling is not always realistic, but the 80/20 rule helps you balance your nutrition. 

Embrace Exercise Opportunities

Get Your Steps In

The CDC recommends that adults get 10,000 steps in a day, however, most adults only walk 3,000-4,000 steps a day. Humans were designed to walk and the best way to explore a city is by foot and stumbling across hidden gems. The best part about walking around a new destination is that you forget you’re exercising. If you’re traveling back to your hometown or a familiar place, consider social activities that help you get your steps in. Invite a friend or family member on a hike, walk to your local restaurant, and always take the stairs. 

Do Bodyweight Exercises

Chances are you know simple workout moves that can be done in small spaces without any gym equipment. While you’re watching TV, waiting for room services, or planning tomorrow’s itinerary, try fitting in a quick workout.

Some easy bodyweight exercises include sit-ups, squats, lunges, push-ups, jumping jacks, and leg lifts, all of which help get the blood flowing as if you hit the gym. If you’ve walked miles throughout the day, stretch before bed to help your body relax. 

Try a New Local Activity That Gets Your Heartrate Up

No matter where in the world you’re exploring, there are bound to be plenty of tours and activities that involve some form of exercise. Examples include hiking, biking, paddling boarding, ice skating, skiing, and rock climbing. These activities not only help you burn some calories, but they’re a great way to see more of a destination. 

Get Back on Track

Remember that traveling often means a break from your typical routine. It’s normal to treat yourself, switch things up, and try new things. Staying healthy while traveling is all about balance and taking days off is part of maintaining that balance. Your body may not be used to it, but having a healthy relationship with food and exercise will help you make smart choices. Nova Vita is here to help you be diligent about getting back to eating and exercising well after a vacation. Contact us today to get back on track with your wellness journey.