Damage Control: Feel Your Best While Traveling
Whether it’s for work or pleasure, I think we can all agree that it’s nice to get away sometimes.
Travel provides us with new experiences and a sense of adventure, and gives us time to relax and unwind! Who wouldn’t look forward to that?
However, even though travel is exciting and necessary, it can be extremely tough on the mind and body.
Delayed flights, missing luggage, a few too many sangrias, and the struggle of getting back into your normal routine when you return are all proof of that.
Let’s combat that struggle. Below are a number of tough scenarios you might face while traveling and some suggestions on how you can do some serious damage control:
- You may notice some changes to your normal digestion habits. This can be an effect from a multitude of things, like lack of sleep, increased stress, unfavorable food choices, alcohol, changes to time zones, jet lag and a disrupted morning routine.
Tip: Sample some foreign foods, but do your best to stick with foods you’re used to eating. Be sure to stay well hydrated (with bottled water), get adequate sleep and limit your alcohol intake.
- Sleep tends to suffer when your body experiences new time zones, changes to your routine, longer days and new sleeping arrangements.
Tip: Nap when possible. Ensure your itinerary is well organized and book sensible flights to decrease travel and increase shut-eye time. Try wearing an eye mask and earplugs to enhance your sleep quality.
- Exercise routines, or lack thereof, are usually a little out of whack while traveling—and rightly so! You don’t have the same access to your normal gym or at-home routine. Decreased activity can have a dramatic impact on energy, mood and, of course, progress.
Tip: Hit the hotel for a session, look into a new class in the area or even try a beach workout. There are plenty of ways to keep yourself moving while on tour! Take a look at this WAG blog post for more ideas on working out without the gym.
- Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a situation where you feel more stressed than relaxed. That can be expected with numerous planes to catch, delays, itineraries to work out and the general navigation around a destination that’s foreign to you.
Tip: Ensure your schedule makes sense and is efficient. Download a meditation app (like Headspace) to use while in transit, get lots of rest and remain very well organized.
- Your hydration may be affected due to the lack of humidity in the air on the plane and the difference in altitude between your starting destination and endpoint. We also tend to drink less water when on the go and increase our sodium and alcohol intake.
Tip: Purchase quality water and carry it with you at all times. Set reminders in your phone to drink often and load up on fruits and veggies that have a high water content.
- Your circadian rhythm and jet lag are affected even more when traveling from West to East, as it has a heavier effect on your internal body clock. Sometimes these effects can last up to six days.
Tip: Do your best not to adapt to the time zone change immediately, it’s best to do so gradually by implementing the above strategies.
- Your food choices also affect many of the above issues and can leave you feeling off when you return home.
Tip: Sample some foreign foods, but do your best to stick with foods you’re used to consuming. Load up on water, pack your own snacks and do your best to avoid foods that contain excess sodium and fats.
It’s more than possible to stick within our macros while traveling; however, we may choose to not track diligently and give our diet a bit of a vacation too—which is completely okay! Just remember that if you are trying to stay diligent with your tracking, it’s important to eat mindfully by loading up your plate with fresh, high-quality sources. Do your best to minimize alcohol consumption and foods you know wouldn’t normally fit in your macros.
These strategies will not only aid in your progress but will also have an impact on how much you enjoy your trip and how quickly you can bounce back upon returning home.
If you want help to diligently track while traveling, visit this WAG blog on your complete guide to tracking while traveling, or sign up for a WAG one-on-one nutrition coach today!
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Love what you learned but still want more guidance and support? Hire a 1:1 coach who will get to know you, your lifestyle and your unique needs and create results that you can sustain long-term. If you're not quite ready to go all-in on hiring a coach, check out our Macro Calculation Cheat Sheet & 18 Tracking Tips and Tricks for macro counting!