Whether it be for work or pleasure, we all love to get away!
Traveling provides us with new experiences, a sense of adventure and gives us time to relax and unwind.
However, while exciting and necessary, traveling can be extremely tough on the mind and body.
From delayed flights to missing luggage, and those few too many sangrias, returning back to the routine of our daily lives can often be a struggle too.
Below are a number of reasons why travel can be so tough and some suggestions on how you can minimize its impact:
- Digestion is often affected by poor 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 with time zone and schedule changes, longer days and different sleeping arrangements.
Tip: Nap where 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, given you’re not in your usual surroundings. Decreased activity can have a dramatic impact on energy, mood and, of course, progress.
Tip: Hit the local gym for a drop in session, the hotel gym or even a beach workout. There are loads 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.
- Stress can be elevated with numerous planes to catch, delays, itineraries to work out and the general navigation around your foreign destination.
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.
- Hydration can be affected due to the lack of humidity in the air on the plane and a difference in altitude between our destination and what we are used to. 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.
- Time zone, circadian rhythm & jet lag are worse from West to East, as it messes up the internal body clock more, which can last up to six days.
Tip: Do your best not to adapt to the time zone change immediately or do so gradually. Work on implementing the above strategies.
- Food choices can affect many of the above issues and can leave us feeling a little worse upon returning home. That’s because airport food, plane food, unfamiliar vendors, eating in excess and making poor choices all tend to go hand in hand with travel.
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 containing excess sodium and fats.
It is more than possible to stick within our macros while away. However, we may choose to not track diligently and give our dieting a bit of a vacation too — which is totally fine. Just remember that it’s important to eat mindfully by loading up our plates with fresh high quality sources and doing our best to minimize alcohol consumption and foods we know will not fit our macros, such as cakes and fries.
While the impact of travel can’t be completely erased, it can be softened. The scale will bounce around and our expectations of progress for the weeks that follow must be adjusted, but to what extent will largely be determined by our choices. These strategies will not only affect our progress, but will also have an impact on how much we enjoy our trip and how quickly we bounce back upon returning home.
For more ways to successfully master your next trip, visit the travel section of the Team WAG Blog. Happy traveling!