I’ve officially been in the road now for over a week now. So far my quest to maintain a healthy fit lifestyle is working out pretty well.
I’ve gone on some awesome runs.
I’ve run around the Marina with views of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco.
I’ve run along rolling hills of vineyards in Napa.
I ran the famous Dipsea trail among giant Redwoods in Muir woods.
I’ve also made time to practice at some awesome Bikram Yoga studios.
I sweated along side the colorful Frankenstein cartons at the funky door studio on Polk Street in San Francisco
I sweat out my “pour” decisions in my college town studio in Davis.
I received some excellent, disciplined instruction on a beautiful cork floor in Napa.
From the sweat and steps I’ve also learned a few fitness lessons and those are what I want to share with you today.
Fitness Lessons Learned:
Lesson #1: The more you workout the more you can enjoy your travels.
As most of my clients always report, with travel comes the temptation to eat out frequently, try local foods and treats, (which unfortunately never seem to be on the diet plan!) and to drink an abundance of alcohol.
Now if I was on vacation, I would gladly rationalize that I deserve a break from my normally fit and healthy life, however, since travel has now become a lifestyle I have to make sure I earn the luxury of gluttony.
The same goes for anyone else who travels a lot for work or pleasure. If you keep yourself disciplined to get your exercise in first thing, you buy yourself budge room to enjoy a treat our two in the evening.
Lesson #2: Drink water.
Making sure you stay hydrated is very important to maintaining fit lifestyle on the road.
Travel in general makes you dehydrated. The first step to making sure you stay ahead on the hydration curve is to bring an empty water bottle through security and then fill it up before you get on the plane.
Most people mistake thirst for hunger making it very likely to binge eat at meals if you aren’t drinking enough water. Before ordering food or an alcoholic drink order a glass of water and down it every time before you eat. A glass or two of water will make you feel full sooner.
Finally make sure your alcohol:water ratio stays in favor of water. (See above where I mention being a sweaty out “pour” decisions on my mat in Davis. Aka lying in the fetal position counting down postures until class is over.)
Not only does being dehydrated make your workout less effective, but it also makes it harder to stick to lesson number one: get your exercise in! If you are hung over there is a much larger chance you will skip your workout the next day.
Lesson #3 When in doubt eat at a Mexican restaurant.
When eating out, it can become very hard to stick to your diet ratios. The good news is you can find a Mexican restaurant almost anywhere you go.
Obviously there are plenty of restaurants where you can eat lean, but every menu is different. Mexican restaurants are nice because every single one should have a burrito on the menu. As long as you unwrap the burrito and eat around the tortilla you should be able to find a good meal full of protein, veggies, and beans. (Just be careful of the tortilla chips before the meal!)
Lesson #4: Carry Deodorant
The bad news about squeezing workouts into your travel is often times you really do have to squeeze it in. Make sure you that bring some deodorant to avoid the post workout sweat that tends to come no matter how cold of a shower you take!
Lesson #5: Don’t Underestimate the Calorie Burning Potential of Walking
The final lesson I would like to touch on is the caloric burn potential of just walking. If you are in a foreign city, the chances are you probably don’t have a car. Rather than spending money on a taxi see if you can walk somewhere. Not only will you see more traveling by foot, but you will also burn calories without even trying. Every mile traveled by foot is an extra beer you can enjoy at dinner or a cookie you can eat guilt free.
A heavy day of walking around a city can burn just as many calories if not more than a short morning workout and if you do both then you have even more room to give into culinary temptation. If you are going to be traveling a lot, I highly suggest investing in a fitbit.
Today rather than driving to yoga, I walked the 2.4 miles. It only took me 35 min each way, my fitbit showed me I accumulated 13,000 steps, and bought myself an extra 400 calorie deficit. (That’s 3 beers!)
The point of these lessons is it isn’t too hard to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle on the go. If you stick to a workout plan and are conscious about balancing out your physical activity with what you put in your mouth being healthy doesn’t have to be a sacrifice.