Spring is a busy time of year for me. Work requires me to spend some of my weeks on the road, eating at less-than-healthy restaurants and staying in hotels with little or no fitness equipment.
Despite the challenges that life on the road presents, there are ways to overcome and rise above these obstacles and maintain your healthy lifestyle. I’ve found three main areas most challenging for me on the road: nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle.
Typical restaurant menus contain portions big enough to serve a small army and nutritious options may be lacking. Joking aside, I find it essential, when eating on the road, to limit portions to a small eight- to 10-inch dinner plate. This is something you should already be doing at home.
Try to limit yourself to salads with a lower-calorie dressing, like raspberry vinaigrette, sandwiches or wraps on whole wheat, and lean cuts of meats such as grilled or baked chicken and fish. These are usually safe bets.
Don’t feel obligated to “get your money’s worth.” If you’re staying a few days and your hotel room has a refrigerator, take leftovers back to the hotel to eat later. If you choose not to do this, make the waiter aware you would like a smaller portion.
Exercising away from home can be tough. If you have a routine at a local fitness club back home, you may feel lost without your standard routine. Some hotels have small all-in-one machines that allow you to hit the major muscle groups. If you’re not so lucky, don’t stress out. You can make your hotel room into your own fitness center.
Try to take advantage of your body weight with exercises like squats, lunges, burpees, jumping jacks, and push-ups. You can use chairs to do tricep dips or decline push-ups. Test your creativity and make it fun. The added variety to your routine may challenge your body in ways that are different from your normal routine.
I always bring my running gear with me on the road. Running near the hotel can be a fun way to explore new areas and relieve stress. You can use websites such as Map My Run to check distance, find routes others have used in the area, or prepare your own route.
Being on the road for an extended period can be tough mentally, too. You may find yourself missing family, pets, or even comfort items like your own bed. I typically bring my laptop so I can stay connected with the world and occupy my spare time. You may find it beneficial to bring a picture of your family or pet and place it on the nightstand to make you feel more at home. I also recommend you bring your own pillow; you never know the quality of pillows you’ll end up with and it can make a world of a difference.
Comment below if you have any tricks you use to help stay healthy on the road.