When it comes to healthy travel, most of us automatically think about our eating habits. When we take a business trip, or even a trip for pleasure, however, there are a lot of ways that we can impact our health that go way beyond the food on our plate. In order to make your business trip successful and productive, it pays to incorporate healthy travel habits. Doing so will make you feel more energetic, healthier, and better all the way around. Here is the Healthy Road Warrior’s travel advice for healthy travel beyond the plate:
- Hydrate. Whether we are exposed to recycled dry air on the airplane or aren’t particularly regimented about drinking water, traveling can often cause dehydration. Our bodies are made up of approximately 65 percent water. Proper hydration flushes toxins, ensures proper digestive and body functions, curbs hunger and helps fight aging. In order to ensure you are well hydrated, divide your weight (in pounds) by two. The result represents the number of ounces of fluid you should drink at a minimum each day. Those liquids that are best for hydration include water, unsweetened (either artificially or naturally) beverages and decaffeinated beverages, while soda and/or alcohol are the worst.
- Get Your Zzz’s. Crossing timezones, late nights and early mornings are a typical part of a business trip. This often leads to sleep deprivation. Healthy travel requires that you get adequate sleep. It is beneficial to both your mental health, as well as your physical health and your waistline. Those who get seven to eight hours of sleep each night tend to weigh less than individuals who are sleep deprived. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up the same time every morning. Some additional travel advice to promote sound sleep includes avoiding caffeine after noon in your current timezone, eating at least two to three hours before bedtime and limiting alcohol intake.
- Exercise. When we are on the road, we tend to sit a LOT: on the plane, in the car, on the train, etc. Strength, cardio and flexibility training are all important to keep bones and heart strong, metabolisms high and bodies free from injury. Make sure you pack some exercise gear so that you have no excuses. Utilize the hotel gym, or find a gym nearby your hotel that offers activities and classes you enjoy. We are healthiest when we get exercise three times a week at the bare minimum.
- Drink Moderately. Although alcohol is often part of a typical business trip, too much of it doesn’t make for healthy travel. Not only does alcohol tend to dehydrate you, but it also packs a whopping punch to your caloric intake. Alcohol contains seven calories per gram of alcohol, as compared to nine calories per gram of fat and four calories per gram of protein and/or gram of carbohydrates. Alcohol in moderation, however, can help raise HDL, the good cholesterol. To balance the benefits with the calories, women should limit themselves to no more than one drink a day; men, no more than two. One drink equates to 4 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer (a bottle or can) or 1 ounce of hard liquor.
- Manage Stress. When we are on the road, stress is a big part of the equation. Managing stress, so it isn’t overwhelming, is critical to healthy travel. When we are over-stressed, we find reasons to soothe ourselves and, often, we do so with food. Exercising, getting enough sleep and spending down-time alone or talking with loved ones, are all ways to help diminish the impact of stress on our lives. Also, check out the hotel spa for treatments that help you to relieve stress.
When it comes to healthy travel, it is important to eat healthy too, but remember that these other habits are just as important! Do you have any travel advice you’d like to share on how to make a business trip (or vacation) healthier?