Whether you’re traveling vegan, with children, pets, or just trying to stay healthy and sane en route from here to there, here’s some suggestions to keep your body and mind in tip-top shape.
- Start Now. Don’t wait until the day before your plane trip to start planning. Stay on top of your exercise regimes now, eat right now, and your body and mind will be in better shape to handle the transitions, busyness, and unexpected nature of traveling.
- Research. A little bit of research can go a long way. If you’re going somewhere new, Google Map your location and perhaps find a yoga studio nearby or a plan out a safe running route. Knowing what grocery stores or restaurants are available along your route can go a long way to making healthy choices instead of an emergency hamburger.
- Snacks. These are lifesavers. Make your own trail mix with your favorite raw nuts, raisins, and vegan chocolate chips. Sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds – the choices are endless! Protein powder and a blender bottle have saved me countless times. My favorite is what I call “grown-up chocolate milk.” Coconut or almond milk, chocolate raw protein powder, and a scoop of cacao. Easy peasy.
- Pit Stops. I totally respect the gotta-got-there mindset. I want to get there too. But a 15-minute stop to stretch your legs and let the kids and dogs out can refresh and reset your body in huge ways. Studies show that taking breaks between prolonged sedentary periods, like sitting, can be just as important for the body as actual exercise.
- Mini Coolers. Or big coolers. Whatever floats your boat (or fits in your car). If you’re not confined to plane restrictions, a small cooler can really expand your food options.
- Maintenance. It’s easy to get out of our healthy routines when we’re staying at different places and don’t have much room or space is limited. Here’s three things that don’t take a lot of space and will keep your body happy.
Tennis shoes. You probably have these with you even if you don’t plan on running. You can even wear them on the plane. Take a morning or evening walk, go for a run, or take the dog and kids for a hike.
Yoga mat. I take mine with me everywhere. It might feel a little awkward setting up in someone’s backyard, but once you get over the self-consciousness, the rest is easy. I usually look for a private spot if possible, but it’s not necessary. You might even get some people joining you!
Tennis ball. One tennis ball. And it’s not for your dog. It’s for you. For your bottom specifically (or shoulders, my favorite). Place your bum on the tennis ball, roll around until you hit a tight spot or sensitive trigger point, and then let the ball do the work. This is a kind of myofascial release, or “massage to-go,” as I like to call it. This will do wonders for releasing stress in your body, especially if you can’t get out and move like you’re used to or have been sitting for hours. If you’ve got the room to throw in a foam roller, more power to you!
- Sleep. Our sleep schedule is often the first thing to go when traveling. Your own pillow, some lavender oil, and chamomile tea can help relax you for the night and make anyplace feel a little more like home.
- Hydrate. This is especially important if you’re traveling by plane. Drink plenty of water, but stay away from the caffeine and alcohol (at least on the plane). Don’t worry about having to get up and use the restroom. Your restroom run will double as a stretch for your legs!
Most importantly, go with the flow. Routines and schedules are great and healthy, but changing it all up once in a while does us all good. I do my best to keep my healthy routines up when I’m on the go because it makes it easier for me to be fully present wherever I am. And to me, that’s what it’s all about.
How do you stay healthy when you travel? Share your comments below!