Creative tips for staying healthy and fit when you travel that don't just involve turning down that gelato.
I once heard Oprah say that she tries to stay healthy when she travels by only allowing one treat per trip. That method might keep you skinny, but it also keeps you from enjoying one of the paramount joys of travel - eating!
Instead of stressing about calories the whole time, here are some easy and fun ways to stay healthy, active, and svelte while traveling. You can have your wheel of brie and eat it too!
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Between flying and indulging in alcoholic and caffeinated beverages (hello cappuccinos and wine!), it is all too easy to get dehydrated while traveling. Avoid fainting onto a baggage carousel like I once did by having at least one glass of water for every hour you are on a plane. Flight attendants deal with way too many dehydrated passengers, so don't be shy about asking for water! Once you've landed, have a glass of water before leaving your hotel or apartment, fill up a water bottle and bring it with you, and have a glass of water with every meal.
Check out this handy infographic to find out if your destination has safe tap water and some helpful tips on what to do if you're going to a country that doesn't.
EAT TO NOURISH YOUR BODY
Rather than stressing about dieting or restricting yourself, focus on ensuring that your body is still getting nourishing foods throughout your trip. That might mean having a green smoothie one morning for breakfast or getting a salad with your pizza. It's just a simple difference in mentality, but it can make a big difference in your eating habits and keep your body well-fueled for all of your adventures!
Tip: In addition to eating nutritious foods, bring some vitamins and Echinacea, an herb that helps fight infections. You're exposed to lots of new germs when you travel, and they'll give your body an extra boost to help ensure you don't feel under the weather.
Walking is by far my favorite way to get to know a city and it's an easy way to get in a few miles without even noticing. Eschew the metro or taxi line and try to explore the city on foot as much as you can. Many cities have free walking tours or you can make your own by plotting out all the must-see sights before you head out the door. You'll burn calories and see things you would otherwise miss!
HIT THE GROUND RUNNING
Running is one of the best and simplest ways to torch calories, and a trip can be the perfect opportunity to spice up your running routine. Do some research beforehand to find suggested routes, pack some cute gear, and the world becomes your running track! If you're feeling extra motivated, sign up for a race at your destination. The courses often provide fabulous, unique views of a city and offer the safety of a marked course with a large group.
Remember to always stay safe when running in an unfamiliar city, especially if you're running by yourself. Avoid unlit areas, pay attention to your surroundings, and let somebody know when you're leaving and when they should expect you back.
Tip: Athletic stores can often provide helpful suggestions on routes or have a running club you can join.
CHOOSE ACTIVE ADVENTURES
Like walking everywhere, choosing active adventures lets fit in some exercise and burn some calories while exploring your destination. Bike rentals and tours are an affordable, easy way to get out and about and a good hike can provided a wonderful chance to see the countryside and experience nature. If you're extra adventurous, try your hand at kayaking, horseback riding, skiing, whitewater rafting - the sky is the limit! You'll get your heart pumping and it will be much more exhilarating than the gym!
TURN YOUR HOTEL ROOM INTO A PRIVATE STUDIO
You don't have to forego your favorite fitness classes just because you're traveling. Subscription-based services and downloadable, streaming versions of instructional videos mean you don't even have to lug DVDs around to get your booty in gear anywhere, anytime. I'm obsessed with Pure Barre's HD streaming workouts, which let you tailor your workout by choosing a different target area and cost the same as a single studio class. If yoga is more your thing, find your om with YogaGlo or Dirty Yoga.