There was a time when travel meant confusion and uncertainty driven stress that blew our routine apart. Not today.
More and more of us take the initiative to seek travel and adventure, now that everything can be sorted ever so conveniently through the Internet on our smart phones. For those who travel regularly for work, staying mindful while on the go should be a serious business.
We are primarily driven by our vanity to look good all the time. Especially, while traveling. Feeling or looking horrible can pretty much ruin the entire trip. Whether its work or vacation, looking sharp helps us make the most of our experience. Not many of us realize, but a lot of “looking good” comes from “feeling good!” And a LOT of “feel good factor” momentum is generated by a healthy lifestyle. As much as the term, “healthy lifestyle” might make you groan; the truth of the matter is that our bodies primarily reflect ‘what we eat’ and ‘how much we move!’ And ladies, we know we can’t hide ALL our problem areas by strategic dressing alone.
Diet and fitness does not have to be complicated or given up on amid information overload. Nobody has all the information- all the time.
To compensate for indulgence in food here and there, we need to plan ahead and offset it with periods of high activity and junk free meals. Following are some of the things we can do to stay in control.
Rev up right before the trip and AFTER – If access to a gym or any physical activity is going to be completely impossible, join a Yoga/Pilates/aerobics class for 2 weeks before and after your trip. Start morning and evening walks/run; take up basic weight training at the gym and train legs and abs (the biggest muscle groups of our body) every other day. It would also be a good idea to include 20 minutes of interval training on any cardio machine if you are a regular at the gym.
For example, run at a moderately fast pace for full one minute on the treadmill followed by 3 minutes of brisk walk. Or, crank up the resistance on your cross trainer to 12-14 for a minute before you come back down to a comfortable level of 6 or below for the next couple of minutes. The same logic can be applied to a stationary cycle or spinning workout.
The idea is to alternate between 80-90% of full capacity for a short while before coming back to 50% of steady state activity. The difference between the level of resistance, intensity or gap between intense and steady state time periods depends upon your own physical fitness and capacity.
Outdoors, you can switch between a short sprint, light jog and brisk walking pace according to your capacity. This kind of interval training contributes to muscle confusion which has your body burning calories long after you have stopped getting your heart rate up on the cardio machine. Any soreness in the muscles that you might feel can be eased with mild walking, stretching and the rest you will get while on your trip if it is primarily going to be sedentary.
When it comes to food stay Proactive – Take control – With smartphone apps available to track popular restaurants in every city, have a say in the places where you are going to eat where the food is familiar. Order dishes with the least complex ingredients stated clearly on the menu. For every fried food meal accompanied with dessert add a little more salad or curried vegetables to your plate and if possible have a cup of soup as appetizer to limit your consumption without feeling deprived. Consciously limit portion sizes of anything that contains sugar while travelling. Wolfing down a sugary snack like cakes, biscuits, ice cream, donuts and all the fancy frappes available at the nearest café might give you an instant hit. But the instant sugar spike is quickly followed by a drastic drop in blood sugar which leaves you feeling weak, shaky, moody and unable to concentrate. This radical spike and drop with sugar loaded food is also responsible for fastening the aging process much faster than one would think, apart, from gifting you with a flabby belly and a soft body. Lemon, plain yoghurt and citrus fruits which are available almost anywhere, help sustain an optimum alkaline state in the body which minimize bloating, heartburn, nausea and constipation. Squeeze a couple of lemons into a liter of water bottle and sip throughout the day to stay hydrated and monitor water intake. Always carry grab- and-go healthy snacks like a handful of almonds, walnuts or fruits like an apple, banana or orange to keep temptation at bay.