Healthier Traveling for the Holidays

Although the Holidays are often the time we excuse ourselves from being very calorie conscious, it is actually better to find balance. By this I mean: learn when to maintain your healthy habits and when to allow yourself to a little extra treat. With this in mind, many of us travel for the Holidays. Sometimes it is difficult to stay healthy while traveling, but it is in our best interest to do this, especially around the Holidays when calories tend to increase and activity tends to decrease. So, to avoid paying for “convenience” later on, try these ideas to remain healthy during the hectic Holiday season.

1. Get enough sleep. With crazy flight times and long road trips, it is often easy to get a lack of sleep. A lack of sleep can cause you to be moody (no Grinches allowed), feel sluggish, and actually encourage you to overeat. Try to still get the golden 8 hours of sleep, even while traveling. If you need to, take a snooze on the plane, switch drivers periodically to rest, or take a nap in the afternoon upon arriving at your destination.

2. Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is essential to being healthy always. Your body needs water to stay hydrated, flush things throughout your body, and have healthy looking skin. However, especially with flying or taking public transportation, your chances of getting sick increase greatly, and who wants to spend their Holidays snuggled up to a box of Kleenex? Pair water with a multivitamin to keep your immune system ready to fight back.

3. Manage your stress. The Holidays tend to be stressful for most people. With delayed flights, staying with the in-laws, or preparing your best dish to impress the family, it is important to make sure to take some “you” time. If yoga helps you to center yourself, find a free class online to follow. Ask if any of your family members have a gym membership that you could use, and go exercise as a guest. Or even if it is as simple as taking a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood, make sure to take time to de-stress yourself.

4. Eat a healthy breakfast. As I said previously, we usually let ourselves have extra treats over the Holiday season. So do yourself a favor and eat healthy while traveling to and from your destination. Not only will this help you to find balance, but it will also allow you to feel more energized while traveling. Boiled eggs with fresh fruit, scrambled eggs and turkey sausage, or oatmeal with sliced strawberries on top are quick and healthy options that will allow you to fuel yourself for your travels.

5. Pack healthy snacks. The temptation to buy snacks at the airport or stop for a snack at a fast food restaurant can be high while traveling, because it is so quick and easy. However, if you plan ahead, healthy options can be quick and easy as well and save you money. Try some of these healthy snacks:

• Veggies and hummus
• Apple and natural peanut butter/almond butter
• Hard boiled eggs
• Nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios)
• Single serve Wholly Guacamole
• Single serve cream cheese with crackers
• Cherry tomatoes
• Grapes
• Bananas
• Olives
• String cheese

6. Remain active. If you are staying in a hotel, take advantage of their swimming pool or workout facilities. If you are staying with friends or family, ask them to go on a walk or enjoy winter activities outdoors (refer to last week’s blog). If you are visiting a warmer climate, enjoy a walk/jog on the beach or some friendly competition on the sand volleyball courts. If you try to sneak in exercising during your travels, you will feel so much better, less sluggish, and more apt to be smiley and enjoy your time with family and friends.

7. Be aware of Holiday cheer. As in accordance with the Holiday spirit, flights and hotels tend to have complimentary snacks, holiday cakes, or cookies. If you are attending Holiday parties, you may also be offered high calorie drinks or appetizers. Having a sip or a bit is no big deal, but would you rather have a possibly stale cookie that wasn’t as good as you thought it would be, or save your high calories for the homemade dishes and baked goods? I know I would most definitely prefer the latter.

The Holidays are the time of the year that we get to spend in the presence of family, friends, and loved ones. Usually this means lots of great food and sitting around and catching up on everyone’s lives. Meanwhile, traveling to our destinations can be stressful. This Holiday season, do your best to stay healthy while traveling, and remain active once you get to your destination. That way you can enjoy a little extra bite of stuffing or your favorite cookie without feeling guilty. Have Healthy, Happy Holidays, everyone!

By: Natalie Radloff

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