Staying on track of your healthy habits and behaviors while on vacation or traveling is hard – there’s no doubt about that.
But, it’s not impossible. It takes a little bit of planning, a decent amount of effort and a whole ton of discipline.
Don’t let that scare you, though! Coach Rachel just finished up a two-week-long road trip (yes, you read that right) from Southwest Florida to Southern California, and she’s here to help you navigate your next adventure.
“The thought of going on this LONG road trip and staying on track with my healthy habits and routines definitely shot my stress levels through the roof. But, we did it - my fiancé and I just finished up a two-week-long road trip from Sarasota to Los Angeles, where we’re relocating.
I’m someone who lives and dies by my daily planner, to-do lists and routine, so knowing that I’d be out of my element for quite some time was a little terrifying. Especially since we were leaving right in the middle of the holidays – and I’ve had better years in staying on-point with my nutrition during the holiday season.
We took a few steps to ensure we’d keep up with our healthy habits and behaviors over our 2,700-mile journey, so I thought I’d share my “road rules” – simple tricks for sticking with your nutrition, fitness and wellness routines while you’re traveling.”
- Hit up the nearest grocery store instead of a fast-food restaurant if you’re dining in at your hotel. Great options are a rotisserie chicken, a bag of salad and fresh fruit, or sandwiches made with fresh-sliced deli meat and cheese from the counter.
- When dining out, build your meal around protein! Add on a side of vegetables or a side salad for a portion of your daily greens, too.
- At your hotel’s continental breakfast, look for a protein source first – like eggs. If there is none, which happens often, opt for oatmeal and stir in a scoop of protein powder. Just pack a few scoops of your favorite protein powder in a plastic baggie and bring it along with you!
- On the road, look for protein-packed or healthier snacks at the gas station or convenience store. Options include protein bars, protein shakes, beef jerky, almonds, string cheese and popcorn. These digest slowly and will help you stay full to prevent mindless snacking all day long.
- For Rachel, getting in a decent workout daily was her non-negotiable for the journey. However, she reassessed her goal and used them to just maintain her fitness level. Plus, it was a way to sweat a bit and boost her mood to prep for all the sitting ahead. So, if you’re a competitive athlete, give yourself a break! You’re not going to lose your gains, especially if you strive to move daily.
- Pack what you need! At the very least, bring training shoes and workout clothes. Rachel’s go-to piece of equipment was a jump rope, which is easily portable.
- When booking hotels, ask if they have a fitness center. Many of them do, but some of them don’t.
- If you’d rather drop into a gym, book a hotel in a close vicinity. Do a simple Google search to research your options.
- Bodyweight exercises are your friend, especially burpees! Others include air squats, pistol squats, lunges, pushups, glute bridges, jump squats, paratroopers (jump lunges), glute bridges and more. These require no equipment and can all be done in a small space.
- Don’t forget about a nice walk, hike or run! Getting outside is a great way to explore a new place – just make sure you stay safe and bring your phone with you.
- It’s so easy to get dehydrated on a road trip – you’re just sitting there, likely in a comfortable temperature and it’s really annoying to keep stopping for bathroom breaks.
- Buy a refillable gallon water jug from the grocery store and never let it out of your sight! Set a goal to drink the entire thing by the time you turn in for the night.
- With caffeinated beverages, avoid energy drinks – even low-calorie or diet ones. Just stick with coffee and espresso. You’ll feel less jittery, maintain your blood sugar levels and avoid any icky inflammation from chemicals and additives.
What’s important to note is that they didn’t stay completely on-point throughout the entire trip. It was still a vacation and meant to be enjoyed! Practicing healthy habits and behaviors is all about sustainability, balance and allowing yourself to live your life while making progress towards your goals.
“I wasn’t going to leave New Orleans without a big plate of jambalaya and a Hurricane! We stopped in several new places and took our time exploring. Our secret is consistency. For us, it’s having an “always something, never nothing” mentality – like maybe I didn’t eat enough protein today, but I got my workout in before we started driving – and never getting off track two days in a row.”
We hope you took away some tips for your next adventure! These rules are more like guidelines, too – feel free to adjust them to your preference.