Thursday, August 22, 2013

Healthy traveling

Staying healthy away from home is really difficult because you are away from your own kitchen, gym, and general routine. It's easy for me to at least stay active when I'm on vacation (because my vacation is usually revolves around warm weather and outdoors activities) but business travel is a whole different story. Usually you have an early start (even breakfast with colleagues), then you're busy all day, and afterwards you have to eat dinner with colleagues/clients. You eat out at every meal and it's hard to order salad when everyone else is having steaks. Plus, most restaurant salads are made from lettuce, cheese, and creamy dressing - not exactly healthy. Then, you might get a little extra time to yourself, but you want to explore the sights of a city you've never been to! And your workout/eating/sleeping routine can be completely comprised by a big time change, e.g. international travel.

Don't get down on yourself if you're not the healthiest version of you while traveling. It's not your fault. Hotel gyms suck, healthy restaurant meals are scarce, and time zone changes are unnatural. Instead, there are a few simple things you can do to at least try not to feel like total crap from being unhealthy while traveling. I did pretty well on my trip last week to Seattle so I'm going to share a few healthy things I did!

See the sights AND workout
The easiest way to explore a new place is to run or walk it! Ask your hotel about popular running routes or a tourist attraction you can walk to. Even a 1-2 mile walk after a long day of meetings can do wonders. 

Meet fellow Crossfitters
The great thing about crossfit is that you instantly belong to a global community of people that do the same crazy workouts that you love. Crossfit is now huge in the U.S. and growing internationally so it's not that hard to find a box around where you're traveling. Most boxes charge drop-ins $20-$25 and you get a shirt. They are also usually very welcoming to visitors and excited to show you what they're all about. 
(Picture at Urban CrossFit.)

Find a grocery store
When I first get to my destination, I try to load up on water and snacks at at local grocery or convenience store. Even CVS/Walgreens type stores have fresh fruit now. Get gallon jugs of water to stay hydrated. Fruits like apples and bananas can be left at room temperature. Eats snacks (like nuts) before you go out to dinner so you don't overeat.

Pack your own food
Even better than going to a grocery store when you get there is to pack your own food. Hotel breakfast is not a good idea (stick to the fruit plate if there is one). So, I always pack my favorite meal/energy bar, Vega One. I also packed the new Mark Bars (get 20% off with code HFGFANS) for energy before working out. Having snacks on hand will seriously save you from overeating at restaurants and chowing down on cookies offered at business meetings (although, I still have the hardest time refusing cookies).

Do what you can
Airport eating is the worst and there's no way around it. I usually check out the whole terminal before I pick my meal and then I try to make a good decision on what will make my body feel the best. I usually get a smaller meal like a deli wrap and then some green juice. Store-bought juices aren't the healthiest thing but they can be the best option at the airport.

The best part about travel (even business travel) is getting to explore new or unfamiliar places. Don't stress out so much about working out and eating healthy. Enjoy the local cuisine, see the sights, and you can get back to your routine when you get home.

What's your favorite destination for business travel?

How do you stay healthy on the road?


  1. I don't like volunteering myself for travel for work, but when I'm forced to, i'm not as healthy as you! I usually have to go with some coworkers and we have to share a care, so eating tends to be pretty random. But I do like you do, ask the hotel for good running paths around, if they have any associations with other gyms that will give us a discount, and don;t let myself get lazy and still wake up early to run before stuff starts!

  2. You wake really early to run so I'm sure it's easy. Much of my job is international engagement so travel is where the action is.

  3. I loved Seattle!

  4. Me too! And it's so easy to be healthy there!


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