Staying Fit on the Road Fitness Travel

This article, ‘Staying Fit on the Road’, was originally published in the ‘Healthy Living’ column of enVoyage, The Inflight Magazine of Eva Air.

Life on the road for the frequent traveller can be far from healthy.

Long hours hanging around airports and sitting on planes, jet lag, endless business meetings, unhealthy food, a lack of exercise, and time spent away from loved ones cause weight gain, stress, irritability, and physical and mental exhaustion.

How to Stay Fit on the Road

Your health and fitness may not take priority when you have a hectic schedule, but a bit of prior planning can help you stay fit on the road.

General Travel Fitness Tips

Make sure you’re fit for the demands of travel with a healthy diet and regular exercise in the days before you leave.

Schedule doctor and dentist visits and ensure you have enough prescription medication to see you through your trip. Check that you are up to date with relevant immunisations and take precautions against malaria if necessary.

Pack a first aid kit for those niggly minor ailments such as headaches, stomach upsets, colds, coughs, sore throats, and insect bites, and arrange health insurance with overseas cover.

Remember your emotional needs too; photographs of loved ones, telephone numbers, email addresses, Skype and WhatsApp details, etc. enable you to connect with home while you are away.

What to Wear for Flying

Think comfort rather than fashion when dressing for your flight. Forget tight, circulation-restricting clothes such as skinny jeans; loose-fitting cargo trousers are better when you are seated for long hours on a plane.

Wear layers, such as a T-shirt, shirt, jumper, and jacket, to allow for temperature variations on the way to your destination country. You will be warm enough on the air-conditioned plane, and you can tie clothes around your waist and shoulders if it’s hot when you land.

Flat, comfortable shoes, such as slip-ons or trainers, are more suitable than crippling heels for trekking miles through airport terminals.

Make Healthy Food Choices

You may be confronted with unhealthy food choices or unexpectedly miss meals on your travels, which can play havoc with your energy levels.

Pack a selection of healthy foods in your hand luggage, such as cereal bars, dried fruit, nuts, apples, a bag of mini carrots, pretzels, popcorn, and sandwiches made with whole grain bread, to keep you going.

For airport meals and business dinners, look for healthy options on the menu as you would at home—think steamed vegetables, jacket potatoes, salads, lean meat, and grilled chicken and fish.

Try to eat something appropriate for the current time zone—choose oatmeal, yoghurt and fruit rather than fries for breakfast!

How to Avoid Dehydration

Dehydration makes you feel tired and dries out your skin, so make sure you drink plenty of water.  Drink bottled water if tap water quality is an issue, and carry a bottle of water with you whenever possible.

Limit alcohol and coffee, which make dehydration and fatigue worse. Drinking alcohol also makes it more likely you will choose unhealthy foods.

If you wish to drink, opt for white wine spritzers rather than spirits and questionable cocktails, and alternate each alcoholic drink with a soft drink.

Take some sachets of herbal tea for your hotel room instead of drinking regular tea and coffee.

How to Exercise When Travelling Internationally

There may be more opportunities for exercise when travelling internationally than you think.

Don’t spend all your airport time slumped in a chair waiting for your flight; get up and do some window shopping.

Take advantage of your hotel’s swimming pool and gym facilities if it has them, or work out in your hotel room. Push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and lunges are effective exercises that require no equipment, and a yoga mat, resistance band or jump rope should fit easily in your luggage.

A simple five-minute stretching routine will leave you feeling energised and refreshed.

Providing you are staying in a safe area, an early morning walk or run in the vicinity of your hotel is a great way to get some sun exposure and reset your body clock. And don’t forget to put your favourite workout music on your playlist!

More information: The 7 Essential Rules of On-the-Road Fitness (Men’sHealth)

Kirby, S. (2012). Staying Fit on the Road. enVoyage The Inflight Magazine of Eva Air.

Like this page? Please Pin it!

Travel fitness staying fit on the road

Similar Posts