So you’ve decided to travel more this year. Maybe it’s due to more responsibility at the office or just a promise to yourself to embrace adventure, but whenever travel is on your to-do list, it can be easy for your workouts and mindful eating habits to fall off of it. Insert Nikki Walter — fitness model, EAS Athlete and busy mom — into the equation. Check out her eight tips on everything from small diet changes to quick hotel room workouts, and start packing your healthy habits along with your bags for your next trip.
1. Make a plan. But keep an open mind. “Traveling can be exhausting, so when it comes to keeping my health goals on task, I commit myself to making sure I stick to the plan, but I also keep an open mind,” says Nikki. “Schedules change, meetings go over and before you know it, you’re stressed about what you haven’t done.” So you know, it’s basically just like every other day when you aren’t traveling.
2. Know what your trigger foods are when you travel. The best way to avoid falling off the boat is to avoid the boat in the first place. Nikki suggests asking yourself what your triggers are before you head out the door. “For me, it used to mean hopping in a car would give me an opportunity to eat sunflower seeds or gummy treats. But as travel became more of my career, and my goals changed, it was so hard because while driving, I craved my road-trip foods. I began food-prep life and competing. Understanding that even the smallest binge could set me back, I decided to change the habits I created into new ones. Three years later, I am better about sticking to my plan, but change was difficult.”
3. Stay strong and be prepared. “I know fatigue can also set off cravings, and when driving late or early morning, there are many times I want to reach for sugar or salt, depending on the craving, which is why I always have apple slices and peanut butter, raw green veggies, flavored rice cakes and EAS Advantage protein shakes on-hand for road-trips.”
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need while eating out. One of the toughest parts of travel is your limited access to your kitchen. And Nikki knows that, which is why she packs all of her own meals for the week she’s traveling. She adds, “I know I have to entertain for work, so I try very hard during the day to keep up on my meals. That way in the evenings, I can still have a clean, hot meal if I am entertaining at work events.” She also suggests making small changes, like asking for no seasoning or butter and that all sauces come on the side, so you have more control over the meal.
5. Get creative. We all know no matter how much you plan ahead, you can’t plan for everything. And Nikki knows that firsthand, sharing, “Today I wasn’t feeling well, but I went to the hotel gym at 5:45am and found it full! Four treadmills, two ellipticals and a bike… all full! I proceeded to the free weights and decided to add in a plyo circuit in my room so I could do SOMETHING! I am one who is ‘set in my ways.’ I have slowly learned to be more open-minded and just embrace a situation.” After all, any workout is better than no workout, amirite?
6. Do your research before you leave. “I travel for work, and oftentimes, I will look ahead to see what kind of gym equipment the hotel has or to see how far local gyms are from my location. I love exploring new gyms, but it took me a few trips to appreciate the new atmosphere because, of course, I like my gym, where I know where things are. If am nowhere near a gym and there is no gym, I’ll still do a plyo workout in my hotel room or I will run outside if the area is safe… no excuses!” (Play like a champion.)
7. Get your workout in before the day takes over. Morning workouts are great even in your day-to-day, but Nikki stresses getting up and at ’em is even more important when out of town. She says, “Traveling is so exhausting, and if you work on the road, the last thing you want to do is work out. Just get the workout in during the early morning in case you have a meeting come up, so you don’t have to worry about it later or miss it altogether.”
8. When all else fails, do this workout on the road. Sometimes, especially when you’re traveling, you just run out of time to get it all done. But luckily, with this quick power circuit from Nikki, we never have to go without a (mini) sweat session.
Travel or Home Chair workout:
Holding back of the hotel chair for stability:
- 4×25 bodyweight squats (superset)
- 4×25 jump squats
- 4×25 bodyweight lunges (each leg)
- Super set with 20 scissor lunges (10 each leg)
- 4×25 incline pushups
- 4×10 incline single arm pushup
- 4×25 step ups (each leg 25)
- 4×25 tricep dips
*Only if the chair is sturdy and safe, finish with box jumps using chair seat.
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(Photos via Getty)