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Health & Wellness

Some tips that may help Stay Fit and Healthy When You Travel

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Travel is one of life’s great pleasures. But many of us return from vacation feeling exhausted rather than recharged.

The reason: we may have abandoned our usual healthy eating habits and fitness routines. Here are some tips on may help make your next trip restorative while still enjoying new experiences.

Get Your Rest

Try to maintain your regular sleep patterns as much as possible, going to bed and getting up at your usual time. If you’ve been on a plane or in a car for several hours and you reach your destination during daytime hours, go out for a 15-minute walk after you’ve checked into your hotel. “Letting your body feel the sunlight will revive you and help regulate your body clock if you’re in a new time zone,” says Kurt Kazanowski, RN, the owner of a Michigan hospice and homecare service. Bringing along your favorite pillow, as well as earplugs and a sleep mask, can help make unfamiliar, and possibly noisy or bright, environments more snooze-friendly.

Finally, pace yourself. Sure, you want to squeeze in as many museums, ruins and seaside towns as you can, but you’ll enjoy these more if you give yourself time to reflect and relax at an outdoor café or even between those lovely hotel sheets for a late-afternoon catnap.

Stay Hydrated

When you’re spending hours in a dry, pressurized airplane cabin, an air-conditioned car or you’re out and about sightseeing, drinking plenty of fluids may help keep you energized while preventing problems associated with dehydration. That’s especially true during the summer when perspiration may contribute to dehydration. A water-bottle with a built-in filter that you can fill from a tap is a convenient, and eco-friendly way, to avoid paying for bottled water, whether at the airport or on the go.

Take the Gym with You

Whether you plan to spend your vacation poolside or visiting a favorite city, you can maintain your important strength-training regimen by packing a resistance band kit. They take up just a few inches in your suitcase and weigh no more than a pound or two, but these bands and handles can mimic any piece of equipment you’d use in the gym, says Dani Singer, a certified personal trainer and the director of Fit2Go, a Baltimore in-home health and fitness coaching service.

Singer recommends a ten-minute circuit that includes marching in place or jumping jacks to get your heart rate up; sit ups to work your core; chest presses for your upper body (do these while stepping on a resistance band and holding the handles at shoulder height), and, for your lower body, squats performed while you’re standing in the center of a resistance band and holding a handle in each hand. Move through the circuit doing each move for 30 seconds until you’ve clocked ten minutes.  Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before starting a new routine.

Eat Healthy

Sampling the local fare is one of the great pleasures of traveling. But overindulging in meal after meal can leave you feeling too sluggish to sightsee or even enjoy a day at the beach. A little planning will let you indulge without sapping your energy. Start by bringing your own snacks and healthy meal for your flight or car ride. Instead of eating every meal at a restaurant or raiding the mini-bar, visit farmers market and stock up on local fruits and vegetables. Be selective about your splurges, but skip the muffins or chicken-fried steak you can get at home and share the calorie-heavy treats with your traveling companions. For lighter meals, opt for simply prepared local produce and lean proteins.

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