Vacation and Traveling
How do you maintain progress while on the go?
Vacation and Traveling Tips
Over the next week or two, many of you will be traveling on spring break. This is an exciting time to relax and get away from the everyday stressors of life and enjoy some time with your families.
It can be easy to look past the healthy habits and behaviors we have developed before leaving. I do think it can be beneficial to have moments where we aren’t so strict, however, I want to provide you all with some simple tips to minimize the derailing decisions and make your transition out of vacation easier.
As we all know traveling is not a time that many of us make wise food choices. It is prime time for us to grab fast food and gas station snacks to fuel our travels.
One thing that will mitigate the desire for snacky food products is to prioritize your protein consumption. This can be as simple as eating the steak or chicken first in the meal you order. I like to travel with high-quality jerky such as Epic products. High-quality protein options while traveling will ensure that you are still getting the nutrients your body needs even when making other less optimal food choices.
Fasting and Sunlight Exposure
Often while traveling people find themselves suffering from jet lag and sleep disturbances, especially if they have traveled across timezones. Fasting before and for the duration of the flight may help reduce symptoms of jet lag. There is no real data on the reason for this but anecdotally many such as myself have found it helpful. I wouldn’t recommend trying this if you are not someone who has experience with fasting. Sunlight exposure as I have spoken about before is essential for letting our brain know what time of day it is. Getting out in the sunlight before 11 am will help reset your circadian rhythm and improve your sleep quality.
Moderate Intensity Workouts
There are generally a couple of different mindsets when going on vacation. The first is the person who goes on vacation and wants to sit on the beach all day and the second is who thinks they will have time to get in three workouts, a 5-mile hike, and two beach volleyball games. My advice for both people is two 30 min moderate-intensity bodyweight workouts and a couple of long walks. Vacation is not the time for increasing your fitness rather it is a time for maintaining your fitness and recovering.
Achieving a few moderate-intensity workouts throughout the week will:
Improve your energy levels
Promote muscle maintenance and recover
Promote consistency with your training
Easy your transition back into your regular training schedule
The spillover of less optimal food choices and sleeping patterns have the potential to follow us home first few days or maybe even a week. The best thing you can do is to give yourself a buffer day. Having a day to focus on grocery shopping, meal prepping, and returning to a normal sleep schedule will set you up for the most success in your return to regular life. It may seem simple but I have seen clients have to work harder for a week or two after returning to get back to their previous lifestyle habits.
Prioritize Protein in all of your meals
Achieve enough movement to maintain muscle and improve recovery
Allow time to reinitiate health behaviors before returning to work
Movement is Medicine. Food Is Fuel.
One Day or Day One the Choice is Yours
Andrew Cataldo CSCS
Director - Performance Division