Maintaining a healthy nutrition plan and exercise routine while travelling is a struggle that is very near and dear to everyone’s hearts. Striking that perfect balance between having fun and enjoying amazing food and the fruity drinks while at the same time maintaining our usual nutrition plan and exercise routine can be challenging to say the least.
As my knowledge of nutrition and healthy eating is limited, I have asked a professional in the field of exercise and nutrition to provide us with some guidance and tips on how to eat healthy and stay fit when we are travelling.
Meet Andie from My Flourish Wellness
Andie has successfully over-come her own life-long weight loss, exercise and nutrition struggles, and has taken the lessons learned from these struggles into her career as a Nutritional and Fitness Coach.
Andie is the founder of My Flourish Wellness, which offers in-person and online nutrition coaching, personal training, weight loss, and weight management.
Andie has given us the real scoop on how to maintain a healthy nutrition plan and exercise routine while travelling.
Let’s hear what she has to say…..
Tell me a little bit about yourself, your fitness and nutrition goals, as well as why you chose this career path.
I spent my entire life struggling to be healthy, lose weight and gain strength. I struggled to believe I could become the person I always felt that I was on the inside.
I focused on all the wrong things:
- the number of a scale
- the size of my jeans
- a specific upcoming event
One day, I realized I would rather focus on being strong, happy and healthy instead of dreading a weigh-in or a shopping trip or a vacation. I decided to refocus my attention on what was good for me. After losing over 135 lbs., I decided I wanted to help others feel as good as I felt! I signed up for the National Academy of Sports Medicine Nutrition Coaching and Personal Training programs.
Through love, acceptance, strength and sustainability, I want to help others change their lives. I want to educate others to focus on healthy and strength, rather than vanity. I want to see others flourish and thrive and see their potential!
How to Maintain an Exercise Routine While Travelling:
What exercise equipment do you (or should others) bring when you travel?
I would highly recommend buying some bands. A couple “booty bands” and some longer ones, (sometimes referred to as pull-up assistance bands). These fold up easily and are super lightweight. They don’t take up much room in a suitcase. I would also recommend having a good quality skipping rope on hand; again, very portable and lightweight. Aside from that, you can utilize water bottles, ice buckets or other items normally found in a hotel room.
Let’s face it. The average person doesn’t want to spend a lot of time exercising while travelling. What amount of daily exercise to you recommend while travelling?
20-30 minutes of resistance training is enough to get some good work done. You could even set up specific days for your workouts. As an example, put yourself on a 3 day split. Day 1 of your travel, focus on working your lower body. On Day 2, focus on your upper body. Then on Day 3, do something fun and active! Snorkeling, hiking, resort pool fitness….lots of options available. Then, once you’ve been through all three days, start back at Day 1 again. You can also easily incorporate walking into your days.
If you are taking a leisure vacation on a resort, take a stroll after every meal prior to chilling by the pool for the day. If you’re on a business trip, wake up 10 minutes early and walk some of the halls; start on the main floor, walk up one flight of stairs, walk that hallway, then up another flight until you’re back at your room. This can be a nice way to get some quick cardio in without having to fight for space in a small hotel fitness facility…let’s face it…most hotel gyms are small.
What are ways that people can ensure that they stay fit and maintain a regular exercise program when travelling?
Plan ahead. If you are taking a leisure vacation and you know there are certain days you’re on excursions, work around those. Plan your exercise based on the daily activities. The good news is that if you are on a resort, you will probably do lots of walking. Take walks after every meal. Drink lots of water.
If you are on a business trip, it can be really tough to stay on track diet-wise. There are usually lots of customer meetings, meals out and conference buffets. Again, focus on satiating whole foods and track what you’re eating. There are so many restaurants that offer special menus or nutrition information that can help you plan ahead and be prepared. You should also focus on your water intake!
Pro Tip: What is you biggest tip to maintain a regular exercise/fitness program while travelling?
Plan ahead, drink your water, and be mindful
How to Maintain a Healthy, Nutritional Eating Plan While Travelling:
Nutrition is one of the first things to get thrown out the window when travelling:
How often should a person eat while travelling?
Unless you are participating in a day full of activity (climbing a mountain, hiking, extreme sports), you should just eat as you normally would at home. Focus on choosing satiating whole foods. There is nothing worse than feeling lethargic and over stuffed while on vacation, so being mindful of what you’re eating will help you avoid that feeling.
Are there certain foods that should absolutely be avoided when travelling?
Honestly, as long as you’re focusing on satiating whole foods, you should be good. That doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself, just be mindful. If you are flying, I would highly recommend avoiding lots of salt/sodium. This can cause high water retention and make you feel blah or lethargic while you’re travelling.
When there are so many yummy choices on the menu, how is the best way to stick to nutritional eating?
Again, focusing on satiating whole foods. You don’t need to fill your plate with the highly dense and processed foods. Have the items you love, but balance that with items that will keep you fuller longer. Some of the other tricks that I use to stay on track are:
- Focus on whole foods (generally lots of fruit and veggie options!!). My key takeaway is to really think through what you’re eating. If you know there is something that would make you feel lethargic, maybe just eat that thing once and then focus on whole foods that give you energy.
- Have one glass of water between every non-water beverage you drink.
- Bring snacks with you that will help keep you satiated throughout the day.
- Keep a food log so you can see what you’re putting into your body. Don’t worry too much about counting calories, but this can be a really good way of staying mindful while on vacation.
When eating at a buffet, are there any foods that should absolutely be avoided?
Again, there is no reason to avoid items in your diet unless those items make you feel gross or lethargic. Enjoy yourself, choose items you love, but focus on satiating whole foods.
Pro Tip: What is your biggest tip in maintaining a healthy diet while travelling?
Plan ahead, drink your water, and be mindful.
Your Mental Health is Important When Travelling
Travelling is not always rosy, there are many times it can be stressful. Example, large crowds, long waits, missed flights, etc. It is important not to neglect your mental health whenever you are travelling.
What strategies do you use to maintain a positive attitude through trying times while travelling?
I find keeping focused on breathing and drinking water helps me with stress. If I find my breathing is off, I will focus on my breaths and try and maintain a cool, calm, and collected head. There are some fantastic apps that you can download to help keep you calm, cool and collected during travel:
- Wim Hof Method
- Calm app
- Even a compilation of your favorite tunes can help keep you collected
What is your biggest tip in creating and maintaining a stress-free getaway?
If it is a leisure getaway and you are stressed, really try to dive into your vacation and enjoy every moment. Take time every day to breathe, exercise and relax.
If you are on a fairly stressful business trip, plan ahead as much as you can. But still; breathe, exercise and do your best to remember your plan.
While I am certainly disappointed to learn that the strawberries in the daquiri’s have no nutritional value and do not count as a daily fruit, I am happy to learn that it is not impossible to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine while travelling. Thank you for your insight Andie!
If you have any questions on how to maintain an exercise routine and a balanced and nutritional eating plan that hasn’t been covered by this interview, feel free to reach out and ask Andie.
Andie can be reached at www.myflourish.ca or on Instagram at @myflourishwellness. For inspiration and motivation, visit Andie’s personal account @cartwheel_ac, in order to see Andie’s transformation with your own eyes.
HEALTHY TRAVELS 🙂
PIN TO STAY HEALTHY AND FIT 🙂