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Staying Fit While Traveling

When out of town, it's easy to use traveling as an excuse not to exercise. This is a grave mistake, because adding fitness into your schedule can enhance the experience of your business or pleasure trip. You may not be able to work out at the same gung-ho pace you can at home, but even a little movement can boost your energy level. This can help your meetings become more successful and your sightseeing more enjoyable.

Keeping those muscles moving

You can get a cardio workout simply by walking or jogging out the hotel door. Ten minutes are better than nothing. It helps to talk to the concierge to make sure the neighborhood is safe. He or she will often have a handy map ready to give to you with a highlighted route, including some pretty neat points of interest. Enjoy the surroundings of a new environment as you briskly move. If the outside grounds make you feel uncomfortable, use the hotel stairs or check to see if the hotel has a treadmill or exercise bike.

While you are inside the room, take at least ten minutes to tone up each day. If you're feeling particularly ambitious, pull out your exercise tubing and resistance bands ¯ they travel well. You can also use hotel items as makeshift weights if you like — hairdryers, towels, or a business attaché that you may have brought with you.

Eating out healthy

Half the fun of traveling is enjoying the culinary delights of the town you are visiting. There is no need to totally deny yourself these tempting pleasures as you try to eat out healthy. With a little common sense, you can tantalize your taste buds by making sensible choices.

When dining out at a restaurant take the time to carefully read the menu. Select foods that are steamed, roasted, or broiled. Avoid foods that are fried, sautéed, or have been creamed because they are loaded with fat and calories. Don't be afraid to request to have your food prepared in a way that is not on the menu. Dress it up without the extra calories. Most chefs are happy to make these changes.

Fast food is often unavoidable on the road. Fortunately, many fast food restaurants have introduced the option of healthier fare. Ask to see a nutritional information sheet if you aren't sure what is the healthier choice. Avoid combo meals, sauces, and anything fried. Choose fruit salads, turkey, or lean ham sandwiches without the mayo. Even a regular hamburger is better than the triple decker that many places offer.

Packing healthy snacks

Traveling can lead you to bad nutritional temptation. It goes with the territory. You may have vending machines stocked full of super-size candy bars, coupled with midnight hunger pangs. Usually, no one can see when you indulge. Many rooms have a stocked bar at the foot of the bed. You can banish the evil by being prepared. Pack convenient, healthy, portable snacks. Take along packages of dried fruit and nuts that are already distributed in a healthy portion size. It's too easy to consume too many calories without even realizing it. Energy bars are nice, too. However, read the labels ¯ some have more sugar than a candy bar.

Taking to the air

Comfort and wellness don't have to fly out the window when you board an airplane. The sky's the limit if you follow these guidelines:

  • Move around: Do not stay frozen in one position while on an airplane. Squirm, wiggle, squeeze your buns, and move your body every time you can. This can prevent stiff shoulders and cramped legs. If you don't have to climb over too many people, get up and walk around every hour or so. At the very least, do exercises from your seat (shoulder rolls, stand up and stretch, rotate ankles).
    Leg movements help prevent vein thrombosis, a serious blood-clotting condition. The clot can sometimes travel to your lungs. Some people with this problem need to wear compression stockings — consult with your physician.
  • Breathe: Flying nowadays is met with many fears — terrorism, turbulence, and a terrible 2-year-old sitting next to you. Realizing that flying is probably the safest way to travel may not always calm you down. Taking slow, deep breaths is a great way to enhance your journey.
  • Chewing gum: If you experience ear pain while flying due to cabin pressure, chew gum. Swallowing can also help if you forget to bring gum. Have young children drink from a bottle to keep their ears open.
  • 90-degree knees: Try to sit tall while in flight to maintain good posture. It helps to keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle because that automatically puts your hips into a healthy 90-degree angle for back safety.
  • Drink water: The recycled air in a plane can be extremely drying. Take every opportunity you can to stay hydrated. Avoid caffeine when flying.
  • Use vegetable oil: If you experience nasal dryness when you fly, dab a little vegetable oil under your nostrils. This secret ingredient can make your flight more comfortable, especially in the dead of winter. However, vegetable oil under the nostrils does not constitute a serving of vegetables.
  • Plan for plane meals: When on a plane, the meal options are not always the best. In fact, nowadays you are lucky if you even get a meal. However, if food is served, some airlines let you order special meals ahead of time (kosher, vegetarian, low-fat). The best option is to prepare your own food. Pack a tasty turkey sandwich, apple, and a handful of nuts or raisins.
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