26 April 2013

Staying Fit Away From Home

This is a guest post by Michael Manning. Michael Manning is a fitness and healthy living aficionado. You can find his writing at his new blog located at http://mikemanningmusings.blogspot.com

Summer is on its way, and for many people, that means it's time for vacation. Unfortunately, it also means that you could ruin the physique you've worked so hard to attain. It's easy to slack off on your diet and fitness routines while you're traveling. There are plenty of fun things to do and ready access to any junk food your heart desires. Furthermore, it's tempting to ditch your healthy habits using the vacation as an excuse. To avoid re-packing on the pounds, it's important to maintain your fitness routine away from home.

Plan for Fitness
When you're arranging your accommodations, try to choose a hotel that has a fitness center. On a recent trip to San Francisco I was able to book great accommodations because I did some research beforehand. I checked a travel review site where I could see all of the hotels in San Francisco and check what amenities they offered and see great reviews from people who previously stayed there. When you get up in the mornings, head straight to the fitness room and get your workout out of the way. Studies have shown that this gives you more energy and makes you more likely to make healthy food choices throughout the day. If the fitness room should get full, however, it's important to have backup. Just in case, it's recommended that you pack some minor fitness gear such as a pulse monitor and some resistance bands. With these things, you can easily work out in the comfort and privacy of your hotel room.

Choose Wisely from the Menu
Many hotels serve a continental breakfast. Depending on how you make your choices, this can be either a benefit or a burden. Without a doubt, there will be junk foods like pastries, kids' cereals, french toast and waffles. However, there will also be healthy foods that will help you maintain your fitness goals. Aim for the healthy foods so you can keep up with your diet, which will also help your energy levels for the day. For snacks and other meals, a trip to the local grocery can be helpful. Stock up on ready-made salads, nuts or fresh and dried fruit. It is important to indulge every once in a while when you are on vacation, but keeping an overall healthy diet will help you with your sleep, energy levels, and stress which will in turn make your trip much more pleasant.

Stay Hydrated
It's easy to become dehydrated during your travels. For starters, the air inside of a plane's cabin is very dry, causing you to lose water rapidly. While flying, make an effort to drink a glass of water at least every hour. It's also best to avoid dehydrating beverages like alcohol, sugar and caffeine. Once you arrive at your destination, if you spend a lot of time outside in the sun, always bring some water with you. Your metabolism and energy levels suffer when you're under-hydrated, leaving you vulnerable to weight gain and fatigue.