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When to Take Your Healthy Habits on the Road (and When Not To)

by Beth Lipton
April 11, 2021

Have you started to, oh-so-tentatively, think about travel again? Us, too. And it’s exciting! And maybe also a tiny bit overwhelming? Even under ordinary (non-pandemic) circumstance, travel presents plenty of challenges to your normal (healthy) routine. Throwing out your healthy habits entirely can leave you feeling sluggish, bloated, dehydrated, and more. At the same time, though, we want to enjoy our lives — especially now. So what does healthy travel look like?

It’s all about balance. Remember that your trip is a short space of time, and everything you do for your health counts. So even if all of your healthy habits fall by the wayside for the whole trip, you can get right back to it when you’re home. If you get in a workout and a healthy meal or two, good for you. And if you do more, fantastic—as long as it doesn’t interfere with your enjoyment of the trip. The important thing is to have fun and not stress.

Here are 3 healthy travel tips that will help you maintain your sanity and have as much fun as possible.

1. Go ahead: Eat the carbs.

Let’s say that under normal circumstances, you avoid carby foods like pasta or bread. But you’re in Italy, where the food is such an integral part of the experience. You could easily avoid all the bread, pasta and pizza; there’s plenty of other amazing food to eat there. But… you’re in Italy.

This might be the moment to ease up. You don’t have to go crazy and eat pizza three meals a day (though we wouldn’t judge if you did), but perhaps you choose your moments and give yourself some leeway. Will a few carb-heavy meals completely kill your goals? Unlikely. But could having those foods in that setting up the enjoyment factor of your trip? Absolutely.

2. Be flexible.

Every choice means leaving behind other choices. You work out every morning like clockwork, and you want to be loyal to your fitness routine on the road—but does doing so mean missing out on the early-morning trip to a unique marketplace? Or walking away from an interesting conversation with your innkeeper or a fellow guest?

Give yourself a chance to be a bit more flexible than usual when you’re traveling, so you don’t miss out on a special experience in favor of a workout you can do anytime.

3. Think locally.

Love CrossFit? Find a local box wherever you’re going. Is indoor cycling your jam? See if your hotel rents bikes and get an early-morning look at the city you’re visiting, or sign up for a guided ride. Or trade in your cycling class for a local hike.

The point is to move, not necessarily to do the same activity you normally do at home. Walking around all day sightseeing counts as exercise—and it’s a chance to give your body a break from the shorter, more intense workouts you may normally do at home.

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