My dad always taught me to leave a place better than when I got there. Whether it is cleaning up my dishes in the kitchen or picking up a paper towel in a gas station bathroom, I’ve tried to live out this saying. As I continue on my post-partum weightloss journey, I’ve decided to take on this motto with my body and traveling. I want to leave healthier than when I arrived. Quite the opposite of how we normally feel after traveling, right?!
Whether it’s the snack displays at the airport, those airplane snack-packs that look mouthwatering in the pictures but don’t quite live up to their image, or just being in a new environment with new foods, traveling can really off set your body and your wellness journey. But! It doesn’t have to!
This weekend while visiting a long-time friend of mine in LA, I’ve committed to 5 things to avoid Vacay-Mayday.
- Drink bubbly. Water, that is :) Whether you drink still or sparkling water, the key is, drink it! Planes are dehydrating—low humidity and recirculating air create an environment where you need extra water. A good guideline is to drink at least 8 oz for every hour you spend on the plane. Plan ahead though! Purchase your bottle water before you get on the plane to avoid the additional cost of bottled water on the plane and questionable tap water.
- Think before you eat. Chips for breakfast! Yes! Oh wait…why?? Why on earth would I grab a bag of chips for breakfast in the airport? I used to do this. I feel like I get into “travel brain” as soon as I step into the airport. Hurry up and wait. People running to catch a flight. Babies crying. . . point me to the sweet and salty kiosk please!
When I slow down and think about what will make me FEEL the best, I make different choices. String cheese or hard-boiled egg, almonds and an apple—yes, please! If you don’t know what the airport offers for meals and snacks, pack your own—sweets included. Homemade trail mix and whole fruit travels well and bring a small square dark chocolate so you are less inclined to buy the KING candy bar, which is always on sale ;)
- Move your body. Beginning while you wait. No need to sit for an hour while you wait for the boarding call—get up and walk! Window shop, listen to music, or walk with an audiobook. Whether you’re sitting on the plane for 30 minutes or 3 hours, it feels good to get your blood flowing before you sit, and the exercise relieves stress and burns calories too!
- Remember to stretch. I’ve noticed recently that every time my 4-month-old baby wakes up, he stretches. EVERY. TIME. He makes cute little fists, pushes them into the air and arches his back, every time. I’m wondering what kind of shape my back and legs and neck and shoulders would be in if I stretched 5 times per day, or at least every time I woke up. So, I’m committed to practice that habit. Especially while traveling, when I feel like my already petite body shrinks another inch or two from all the sitting.
- Breathe. So much unnecessary eating and drinking happens because we are anxious, especially while traveling. I’m not pointing fingers, I’m just speaking from personal experience. When I notice my neck is starting to tense up, the first thing I do is bring my shoulders up to my ears, take a deep breath in, pull my shoulders back as far as I can and exhale, and then pull my shoulders down and back and hold. I then take 2-3 more deep breaths (I would like to say I do 10 breaths, but although that would probably be more beneficial, it would be a big lie! About 2-3 breaths, most of the time, is all I have time for—and it’s refreshing to my body and mind.)
When I break down weight loss and traveling, the key for me is mindfulness. I think about how I want to feel during and after the trip. My choices along the way dictate just that. I choose to slow down, enjoy the moment, and respect my body.
Whether you’re traveling the globe or traveling to work and back, I hope you’ll be inspired to use a few of these tips.
Sending love and sunshine from the beautiful and warm (sorry MN you just had snow!) Los Angeles, blessings friends!
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any illnesses or disease. Please always check with your doctor before beginning any new nutritional or fitness program or before making any nutritional/fitness changes.