Heading out of town for vacation is no excuse to ditch your exercise routine. Try these easy tips to stay in shape the next time you travel.
A vacation on Oahu may go a little like this: float in the ocean, lie out in the sand, drink a mai tai, repeat. But if going a few days without some form of exercise sounds more like torture than paradise, it's still possible to make like a tourist but play like a local. While a surf or stand-up paddleboard session is a must do when you're on Oahu, here's where the locals like to sweat it out — all conveniently a short distance from tourist-friendly Waikiki!
Tropical destination races are one of the best ways to have a vacation and also stay fit. But before you fly to paradise, make sure you've got your marathon strategy down. Gina Harrison, assistant race director of competition for the Reggae Marathon (my first tropical destination race — read my Reggae Marathon race review here), offered her advice on staying safe and comfortable when you're running a race in hot conditions.
Get used to it: If you've trained for your race in crisp temperatures, then the effect of the heat and humidity can be a shock to your system once you're on the start line. Make sure you become comfortable with running in warmer weather by replicating some of the conditions at home. "Get used to building up a sweat," Gina said. "I would definitely do some indoor running, fully clothed, to get your body temperature up."
Hydrate before: Like with any race, hydration is important — and it's especially so when you are losing lots of sweat while running in hot weather. Preparation is key; you should start your hydration program two to three days before the marathon, Gina said, and get serious the day before. Staying well-hydrated in the days leading up to your race will help ensure you don't dehydrate on the course.
And during: Once it's the big day, make sure you drink a mixture of water and, if offered, electrolyte-rich sports drinks from the water stations to ensure that you replenish what you're losing from sweating so much. Gina recommends that race-goers take small sips of two to four ounces of water or sports drink when they need to ("keep it evenly balanced" between the two, she recommends); you don't have to take water from every station, but make sure that you stay adequately hydrated by drinking every 15 to 20 minutes.
Even if you plan to be a jet-setter over the holidays, there's no excuse not to get a workout in — especially if you're at a hotel with a gym. Whether it's a tiny room or a luxurious facility, all you need is an elliptical and a mat or towel to move through this 30-minute workout session that combines cardio and strength training for a total body workout. Kick things off with an elliptical routine with intervals to get the most out of your short session.
|00:00 — 3:00||3||130||Warmup|
|03:00 — 5:00||6||140|
|05:00 — 07:00||7||140 — 150|
|07:00 — 08:00||8||190 — 200||Sprint|
|08:00 — 10:00||7||150 — 160|
|10:00 — 11:00||8||190 — 200||Sprint|
|11:00 — 13:00||7||150 — 160|
|13:00 — 15:00||4||140 — 150||Cooldown|
Keep reading for the strength training portion.
It's no secret that travel and notoriously pricey, unhealthy snacks go hand in hand. If you're hitting the road this holiday season or heading to the airport, packing your own snacks will save you money, unwanted calories, and candy bar regret. A small snack will also keep your diet on track, curbing stomach growls — preventing you from overindulging come mealtime.
Grab some ziplock bags and start packing some of our favorite 100-calorie snacks before you board the plane or hit the road this Winter!
- Three cups of popcorn (93) sprinkled with cinnamon (6): 99 calories.
- Kashi Cinnamon Oat Heart to Heart Cereal (1/4 cup of cereal is 40 calories) with a small apple (53): 93 calories.
- Mini Clif Bar (Crunchy Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, Chocolate Chip, or Blueberry Crisp): 100 calories
- One rice cake (35) drizzled with almond butter (51): 86 calories
- Seven Stacy's Simply Naked Pita Chips (65) with one tablespoon Sabra Hummus (35): 100 calories
- One serving of homemade baked kale chips: 59 calories.
There's a good chance you'll be traveling this holiday season, making it much more difficult to stick with a healthy routine. And while it's difficult, it's definitely not impossible — especially when armed with these tips from celebrity trainer Valerie Waters. Given that the OpenSky insider trains the likes of Jennifer Garner and Poppy Montgomery, she definitely knows how to keep the always-moving gal healthy and fit.
- Front-load your nutrition: When visiting family, it's likely most parties, indulgent meals, and social commitments will happen at night. Valerie's advice is to start each day with a well-balanced, healthy breakfast. Valerie's go-to breakfast is a powerful shake made with Sun Warrior protein powder, super greens, and chia seeds. "I still work on making the best choices at all my meals, but it's always helpful knowing I started the day right," Valerie said. Check out even more ideas for healthy, protein-packed breakfasts.
- Always make time to sleep: Whether it's a packed schedule or a different time zone, being away from home can make finding quality time with your pillow hard to come by. This is something Valerie knows all too well, so to help her sleep when she's away from home, she downloads nature sounds, like rainwater or breaking waves, on her phone to help her fall asleep more easily. While it's easy to do when you're away from home, avoid running yourself ragged by always making time for quality sleep. Take Valerie's tip to heart by downloading these sleep apps before you leave for your trip.
See two more tips from Valerie after the break!
The holidays may be full of traveling, but that's no excuse for forgetting health goals. Healthy airport travel is within your reach with this survival guide, so it's time to take the pain out of the process.
Prep your purse: So much emphasis goes into packing for the destination, but there's no worse feeling than being stuck on a long flight without a list of your health essentials. You're already making a packing list for your luggage, so make one for your carry-on case, too. Save it on your computer or email it to yourself so you always have it handy.
Sayonara, jet lag: If you always feel like a zombie after a big flight, then take tired matters into your own hands. Staying away from alcohol before you fly and while on the plane will help you get better-quality sleep, but another way to make sure you sleep is to go for a little melatonin. Naturopath practitioner Dr. Holly Lucille also explained that "the only time she ever uses melatonin is if someone is flying over time zones. . . . Small doses, even a milligram, can really help establish normal sleep patterns earlier." Things like exercise, avoiding caffeine, and drinking water can also help prevent jet lag.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: There's no magical elixir on the plane that does more wonders for your body than water. And those tiny, fun-sized bottles on the airplane offer will not make the cut. Instead of spending $15 dollars on a big plastic bottle sold at the airport, bring your own refillable water bottle from home. Just be sure it's empty! Otherwise you're going to be chugging a ton of water before you go through security. And even before you jet off, make sure to hydrate properly before getting on the plane.
Snack attack: Airplane food is a mix of salty or sweet snacks, while airport terminals are filled with fast food — all which can be fierce temptations. Arrive to the airport on a full stomach, and have healthy snacks packed and ready to go. Not only are you putting your body in the best position to stay healthy, but also, you'll be saving a nice chunk of change.
Don’t let holiday travel keep you from getting a good workout. We've created a fitness routine to keep the happy traveler toned; in just five easy moves you can work your arms, legs, and glutes. Perfect for a the cramped space of a hotel room, this workout is easy to fit in anywhere — and I mean that literally. With simple variations and props you can find in almost any hotel room or — a towel and phone book — you can customize your workout to target different muscles. You've got what it takes, wherever you go, to take care of yourself.
Traveling during cold and flu season requires a proactive plan. Keep this list handy as you hurry through the holidays to stay healthy and happily on the go.
Prevention is the best policy: You know it's going around, so a little bit of defense never hurts. Take this tip from naturopathic practitioner Dr. Holly Lucille: water and vitamin C are easy prevention strategies that work. Dr. Lucille recommends that you up your vitamin C intake to 1,000 mg a day, and stay hydrated — especially when flying — to help ward off germs.
Eat for immunity: Maybe your best-laid prevention plans didn't work and you're now nursing a cold. Put up a good fight with foods that boost your immunity, like whole grains, sweet potatoes, and yogurt, to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. Learn more about why these foods (and more) help your immune system here.
Deal with it: You've loaded up on immune-boosting foods and have a thermos of green tea at your side. But dealing with the inconvenience of having a cold or the flu during holiday season is just another side of getting sick. Need relief from cold symptoms while traveling for the holidays? Here are some ways to help:
- Relieve sinus and ear pressure before you take off by placing a warm, damp towel on your forehead and unblocking ears by yawning. Find out more ways to relieve cold symptoms while you're traveling here.
- Got sickness-related aches and pains? Traveling will probably make them worse, so pay close attention to your comfort levels while you travel. These stretches and exercises will help you soothe aches and pains during your journey.
- Being sick is annoying, but catching the common cold is no reason to stop your workout routine. Usually, above the neck symptoms like runny nose, congestion, and headache mean you're OK to exercise — and exercising will help boost your immune system and get you on the road to recovery faster. Need to modify your routine? Read about the best exercises to do when you're sick here.
Staying healthy and stress-free throughout the holidays is not always an easy task. One reason for aches and pains is the ways we have to twist our bodies and lug heavy suitcases or shopping bags while rushing through the day. Here's how you can help prevent and combat these pains while traveling.
- Cramped airplane seats and hours of waiting for delayed flights can subject your body to lots of uncomfortable positioning. Take time to do these in-flight stretches to help prevent getting sore. Each stretch allows joints and muscles to move more freely in a cramped environment.
- Rushing from party to party? Give your feet a rest by doing these leg-strengthening exercises made especially for high-heel wearers; they'll help ensure that you don't suffer for fashion.
- Even if you've opted for more comfortable shoes, being on the go all day long can lead to tired feet. Get some fast relief by rolling a tennis ball or ice-cold water bottle under your feet; you'll massage sore arches and soothe overworked soles in no time.
- When you're stressed, chances are you hold the tension in your neck. Take time to do these tension-relieving head and neck stretches so you don't get sidelined by a headache.