Tips for Balancing Travel and Wellness

6 Tips for Balancing Travel and Wellness: Healthy Habits for the Road

Publish Date May 11, 2023 4 Minute Read
Author Kroger Health Registered Dietitians

Prioritizing your health and wellness can be tricky when you’re on the go. Whether you’re enjoying a family vacation or you’re away on business, these healthy habits can help fuel your health and wellness journey.

1. Stay Hydrated

Hydration plays a vital role in your overall health and wellness, but beyond quenching your thirst, water helps you stay well while you’re traveling. If you’re traveling to a different climate, planning on being active (such as going on hikes or walking more), or going to a different altitude, keep in mind your water intake needs will be increasing to allow your body to adjust to a different routine and environment. Even if you predict lots of sitting on your trip with maybe long car rides or business meetings for work travel, hydration is still vital. Sitting for long periods means less circulation and muscle tone which can result in constipation. Drinking enough water can offset this and help your body efficiently eliminate waste and toxins.

When traveling, be sure to bring a refillable water bottle, and choose water over sugary, caffeinated or alcoholic beverages when possible.

2. Pack Healthy Travel Snacks

When faced with a busy itinerary and limited options, it can be tricky to make room for healthy and wholesome foods. To make sure your body is getting the nutrition it needs, keep your bag packed with convenient and nutrient-dense travel snacks to make the most of each snack break. That’s It Fruit Bars, RX Protein Bars and Harvest Snaps are great options to keep you feeling energized.

3. Aim for Balance When Eating Out

Eating out can present its own unique challenges, especially when traveling. Whether you’re stopping for a quick bite or exploring your destination’s dining options, aim to follow MyPlate Guidelines, which include:

  • Filling half of your plate with fruits or veggies to increase your vitamin and mineral intake for the day
  • Filling a quarter of your plate with whole grains to increase fiber intake
  • Filling the remaining quarter of your plate with lean protein to help keep you full and satisfied

Practicing mindful eating can also help you prioritize your health while eating out. Eating mindfully means paying attention to each bite of food, as well as your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Remember to enjoy the foods you love, and have fun trying new things.

4. Incorporate Exercise

Physical activity can offer a variety of health benefits, including improved mood and mental health, increased mobility and weight management. While traveling, keeping up with physical activity may not be at the top of your mind, especially if you have a busy schedule. Many hotels offer fitness centers, making it easier to dedicate 10-15 minutes to intentional physical activity. If your time is limited, try walking or biking instead of taking public transportation. Or if you’re driving, park farther from the entrance at your destination. You can also make time for a quick stretch between activities. Moving your body during your travels increases circulation, boosts your mood and keeps you on the road to wellness.

5. Keep Up with Sleep

When you’re traveling, it’s easy to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. While it may be tempting to skimp on sleep to make room for other activities, sleep is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. Sleep deprivation can lead to regulation of the gut microbiome and hormones such as cortisol, insulin, ghrelin, and leptin. This means increased stress, hunger, cravings, and decreased energy and immunity. Over time, this can cause your body to become more resistant to the insulin it produces, leading to a higher risk of chronic illness. The National Institutes of Health recommend that adults get an average of 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Prioritizing your rest will keep you healthy and allow you to make the most of your trip.

6. Set Realistic Goals While Traveling

It’s important to acknowledge that while traveling, your wellness routine may look a little different than it does at home. Having realistic expectations and a plan can help you maintain your health. Check your hotel or lodging accommodations ahead of time to see if you’ll have access to a refrigerator, microwave and fitness center. Knowing what to expect can help you feel empowered to modify your existing routine and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

While traveling can shake up your routine and present new challenges, you can take these healthy habits with you and continue your journey toward health and wellness. For personalized advice to keep you on track while traveling, schedule a telenutrition appointment with one of our registered dietitians.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and is not meant to provide healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

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