Stay Healthy During Holiday Travel:
Ah, and just like that, here we are, in the midst of Holiday season. While Holiday season brings about many things to be thankful for, they are not without their challenges – one difficult dilemma in particular that is almost unavoidable during the Holidays: how does one stay healthy while traveling and attending holiday parties? This newsletters aims to provide you with some ideas on how to stay healthy while traveling for the holidays. Don't let your health take a back seat, build on the momentum you have established throughout 2016 and get ready to roll into 2017 using the plan of action outlined in this festive, special addition newsletter. Let's begin with 4 key principles to keep you at the forefront of your festivities:
1. Plan -
Its no big secret, Ben Franklin said it best over 200 years ago “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. The first key to staying healthy on the road is to make a plan. This does not have to be an hour by hour blocked schedule, but rather a general idea of how you are going to stay healthy while on the road. As you formulate your plan, here are some questions to consider:
Where are you going to get your vegetable servings from? (Greens supplements can be very beneficial - see below)
Where are you going to get adequate protein intake from? (Protein packets can be very beneficial - see below)
Where can you workout at? (Hotel gym, hotel room, nearby park… be creative - see below On The Road Holiday Hotel Routine.
When are you going to workout? (Some people may benefit from blocking off a distinct time in their calendar for when they will work out - others just need a general idea - morning, afternoon, evening).
What restaurants do you know you will eat at? What healthy options do they have? (Note: most restaurants will accommodate you ordering something not specifically on the menu - don't be afraid to ask).
How are you going to combat drinking more alcohol than usual? (If you're strong enough to abstain - we applaud you).
These are some of the general questions I encourage you all to think about before diving head first into the holiday season. Take a moment and answer these questions above; you’ll be amazed at the ideas you’ll come up with!
Now, here are the answers that I came up with to the questions above:
A.) Amazing Grass Greens Supplement - these are unbelievably convenient and nutrient dense. Each packet provides me with enough micronutrients for the day. I know that when traveling I won't be getting near as many vegetable servings in a day as I usually do when home, so supplements become key to keeping me on track. I pack 2 for each day I am gone. If all else goes to the waste side, I know I at least have a few servings of greens to fall back on.
B.) Vegan protein Powder - We must feed our muscles in order to keep the strength we have obtained in previous months. Hard workouts call for good recovery. Without access to a kitchen, these vegan protein powder packets provide me with some instant recovery nutrients - not to mention a great snack while I am on the go. Let the gains continue….
C.) The hotel I am staying at in Columbus has a gym with free weights - perfect. Free weights in the arsenal? Anything is possible. For those of you without access to a gym on the road, I have you covered - check out my On The Road Holiday Hotel Routine pictured below.
D.) For me, I know that mornings are my best opportunity to get a workout in. My workout needs to be done first thing or other events will take priority.
E.) I’m not afraid to customize my own meal while out at a restaurant - you may not be the most well liked person at the table - but I guarantee you will feel the greatest. All my meals will consist of a meat, veggies, and some healthy fats. Don’t be afraid to hold the fries and double the veggies (believe it or not, it is allowed).
F.) Lets face it, it's the holidays and I want to enjoy myself. But this doesn't mean letting go completely. Be smart. I will avoid the sugary mixed drinks and opt for a lighter spirit with a splash of water (natural flavored sparkling water if I am feeling fancy). Water is your best friend while drinking - I aim for 1 glass per cocktail. For all you fancy drinkers, check out this great article by Ysolt Usigan of Shape Magazine, for some great healthy cocktail recipes: http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-drinks/11-new-healthy-cocktail-recipes
2. Prepare -
Alright, the hardest part is done - you have your bulletproof “Holiday Health” routine set. Now it’s time to prepare. Go to the store and stock up on your on-the-go supplements that will help keep you on track (I got mine at Sprouts). Pack plenty of workout clothes for your trip - an easy reminder to get your butt to the gym! If possible, book a hotel with a gym. No gym, no problem though - refer to my On The Road Holiday Hotel Routine below. Think about recruiting a family member or friend as a workout buddy (double the fun). Start to plot out the places you will eat at and/or establish a general idea of what you will oder (Refer to E. for an idea). Dedicate yourself to 1 glass of water per alcoholic beverage!
3. Execute -
If you have made it this far, you're destined for success. You’ve made your plan, prepared the items you will need - time to execute! Hold yourself accountable. It takes months to establish a healthy lifestyle and only a few days to tear it apart. Don’t let the holidays be a free-for-all. Enjoy yourself, but be smart. Be conscious of what is going in your body. When in doubt - eat real food and move.
4. Relax -
Take a deep breathe and relax! After all, it is the holiday season. Be sure to make time to unwind. Be grateful for all that you have and cherish the moments! If you miss a workout or have a bad meal, life will go on. Don’t get down on yourself - simply do your best to get back on track. Remember, as the great Vince Lombardi once said, "It's not whether you get knocked down; It's whether you get up."
As promised, here is your On The Road Hotel Holiday Routine:
Sets & Reps: 1 x 8 reps on each side
-Keep lower back flat entire time
-Extend leg straight; lock out knee
Glute Bridges/ Bridge with reach/Crab reach:
*Choose version best suited for you
Sets & Reps: 12 reps (or 6 each side)
Sets & Reps: 1 x 5 each side
-Be sure to bring elbow to ankle for additional stretch
Beast to Downdog:
Sets & Reps: 1 x 8
- Rock onto toes from beast position - tuck knees under wrists
- reach butt towards ceiling - straightening legs for hamstring stretch
Circuit A: Perform entire A circuit with as little rest as possible
*Repeat circuit 2-4 times
Reps: x 5 reps each leg (forward, backward, lateral)
- Forward lunge, backward lunge, lateral lunge = 1 rep
Reps: x 12
- Use elevation if needed (hotel bed is perfect)
- Keep hips tucked - full body tension
Reps: x 12
- Contract glutes to come up
- Contract shoulder blades together
- 1 second pause at top
Circuit B: Perform entire B circuit with as little rest as possible
*Repeat circuit 2-4 times
Reps: x 20
- Maintain neutral spine
Toe touches & alternating leg lowers:
Reps: x 10 of each
-Low back stays flat entire time
-For leg lowers - straighten leg (lock) as best as possible
Reps: x 15
-Heels, glutes, traps, head and elbows in contact with wall entire time
- **** if not possible to keep all body parts against wall - move to floor and do slides from lying position.
Sumo Hop To Drop
Sets & Reps: 4 x 30 seconds on, 30 seconds of rest
- This is a hip hinge movement - do not round back - keep neutral spine
So there it is. You have your 4 key principles to success for staying healthy this holiday season as well as a workout that can be done anywhere! Stay healthy and stay happy this holiday season. As always, please reach out to me with any questions & comments you may have
"An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention." - Dr. Steve Maraboli
In Health & Happiness,