1. Plan meals in advance. Pack your carry-on with healthy goodies so you have something on hand when hunger strikes. Bring low-sugar bars, a small bag of nuts, cut up fruits and vegetables, or a sandwich to eat during your flight. If you don’t have time to pack some snacks, check out the GateGuru Smartphone app to find out where you can get a healthy meal at the airport. If you are road tripping, pack an ice chest with fruits and vegetables. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water so you do not become dehydrated.
2. Get enough sleep. The holidays are often hectic, and trying to combine that with lengthy trips can make you overeat, cause dizziness, make you sluggish, and affect your mood. Research has shown skipping even a few hours of sleep can make you more susceptible to catching a cold the next day. And it can cause you to be a less alert driver, which is why the AAA recommends getting at least six hours of shut-eye before a long road trip. If you can’t, get a designated driver to help you out. And, if you’re flying, make use of the pillow and blanket to help you recover those lost winks.
3. Stay active. Wear comfortable shoes so you can walk around the airport terminal instead of sitting down to wait for boarding. And make a few trips up and down the aisle during your flight, even if you don’t need the restroom. In the car, take breaks every two or three hours for a quick burst of fresh air. If you’re staying in a hotel, use the swimming pool or the exercise room. If you’re staying with family or friends, invite them along for a walk or go skiing or snowboarding. If it’s too cold outside, bring some of your favorite exercise DVDs and do them indoors. Exercise will boost your energy and mood while traveling and help burn off those unwanted calories.
4. Eat a healthy breakfast. Skip the high calorie breakfasts of pancakes, bacon, and French toast. Healthier choices include oatmeal with skim milk, egg whites with a piece of fruit, or yogurt. If there are no healthy options where you’ll be staying, considering bringing cereal bars, apples, dried fruit, or instant unsweetened oatmeal.
Jennifer Adams is a nationally certified personal trainer and exercise instructor who has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. She is the owner of Sand N Sea Fitness in Santa Cruz and is a practicing attorney. Contact her at [email protected]