With loved ones and tasty, once-a-year recipes around, the holidays are a great time to splurge—especially if you plan ahead and work those treats into your healthy eating and fitness routine.
But often, it’s not the party or festive gathering that throws you off your game, it’s getting there! Whether you’re going by plane, train, or automobile, here are 10 tips to help you stay on top of your health goals while traveling to your destination.
1. RESERVE AN AISLE SEAT
It’s so much easier to get up and go for a little walk up and down the aisle, or do a quick stretch when you don’t have to push past your neighbors.
2. USE YOUR OWN TWO FEET
Escalators and moving walkways in airports are super tempting. Fight the urge to stand still and walk up the stairs and between gates whenever possible. And while you’re at it…
3. ADOPT A “NO SITTING” RULE
Don’t sit down when you find your gate. Instead, keep moving. Do a few laps around the terminal, make a walking phone call, and keep walking until right before you board.
Airplane food pickings are getting slim—so long, free packet of peanuts! Make sure you stash a healthy option in your carry on so you won’t be tempted to swipe your credit card out of convenience. A simple sandwich and a piece of fruit are easy to get through the security check.
5. STAND UP OFTEN
Take every opportunity you can to stand up—when you’re waiting for your train to board, after finding your seat, and once the train gets moving.
6. DO MINI SEATED STRETCHES
Roll your neck, gently twist your back side-to-side, roll your ankles and wrists, lift and lower your feet. Mini-stretches help to keep your blood flowing during long seated periods. (These can be done on an airplane and in the car, too—as long as you’re not the one driving!)
7. STAY OUT OF THE DINING CAR
On sold-out, holiday travel days many unfortunate passengers get stuck sitting in the dining car. Arrive early and board your train as soon as possible to make sure you get a proper seat. You can only smell hot cocoa and stare at packets of M&M’s for so long before your willpower gives out!
8. FILL YOUR CUP HOLDER WITH WATER
Find a water bottle that fits in your car’s console (or in your carry on bag!) and take it with you wherever you go. Set a goal for how many times you’ll refill the bottle during the day. You’ll stay hydrated during travel and avoid grabbing higher calorie beverages, like sodas, juices, and energy drinks, during rest stops.
Pack healthy snacks to take with you on your road trip. You’ll be less likely to pull over at the next drive-through! Some handy options: Cut up carrots and other veggies, popcorn, and almonds.
Wear your sneakers on the road and turn pit stops into exercise zones. Jog around the parking lot, find a bench and do a few pushups or triceps dips, or pack a jump rope in the trunk and get in a few skips next to the car. You’ll arrive at your destination without feeling stiff, and burn some extra calories to boot!
Got any healthy holiday travel tips? Share them in the comments below!