By Vanessa Birch, Momentum Bootcamps
Most of us who live in Singapore travel frequently. After all, there are many holiday spots with beautiful sights and delicious delights that are just a short plane ride away. Being on an overseas leisure trip is usually a great experience, but have we thought about how this may affect our health?
For the majority of us, being away means we lose track of what we eat and rarely factor in any exercise. This also applies to business travel, where we are tied up in meetings all day, find ourselves grabbing food on the go and often end up entertaining in the evening over lots of food and alcohol. The result: you end up feeling tired and sluggish.
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I know it’s hard to maintain a stable routine when you are overseas. You’re in unfamiliar surroundings and it can be really difficult to find places to exercise and more importantly, to find wholesome and healthy food to eat.
However, it is not impossible and here are some tips that will help you stay right on the fit track while travelling:
1. Pack your active wear
Always pack your sneakers and some workout clothes. If you have additional room in your luggage, throw in a skipping rope and resistance band or any light and compact workout equipment you have at home. Download several 15- or 20-minute workouts onto your phone (there are many free videos and apps these days) and you’ll have no excuse not to workout, wherever it is you are in the world.
2. Start staying healthy, even at the airport
Start your trip on a healthy note and get moving from the time you are at the airport. Use the stairs instead of lifts and escalators, and walk to your gate rather than riding the travelator. Also, avoid from indulging in fatty or sugary foods and opt for healthier alternatives where possible — you’ll feel better for your journey in the skies. Drink lots of water and limit your alcohol intake, avoiding the latter if you can.
3. Avoid the buffet breakfasts (or at least limit yourself)
This may hurt a lot of you reading this as some buffet breakfasts are just out of this world, but eat everything in moderation. We tend to excessively over indulge when we are presented with an enormous spread of food as we are overwhelmed by the desire to taste and eat everything, and go back for seconds. I definitely feel the same way, but our bodies simply don’t need that much food.
Keep it simple and order from the a la carte menu instead. Foods such as poached eggs, smoked salmon and avocado are good options, and always ask for steamed vegetables without sauce as they are generally high in salt and sugar. You can indulge in the occasional pastry or muffin, but don’t make a habit of it and limit your intake.
With a wholesome meal you’ll feel less tired and have more energy throughout the day.
4. Make smart snack and meal choices
Where possible, carry some light snacks with you throughout the day. It can be the unsalted nuts from the mini-bar or an apple from breakfast, basically anything healthy that you can snack on when you are out and about. This will keep you going throughout the day and you’ll be less likely to over indulge during lunch and dinner.
Choose meals with lots of fresh vegetables and lean protein such as chicken and fish. Reward yourself with a beer or cocktail, but throw in healthier options such as soda water mixers. Always stay well hydrated throughout the day.
5. Commit time to work out and stick to it
Set aside a time each day to do a quick workout. It’s best to get it out of the way first thing in the morning — this way you won’t be able to spend the day talking yourself out of it.
Whatever time you choose, stick to it and just do it no matter what; it’s less than 20 minutes of your day after all. If you’re travelling with your family, involve your husband and kids in the workout and it will be more fun.
Try this equipment-free circuit workout in your hotel room:
• Warm up for about five minutes with some skipping, high knees, butt kicks and some dynamic stretching.
• Circuit 1
Complete each exercise below for 40 seconds with 20-seconds of rest in between. Repeat three times
– Jumping jacks
– Jump squats
– Forward lunges (alternating with both legs)
• Circuit 2
Complete each exercise in the circuit for 40 seconds with 20-seconds of rest in between. Repeat three times.
– Bicycle crunches
– Mountain climbers
• Cool down with some light stretching
Vanessa Birch is the mother of two very active toddlers, as well as the founder and co-director of Momentum Bootcamps Pte Ltd. They organise regular classes where the numbers are small and they specialise in strength training. Click here to read more about them and here to sign up for a trial of Momentum’s classes.