1. Use the Coffee Maker
The coffee maker is for more than just making coffee in the hotel room. Pack your own healthy, easy, non-perishable snacks, like instant oatmeal packages or trail mix. The hot water you can make with Mr. Coffee can be used to prep healthy breakfast foods like oatmeal. Avoid the continental breakfast with gooey pastries and cheese-filled belly busters, and see if you can snag some Greek yogurt or fresh fruit to add to your healthy meal.
2. Pack a Workout
A jump rope, a resistance band, and a Polar heart rate monitor. They take up less room than a hair dryer and are the most time efficient travel workout tools. Using the heart rate monitor to work in your maximum fat-burning zone saves you time – a 10 minute workout in your maximum zone can do as much good as an hour on the treadmill. I love Polar’s F7 because it also tracks calories burned and is simple to use.
3. Open the Mini-Bar
Hit the grocery store before the hotel, shove the tiny vodkas and $10 M&M’s to the side and stock your fridge with baby carrots, pre-cooked, yogurt and fresh fruit. Having your own food can cut down on those excess calories you don’t want or need. Prep yourself and have something healthy on hand to minimize the damage of vacation snacking. With a little planning, there are no food excuses!
4. Pack Sneakers
Are you going to work out in flip-flops? Not likely! If you can’t cram your regular workout shoes into your suitcase, invest in a pair of lightweight sneakers specifically for travel. They just need to be good enough for a walk, run or a tight cardio session, and they’ll be enough to keep you protected and ready to move.
5. Walk the Town
What better way to experience the city you’re in than on foot? Ask the hotel staff for some sights within walking distance – shops, parks or neat neighborhoods. See if you can walk instead of taking shuttle buses or driving. Make it a rule that if the route is under a mile, you have to walk!
6. Every Hotel has a Fitness Center – Use It
Plan ahead – pick a hotel that has a fitness center where you can actually workout. If you don’t, or don’t have time to use it, your room can be your fitness center. Fit in a quick 5 minute workout with your jump rope, resistant bands and heart rate monitor.
7. Wake Up Early
I can hear the groans already, but it’s true. Typically at the end of your day you’re not in the mood to exercise. Rise & shine 30 minutes before you normally would and get it over with. It may seem like a chore, but studies have proven that working out gives you more energy and makes you much more conscientious about your food choices throughout the day – why not start the day out right?
8. Drink the Water
Flying dehydrates you because of lack of humidity in the cabin air, so stay away from drinking anything caffeinated or alcoholic when you travel. It will dehydrate you and put you off your plan for the rest of your vacation. Try to drink a glass of water every hour on the plane. If you’re sick of water, try club soda with a twist of lemon. Your body will thank you for it.
9. Calm Down
Relax. No one expects you to stick to your normal fitness plan 100%. If you can get 10 minutes in every day and stick to normal foods for 2/3 of your meals, you should come out of your trip in the same condition you left. You can be good to your body and still enjoy yourself – it’s the summer!