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4 Healthy Strategies to Take on the Road

Healthy eating strategies to take on the road.
Eating Well - May 20, 2015

One of the pleasures (and perils) of travel is depending on your meals being prepared by someone else, and a pretty unavoidable change in your exercise routine. It always helps to plan ahead (and to pack a good pair of walking shoes); here are a few other tips to help you stay on track while you’re on the road.

1. Incorporate activity into your trip. Maybe your idea of a great vacation is lying on a beach for a week, but even that plan can accommodate a little movement, as long as it’s fun. The next time you plan a vacation or business trip, think about how you can work in some pleasurable activity. Book a walking or bike tour to introduce you to your destination—or use your vacation to try a new sport you’ve always wondered about, like sea kayaking. Walk the beach each morning and/or evening or amble downtown from your hotel, rather than taking a taxi. Choose entertainment options that keep you moving, like playing mini golf or bowling rather than watching a movie.

2. Choose the hotel. Seek out hotels that have health clubs or safe walking routes nearby; if you’re planning to rely on the hotel’s gym, call ahead to make sure the “fitness room” isn’t just a few ancient exercise bikes. If your budget allows, ask for a room with a mini fridge and/or microwave, so you can have some of your meals en suite instead of depending on restaurants or room service. The front-desk staff can point you to the nearest grocery store.

3. If you’re driving, pack a picnic lunch or dinner to eat at a rest stop (save the roadside restaurants for coffee and bathroom stops). For longer trips, take a cooler and stock it with nutritious staples—carrot and celery sticks, fresh fruit, bottled water, string cheese, whole-grain crackers. Go over the route ahead of time and plan stopping points for meals: do an online search to locate chain restaurants that have healthy menu options. Further browsing can locate alternative road-food sources, like farmers’ markets and grocery stores.

4. On planes, trains and buses, tuck emergency rations in your carry-on bag, if regulations permit, in case of layovers or delays. Use layover/delay time to your advantage: walk around the airport, train or bus station (check your carry-on bag in a locker, if you need to); you might just find an out-of-the-way eatery with healthier offerings that won’t blow your calorie budget.

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