You should always feel like you can indulge a little bit during the holidays. But if you want to make sure you won't veer too far from your health and fitness goals, Runtastic Fitness Coach, personal trainer and healthy lifestyle planner Lunden Souza offers the following healthy travel tips to help you physically and mentally prepare yourself for a Thanksgiving trip that will balance staying fit with just the right amount of enjoyment.
“Even if your workouts are short and sweet, something is always better than nothing,” says Souza. She suggests sneaking away for 20 to 30 minutes and doing some bodyweight exercises like push-ups, sit ups, planks, squats and lunges. “You can easily do all these moves in your hotel room or at grandma's house; no excuses,” she adds. “This is especially important the morning of the big feast. At least if you are going to eat a lot, your hard-working muscles can actually use a lot of the calories you are consuming in order to repair from your workout.”
“You can easily fit lightweight equipment like a jump rope or resistance band in your suitcase, purse or backpack,” says Souza. “They won't tip the scale if you are checking baggage and can give you a really powerful workout.”
Maybe you always remember to drink water when you’re at home or in the office, but Souza points out that it can be an easy habit to forget while you’re traveling and outside of your normal routine. “You definitely want to keep your cells hydrated and your digestion in check,” she says. “Plus, if your body is dehydrated it could actually mistake the thirst for hunger, and you're definitely already going to be eating enough on Thanksgiving.”
“Don't have seconds and thirds of everything just because it's available,” says Souza. “Keep your portion control in check with everything else except your favorite dish, whatever that may be.”
“Don't carry the Thanksgiving feast over to Friday and Saturday,” Souza said. Instead of storing and digging into leftover pie or buttery mashed potatoes the next day, Souza recommends saving some lean turkey and using it on top of a salad instead. “Keep the Thanksgiving feast on Thanksgiving,” she said.
“Before you plop yourself on the couch and go into a ‘food coma,’ get the family together for a brisk walk” Souza said. “This doesn't have to be a power walk, just a relaxed leisure walk to ease the ‘stuffed’ feeling.”
“If you're traveling for a few days and want to limit your indulgences or ‘cheat day’ to the actual holiday, you need to be prepared,” Souza explains. She recommends stocking up on convenient snacks that don’t need to be stored specially. “Have raw nuts, fresh fruit, beef jerky, canned tuna, oatmeal, protein bars, nut butters, rice cakes and fresh veggies on hand. You can bring them with you or buy them once you arrive at your destination.”
Souza recommends adopting a mindset that helps to remind you of the fact that Thanksgiving is just one day. “You can only prep and plan so much, and sometimes it doesn't always work out the way you planned it in your mind,” she said. “One holiday will not completely destroy all of your hard work, as long as you bounce back to training hard and eating healthy as soon as possible. The worst thing you could possibly do during Thanksgiving is drag on the laziness and over-consumption until Christmas.” So, even if your trip and holiday leads you off track, don’t let it get you down. Just get back up and back on track as soon as possible.
Souza says that we shouldn’t forget what Thanksgiving is really about—being thankful. “Look back at how far you have come, how many pounds you have lost or how much stronger you have become and pat yourself on the back,” she said.