Most people travel at one point or another during the year, with some people traveling much more than others. Some professions, such as airline pilot or truck driver, require a lot of travel by nature of the job. Other people enjoy traveling as a hobby, especially if they do not have a job that ties them to one particular location. However, one challenge of being on the go and in new locations all the time is maintaining a routine and continuing to do things that are good for the body and mind. Here are some healthy habits to keep in mind when traveling.
- Getting Enough Sleep
Getting the proper amount of sleep can be a challenge when traveling, particularly if you are going across several time zones. Adjusting to your new time zone is an important part of getting enough sleep while on vacation or traveling for work. Many people who often travel across time zones suggest gradually changing your sleep schedule before and during travel.
Even if you are staying in the same time zone, you need to get enough sleep and feel rested in order to make the most of your vacation. Some things that help with sleep include:
- Exercising during the day, whether that means playing a sport, going for a walk, doing yoga, or something else
- Getting enough sunlight throughout the day
- Avoiding screens, such as your smartphone and television, starting around an hour before you want to go to sleep
- Refraining from eating large meals and consuming caffeine or alcohol later in the day
These are good habits to have all year long but are especially important when you are traveling and need to be more alert and aware of your surroundings than usual.
- Eating Well
Eating health-friendly on the road can be a challenge, but items such as a protein bar and chopped vegetables are easy to pack and eat while traveling. Planning snacks and meals in advance is a good way to avoid the temptation of grabbing unhealthy fast food while driving or waiting in the airport. Before leaving, check to see if the hotel where you will be staying has a full kitchen, just a microwave and refrigerator, or no kitchen equipment at all in the room. Knowing this ahead of time makes it easier to plan and pack meals for the trip.
Depending on where you are traveling, there can be many ways to incorporate exercise into your day. For example, if you have a layover at a large airport, you can use that time to walk around and get in your steps for the day. Many hotels have fitness facilities where you can go work out after a long day of sitting in the car driving to your destination.
Regular exercise comes with many benefits, including reduced stress, stronger bones, and a better-performing cardiovascular system. However, avoid beating yourself up if you need to go a day or two without your regular exercise routine if there is no way to feasibly or safely incorporate exercise while traveling.
- Managing Stress
While traveling can be fun, it can also be very stressful as you have to deal with a change in routine, traffic, appointments, and generally making sure that everything is in order. Some ways to manage stress while on the road include:
- Taking some time to meditate, either in silence or by using a guided meditation
- Calling friends and family for a chat
- Keeping a sense of humor and not sweating the small stuff
Even though traveling is a busy time, it is important to remain mindful of your stress levels and take some time out of the day to manage feelings like anxiety and frustration.
The next time you are traveling for vacation, work, or any other reason, keep these four healthy habits in mind. Continue as much of your usual routine as possible when you are away from home.