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The Top 10: How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

When we're faced with long flights, exposure to more germs, abysmal airline food, tempting foreign delicacies and can't find time to keep up our exercise routines, sometimes it's hard to stay healthy while traveling. So we tapped some of Indagare’s fitness experts and community of health gurus for their top tips. Read on for our best advice on staying healthy when you're on the road, whether for work or vacation.

Interested in a health-focused journey? Contact Indagare for customized itineraries and recommendations.

For wellness seekers, Indagare is hosting special Insider Journeys this November and next January, which will include transformational workshops, healing treatments, meditation and true relaxation at the incredible Mii Amo spa in the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

Staying Healthy in Transit

Plan Ahead

For early morning flights, we recommend preparing overnight oats, whole-grain or other portable snacks the night before to avoid rushing and making unhealthy choices in the airport. We also recommend bringing a reusable water bottle (approved by TSA) so you’re not limited to the six-ounce water servings onboard (though bottled water is advisable). Another must-pack essential: wet wipes. “Since planes are notoriously dirty, I bring wipes to clean surfaces that my children and I will be touching,” says Indagare Insider Corie Tappin, owner of LA’s SoulSpace, whose other tried-and-true wellness supplies include chloroxygen, for managing altitude; ganmaolin, a Chinese herbal formula, to ward off colds and flu; a Z-pack; and saline nasal spray.

Hydrate and Stretch A major key to healthy travel is hydration, hydration, hydration. It’s easy to forget to drink water even when we are home; couple that with not having ready access to reliably potent water when traveling and we risk dehydrating ourselves. Make drinking water a priority. A good tip is to set a reminder to get up from your airplane seat every two hours on long flights to stretch, preventing tight muscles and stimulating circulation, and remember to drink extra water.

Get Acclimated When you arrive at your destination, try adjusting to the time difference immediately, if not before (especially if the time difference is significant). Try to avoid taking a nap of longer than an hour and adapt your body clock and sleep schedule to your new location.

Related: Indagare Favorites: Wellness Escapes

Staying Active While Traveling

Make Time to Exercise

Building activity into your itinerary is critical. Include a hike to explore a new area, or consider a bike tour to see a new city. If a morning workout is part of your routine at home, try to keep up with it on your vacation. The best hotel gyms, according to Indagare Insider Linda Wells (and founding editor-in-chief of Allure magazine), are in the City of Light. “At the Peninsula Paris, the trainers go out of their way to make your workout fun. And the pool at the Ritz Paris is poetic.”

Mix it Up Use your trip as an excuse to incorporate variety into wellness routines. “I encourage people to be creative and not too regimented with their exercise programs,” says Corie Tappin. “It’s great for your body to mix things up a bit.”

Be Realistic It’s crucial to set realistic expectations about working out. “I used to always get really thrown off-kilter when I traveled,” says Indagare Insider Isabella Channing, owner of the Shack Yoga . “Then I perfected my 20-minute exercise routine that I can do anywhere. The best part is that I don’t impose upon myself any more than 20 minutes.”

Related: Indagare Matchmaker: Spa Hotels

Get Moving

If all else fails, get moving. “I always bring my running shoes so I can exercise if I don’t have access to a gym. Walking is a great way to get to know your way around a new place and get your bearings” says Indagare member and marathon runner Gina Paoloni. “I like to walk everywhere to give me a sense of place, to inhale the fragrance of a city and listen to the people. And if I get lost (which I usually do), all the better,” says Linda Wells. “Some of the best hikes I’ve taken are on trips that weren’t hiking-centric. One of the most transporting is the Path of the Gods, above the Amalfi Coast. Everyone is so busy getting to the water that they don’t look in the opposite direction, up in the hills, where meandering paths are free of crowds and offer picture-perfect views of the coastline.”

Staying Healthy At Mealtimes

Strike a Balance

While dining out on vacation is half the fun, it’s important to strike a balance between staying healthy and enjoying yourself. Indagare Trip Designer Kelley Brennan recommends choosing one meal each day to be your “splurge” and ordering lighter fare for the other two. Indagare Insider Linda Wells advises postponing indulgences until the end of the trip: “When I go to Antigua, I don’t have a rum punch until the second-to-last night, because it’s packed with sugar.”

Be aware of alcohol and its empty calories. “Don’t be tempted by sugary drinks like piña coladas, which contain a hefty 650 calories,” advises Gina Paoloni. “Instead, choose a glass of rosé wine, with just eighty-three calories. In fact, have two!”

Embrace the Destination That said, it’s important to enjoy local cuisine—especially when savoring foreign delicacies. “I’d rather indulge a little on a trip than miss out on something special,” says Indagare Insider Linda Wells, who advises staying away from the mini bar and instead buying snacks at local markets. “It’s a sad situation if you go to Paris and skip the croissant or the soufflé. I come from a family of food lovers, and some of my best memories are of the meals we had on trips.”

Practice Moderation While staying healthy on the road is important, so is moderation. You don’t want to deprive yourself of one of travel’s great benefits: stepping out of your comfort zone. “We learn that we don’t need to rely on our gym or yoga studio or healthy supermarket next door,” says Isabella Channing. “We launch a bit into the unknown and are forced to find inner resources to maintain balance. This work, although it can feel hard at first, is the most valuable.”

Related: Just Back From…The Golden Door

Snack Smart

To curb cravings and avoid tempting airport munchies, we recommend packing snacks so you always have a healthy option on hand. Here are some of our favorite items:

  • Nuts
  • Protein bars (with less than five grams of sugar)
  • Justin’s individual peanut-butter and almond butter packs
  • Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate
  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • Rice crackers
  • Tea (peppermint and bedtime)
  • High-quality probiotics, including omega 3s and grapefruit seed extract
Our Experts
  • Kelly Brennan: Indagare Trip Designer and licensed nutritionist
  • Gina Paoloni: Indagare member and a marathon runner
  • Linda Wells: Founding editor-in-chief of Allure magazine and current chief creative officer of Revlon
  • Corie Tappin, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M.: owner of LA's SoulSpace
  • Isabella Channing: Owner of the Shack Yoga (Bridgehampton and José Ignacio)
Interested in a health-focused journey? Contact Indagare for customized itineraries and recommendations.For wellness seekers, Indagare is hosting special Insider Journeys this November and next January, which will include transformational workshops, healing treatments, meditation and true relaxation at the incredible Mii Amo spa in the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

Published onAugust 20, 2018

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