Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Travel Tips

With summer fast approaching and vacation time upon us instead of just a hazy dream, we’re going to list some travel tips to take along wherever you go to minimize the annoyance of travel and effects of lost time. You spend plenty of time working your hardest to look, feel, and perform your best, now look, feel, and perform your best when it’s time to rest and relax.

1. Bring a Towel
One of the biggest complaints people have about traveling? Sore necks. Whether you’re on a plane, bus, boat, or sleeping in a foreign bed on a strange pillow, you’ve probably felt the discomfort and soreness that comes with being outside of your comfort zone. While a sore neck is annoying enough but probably won’t cause serious damage, the loss of sleep and inability to turn your head can compound each other to make you one seriously unhappy camper.
If you have a ring-shaped travel pillow you know it’s worth is several times it’s price. What some people find works just as well and is much more versatile is the ordinary towel. Fold it in half, roll it up, and you can mold it support your neck whether you are sitting upright on the plane, lying down on your side, relaxing at the beach… Essentially anywhere you can go. For people heading into a hot climate, it also serves as a handy sweat towel. Next time you’re on the road throw a towel into your carry on and reap the benefits of a simple but useful neck-saving technique.
2. Fuel Accordingly
Travel itself can be hectic and stressful because schedules constantly fluctuate and change in strange places and at random times. If you’re not sure of when the next regular meal is coming or simply don’t want to consume airline food (who does?), prepare for your journey by packing wise snacks to take with you and stay alert when you need it most. Going hungry for long periods of time isn’t a smart weight loss strategy, and if you’ve been training on a HIIT routine for some time you’ve felt the difference of fueling properly and regularly. Don’t let your work go to waste now.
Aside from the actual travel portion of your vacation, take into consideration if you’re taking a low activity, sedentary holiday or if you’re going to be active and engaging in physical excursions. It’s perfectly acceptable to park yourself on a scenic beach or pool and vegetate under a sunbrella. After all we encourage a week off  so take advantage but make sure to adjust your diet accordingly. Low activity? Lower your overall calorie intake, avoid processed and high fat, high sugar foods. Higher activity? Continue fueling like you normally do. This won’t make or break your vacation, but it could be the difference between coming back feeling great and coming back with an extra 5 pounds of personal carry-on fat. The airlines won’t notice but your friends will.
3. Stretch Out
We hear about people’s best laid plans to workout when they’re traveling. Some plan to get up early and run, others pledge to use the hotel gym. Realistically most hotel gyms are incredibly small rooms with a few pieces of outdated equipment with no space for any functional movements. Running in foreign cities can dangerous and intimidating, not to mention unrealistic if you’re on a set schedule.
If you want release the stress of travel and tension resulting from remaining in one position for long periods of time, MAKE SURE TO STRETCH. Before travel, after travel, each night before bed… It will help you relax, sleep better, and give your metabolism a slight bump. As usual you don’t want to stretch cold so give the ancient exercise bike in your hotel a whirl, take a brisk walk around your hotel, or simply march up and down a few flights of stairs with your suitcases. The point is to do a light warm up and a light stretch because it doesn’t take long to make a big difference.
4. Hydrate
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Airlines serve water in paper cups fit for elves, and depending on where you travel there may not be a reliable, clean water supply. Bringing a bottle of your own to fill up can help, but remember to start hydrating the day before to get a head start and continue throughout your day.
A common misconception is that people in hot climates need to worry about hydration more than people in cold climates. They are BOTH equally in need of hydration. Certainly people in hot climates may sweat more than they are used to, but cold weather strips your skin and breath of moisture very fast. Use meal times as easy reminders by starting and finishing each meal with a glass of water and you should be fine.
5. Pick a Destination & Get Moving
This last point is entirely up to you but many people will pick a destination where the majority of the vacation involves an activity. Skiing, hiking, diving, and many other activities are a great way to relax, enjoy your time off, and still see amazing parts of the world you otherwise only hear about. Some people may keep it domestic by going to other parts of their country for an adventure race and extend their vacation afterwards, attend a UFC match for inspiration… Whatever you chose and wherever you go there is usually a sight to see, a bike to rent, or some kind of outing that is the perfect opportunity to kick yourself into a high gear even for just one day. Near or far one of the best ways to visit other places is to get out and get moving. Happy vacation!