Maintaining healthy habits while travelling

by Traveleads | January 21, 2020 | Latest News

We know our customers are always on the go – whether you’re on the third flight of the day, in hour two of a five hour stopover or flying from London to Hong Kong for a board meeting, sleep and sustenance can often be low on the priority list.

Those who travel regularly will know, it can be harder to maintain healthy habits while away from home. You might be eating later than usual, surviving on coffee, opting for quick and comforting carbs or simply not getting in enough steps to meet your daily quota.

We asked Niamh Hennessy, lead dietitian at Bupa Cromwell Hospital, for her tips on eating well while travelling for business.

Preparation

While it can be easier said than done, preparation can play a vital role in maintaining healthy habits while always on the go.

“You can help make healthier choices by preparing healthy foods that you can take with you on your travels, where possible. Planning ahead like this can help you to avoid hunger pangs and the temptation to reach out for an unhealthy quick fix,” says Niamh.

“Lessen the lure of the vending machine by packing some emergency snacks. Homemade flapjack will provide you with slow release energy, which is especially useful if you don’t know when your next meal will fit in.”

If you’re unlikely to have time to prepare healthy snacks at home, the supermarket can still offer you friendly options, says Niamh.

“Look for low calorie portion-controlled snacks such as popcorn, dried fruit, corn-based snacks or rice crackers.”

Healthy choices

Food preparation won’t always be possible for the time you have available or the location you’re travelling to; there are several other considerations to help you maintain healthy habits whilst always on the go.

Hotels often provide a buffet breakfast, offering a multitude of delicious hot and cold options. Niamh advises: “Step away from the pastries and fry-up station and instead opt for something more nutritious and fibre-based like poached eggs on wholemeal toast or wholegrain cereal with semi-skimmed milk. Breakfast is a meal that lends itself nicely to tucking into some fresh fruit, so try and incorporate this where you can.

Your day may involve eating out with clients or making use of the hotel restaurant. To provide you with enough energy levels to see you through your trip and still feel good, Niamh advises: “Look at the menu and think about the ways the meals are cooked – is anything deep-fried, crispy or battered? This probably means it’s high in calories and fat too, so pick something that’s steamed, baked or grilled instead.

“Try and opt for something low in carbohydrates which provides nutritional value, like steak with vegetables and boiled potatoes or a chicken salad with quinoa.”

Alcohol may also be on the agenda at the hotel bar or company events. To help moderate intake, Niamh suggests choosing low-alcohol or alcohol-free options too to help keep a clear head.

“Good hydration is really handy to help prevent jetlag,” says Niamh. “Try and drink lots of water before, during and after your flight. Try to avoid high consumption of alcohol or caffeine before and during your flight as it can lead to dehydration.”

Keep on moving

As your usual workout routine may not be possible away from home, it can be easy to become lethargic, the more time you spend sitting down on trains, planes and in meetings.

Walk to meetings where you can and challenge yourself to choose the stairs over a lift in your hotel… no matter which floor you’re on!

If you’re short on time but high on stress levels while away, consider a simple yoga routine or stretches either first or last thing to aid relaxation and mental ability.

Ask the experts

If this still feels like a bit of a minefield, remember you can ask the experts (that’s us!) for help. We can let you know which hotel has the best 24 hour gym, if it’s in walking distance of your work location and ensure that you’re travelling at a time of day that suits you; it’s all taken care of.

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