Staying Fit on the Road

February 21, 2011


Between visiting my family, visiting clients and taking mini vacations with my husband, I'm on the road quite a bit. When I'm visiting family sticking to my workout schedule and good eating habits it's pretty easy, but when  it comes to traveling for work, it gets a little tricker. I recently had a business trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming were temps got down to -45 degrees. Luckily I did some preemptive planning to prevent anything from getting into the middle of my half-marathon training. I chose a hotel with a fitness room, swimming pool and microwave and refrigerator in each hotel room. Everything else, I thought, would be under control. But, of course, things didn't quite go as I had planned. While sticking to my running schedule was actually easier than I thought, it was the things that I couldn't quite plan for that had me re-thinking my game plan. Roadblock #1: The airport. If you asked me my favorite airport snack I would quickly reply, "Cheez-Its with a bottle of Perrier." It's hard to resist the junk food meccas placed throughout the airport, but I usually stick to my guns and forgo the salty goodness (unless I'm PMS'ing). Our flight left at 6:30am EST, so once we arrived in Dallas for our connection, my boss and I were starving. Unfortunately, our options were severely limited, so we chose Applebee's. Yes, Applebee's. Before we were seated I start formulating a game plan and how I was going to make the best out of this not-so-ideal situation. Little did I know, my options were even slimmer. Everything was laced with meat or downright fattening. The Detour: I settled for coffee and pancakes and only ate 1 1/2 pancakes with very little syrup. Again, not ideal, but I had to eat. Was there any way to make a better decision? Probably, but remember I traveling with my boss. As a rule, I try not to force my eating habits on others. I'm a true believer that people have to make that decision for themselves. So if she says "Applebee's," I'm in. Roadblock #2: Long flights. As I mentioned before, our flight left at 6:30am EST with a 2 hour time difference in Wyoming. Long flights means boredom. Boredom can breed eating. The Detour: I decided not to pack snacks on the plan just for that very reason. I'm a serial snacker and nothing at the airport would have been worth snacking on. In hindsight, I should have packed along some snacks from home so that I wouldn't get famished. [caption id="attachment_1260" align="alignright" width="168" caption="Rocky Mountain Oysters aka: Bull Nuts"][/caption] Roadblock #6: Cheyenne, Wyoming If you've never been to Cheyenne, Wyoming you should add it to your bucket list. The area is rich with history and the people are absolutely fantastic. However, it IS Wyoming so I had my first encounters with buffalo meat and "Rocky Mountain Oysters," also known as bull testicles. Luckily, my vegetarian ways were a great way to get out of both. But the tougher issue I encountered were the portion sizes. Everything was just huge and covered in meat or gravy. The Detour: I ate salads for almost every meal. When they were too large, I split them in half. Simple enough. Roadblock #3: Where's the H2O? Have I mentioned that I'm a water snob? I love water and while I have my preference of Fiji or Voss, I'll drink Trader Joe's brand too. However, it will take a LOT for me to drink faucet water. Unfortunately, my hotel didn't offer bottled water and only had a few bottles for sale. The Detour: I bought a bottle of water and carried it around with me all the time. Fortunately, my client had filtered water in their office, so I was able to fill up throughout the day and had enough to last me throughout the evenings. I'm definitely going to invest in a Bobble or something similar to it. Roadblock #4: All day meetings. All day meetings don't give room for checking my work voicemail, let alone my periodic snacks or running out to get a healthy meal. Again, the tricky thing about traveling is that there are never ideal conditions so you have to adjust along the way. The Detour: I made sure I ate a hearty breakfast of rolled oats topped with pecans and raisins and tried to make good healthy choices throughout the day. Roadblock #5: QT with co-workers and clients. This has and forever will be my Achilles Heel. Quality time with the co-workers. It's the only time I feel the need to give into peer pressure. After all, who doesn't want to feel a part of the team? So when there's a round of drinks ordered, I'm in. Appetizers? I'm in! Another round of drinks? Count me in. The Detour: Okay, that make me sound like a reckless eating lush. Now, I will say I do partake in the drinking, but limit myself to two drinks. Typically I choose white wine over liquor or beer  (white wine has less calories than red wine or beer) and I only have one bite of the apps. I know a lot of people who travel on a weekly and/or monthly basis, and yes it's difficult to stay healthy while traveling and yes, there will be times when it's a complete failure, but it can be done. The key is to not get frustrated if you do fall off the wagon and commit to getting back on once you get home. Continuing the crazy eatings habits, I believe, is what really gets people in trouble. Also, it's important to at least maintain your workout regimen because it is the one thing that you CAN completely control.

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