Travel

Health and Wellness Tips for Holiday Travelers

"Health and Wellness Tips for Holiday Travelers "… from Pritikin Longevity Center

Believe it or not November is already here and the holiday travel rush is upon us with over 40 million people expected to travel over 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving. With all of the sweet treats, cocktails and family parties it is hard enough to stick to a healthy diet during the holiday season—don’t let holiday traveling get in your way too! 

  1. Pack smart before you fly

Before leaving the house, drop a few tasty, hunger-curbing foods in your carry-on bag, such as a whole-grain bagel and easy-to-eat fruit like apples, tangerines, and grapes. If you forget to pack these goodies, grab a healthy snack before your board. Many airline terminals provide selections of food to purchase on your way to the gate. Look for the salads, nonfat yogurt, and fruit.

 

  1. Eat healthy at the in-laws

Keep your healthy routine while you are away. Make the kitchen your own! Check ahead with the in-laws and ask to stake out a corner in their refrigerator, and another in the pantry, that is just for your healthy foods like oatmeal, cans of low-sodium soups, beans, tuna, and salmon.

Also, ask for a shelf in the fridge where you can put your veggies, fruit, and yogurt.

Another idea: Order a special gift for your host – a big basket of luscious fruit – that everyone, including you, can enjoy.

  1. Healthy road trip pit stops

For a quick bite en route to family and friends, burgers and fried foods are not your only option. One great alternative is to stop at upscale grocery markets like Whole Foods, where you will find bountiful salad bars full of delicious, freshly cut veggies with healthy toppings like freshly roasted chicken.

Stop off at the bakery for some freshly made whole-grain bread and head for the refrigerated section for bottles of water – now you are set.

Are the kids and grandkids in the back seat itching for fast food? Scout out options that allow you to choose your fillings. At sandwich counters, load up on fresh veggies jazzed up with a little mustard and/or jalapeno pepper.

Craving Mexican? Stop off at build-your-own-burrito eateries with healthier options like grilled bell peppers, onions, black beans, pinto beans, freshly cut lettuce, salsa, and grilled chicken breast strips. Delish!

  1. Stay active away from the gym

Although you are away from your home gym, a little creativity can go a long way! Try to be physically active as you take part in the holiday fun! Don’t miss a chance to jump into the fray when the kids and grandkids are playing soccer, throwing a football, or building a snowman.

At home, turn up the holiday music, sing, and dance with the entire family. Just getting up from the couch is good for your heart and waistline!

Wherever you are, seek out opportunities to move. Take the stairs instead of elevators. Park at the far end of the mall lot and burn some calories as you walk to and through the stores. If you take buses or trains, don’t wait at the nearest stop. Walk to the next pick up site. Alternatively, when returning home, get off a stop early and finish your journey on foot. There is nothing more refreshing than a brisk winter walk!

  1. Tips for dining out

Dining out with friends and family does not have to involve high-carb foods. Offer dine out suggestions that offer healthier meal alternatives. When ordering, ask for a side of veggies instead of carb-heavy sides like French fries.

During the holidays and year-round, always remember the #1 tip in restaurant dining – ASK questions. ASK about ingredients. ASK how items are prepared – what sort of sauce is being used, and if there are available substitutions like baked potatoes in place of French fries. Particularly in this tough economy, restaurants are bending over backwards to please YOU, their much-coveted client.

  1. Tips for a healthy hotel stay

Choosing the right hotel when visiting for the holidays can be tricky depending on where you are traveling to; however, a little research on the hotel’s amenities can be a big help! Choose to stay in hotels that accommodate not only your business or vacation needs, but also your exercise and nutritional needs. Most major hotels provide their guests with special health-conscious menus as well as exercise equipment, or access to a nearby gym.

About the Authors:

Dr. Gayl Canfield has served as Nutrition Educator at the Pritikin Longevity Center since 2005.  Pritikin’s residential program is based on daily exercise and natural, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, and limited lean meat.  Since 1975, more than 100 studies in top medical journals have documented the Pritikin Program’s success in helping the Center’s 90,000+ guests achieve lifelong weight control, improve cholesterol levels, normalize blood pressure, decrease inflammatory markers, control blood sugar, avoid bypass surgery, and substantially reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate.

Scott Danberg is the director of Fitness at Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa. He is an avid athlete, fitness coach, wellness educator and designer of customized exercise programs, Danberg has inspired thousands of men and women to make exercise a part of their lives through his work as Director of Fitness at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Miami, Fla. He has a master’s of kinesiology and is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Leadership and Education, and he is an adjunct professor for Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla.

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