Incorporating healthy habits into ordinary life is hard enough, but add sprinting for a connecting flight, lugging your bags to a hotel, the dreaded jet lag, and all the other travails of travel, and suddenly fries at 3am seem like an especially good idea. But it is possible to make good choices and come home feeling even better than you left, while barely making a dent in your travel schedule. We talked to self-described “Bad Yogi” Erin Motz, Kevin Houston, head coach of REM-Fit’s “Workout for the Road” YouTube series, Ariane Hundt, clinical nutritionist coach at Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp, and Elizabeth Shores, a certified coach who’s currently traveling the world, about how to stay on point in transit.
Pack some snacksSadly, this not mean a suitcase of chocolate cookies and barbecue chips. But if you really want to skip the greasier extremes of the food court, or buying one of those 1,000-calorie cinnamon buns at the hotel vending machine, pack a few healthy snacks in your bag, like almonds, protein bars, fresh fruit, or even beef jerky. If you forget all that (we get it, you’re busy), just make this balanced meal at an airport news stand as you wait for the plane to board.
Get out and exploreInstead of mindlessly scrolling through Google results (which we all know becomes a total time suck), take a walk through the neighborhood after you check in. You’ll be able to determine if there’s a not-heart-attack-inducing lunch spot or a grocery store nearby, get in a quick workout, and get a sense of where the hell you are. Plus, getting in some sunshine can help beat jet lag, if you’re cursed by that too.
MeditateBefore you scoff, no we’re not asking you open your heart chakra or mutter in Sanskrit. For this particular “meditation” (a loose term), you don’t even have to close your eyes, so feel free to do this while standing behind the guy who's trying to squeeze a giant duffel bag into the overhead. Just complete a few super deep breaths in and out of your nose (imagine you’re trying to fog up a mirror) and you’ll actually get a lot of the benefits of doing a full meditation -- like reduced cortisol, which is the stress hormone that makes you gain weight.
Stay hydratedOne of the surest ways to feel like garbage while traveling is dehydration, which exacerbates jet lag symptoms, or a hangover. The quick rule is one glass per hour, and there’s even an app that will remind you. Also, avoid paying $5 for a bottle at the airport by bringing an empty water bottle with you and filling it at the airport water fountain. This way, you aren’t relying on the the flight attendant and those itty bitty water cups.
Choosing the fresh fruit at breakfast over a bagel isn’t easy, but at least booking your flight from LA to Dubai can be. From July 1st, fly day or night thanks to Emirates’ new second daily flight from LAX.