December is in full swing and with it the 2016 holiday season. For many this means lots of obligatory travel. Whether you’re driving or flying to Grandma’s house this year, here are some healthy holiday travel tips to keep yourself and your travel companions happy.
Hydrate – Water is very accessible no matter how you travel. Drinking water will help you stay more alert and can also keep you cool while traveling. This is really helpful if you’re traveling with a temperature sensitive spouse who likes to keep the car warm or you’re sitting on a hot plane while stuck on the tarmac waiting for take off. If you’re on the road ensure that you purchase a bottle when possible and sip it throughout the day. It’s also a great idea to encourage your kids to drink water instead of soda, not just for the health reasons, but also because the diuretic effect of soda will impact their kidneys’ ability to hold it for the next rest stop. If you’re flying and don’t want to pay $6 for a bottle of water, bring a plastic reusable one. Be sure its empty when you are going through security then find a water fountain after the checkpoint where you can fill up for free.
Pack Protein – Almonds, peanuts, & cashews are nature’s original fast food. They’re easy to pack and easy to eat. They’ll satisfy a salt craving so you can avoid buying chips at rest stops. Protein also helps keep you full longer. Packing nuts for yourself and travel companion can help avoid becoming hangry (angry because you’re hungry). This will come in handy if you’re looking at a long day of traveling.
Walk around – We’ve all been told that sitting is the new smoking. When traveling, you’ll be primarily sitting for hours, whether in a car, a plane, or simply waiting around. Sitting affects your entire body. Your legs can swell, your back can ache, and your body can get stiff. Take every opportunity you can to get some walking in during your travels. Take a lap around the gas station or challenge your kids to a quick foot race. If you’re on a plane, walk up and down the center aisle to shake out your legs. You’ll be much more comfortable when you arrive at your destination and will have burned a few calories in the process.
Stretch – In the rush to get started with your travels you might forget to go for your daily run or might not have time to get a lift routine completed. But you don’t have to let your travel day be a complete fitness loss. Instead, treat it like an active rest day. Give yourself fifteen minutes before packing the car to stretch your body. Focus on each stretch for between 15 – 20 seconds and try to get to all major muscle groups. This will enable your body to handle sitting better and might also calm your mind before a stressful day of traveling.
Traveling is a stressful part of many people’s holidays, but with these tips you can easily maintain your healthy habits for a healthier holiday. Safe travels!
Kylee D. Miller is a local attorney and fitness fan. She has been a member of VisOne since 2015.