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Three tips for healthy travel

Build up your body while on the road

Whether you’re a road warrior or a tourist, traveling can lead to excess baggage — around your waistline. According to a study conducted at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, travel itself can contribute to declines in health and rises in obesity. Here are three tips to battle the bulge and stay spry on your next trip.

Exercise — The options here are endless, but the statistics are startling. Researchers at Penn State and the University of Maryland have found that the average adult only exercises for 17 minutes per day. If you find yourself with some down time on the road, consider spending it in one of the following ways:

  • One-day gym membership — Most gyms offer one-day, three-day or even one-week passes perfect for out-of-town visitors. Be sure and check with your hotel — there may be discounted or complimentary passes available.
  • Sightsee the city — Most hotels offer coupon books to restaurants and shops throughout the city. So take advantage and take a walk!
  • Rent a bicycle — There are hundreds of bike rental shops around the country. You can find several in every major city. Rentals start as cheap as $35/day.

Eat smarter — Consider walking to a local grocery store to purchase healthy snacks or even meals. Or if you only have time to eat out, choose healthy alternatives to the usual greasy burger joints and follow these tips:

  • Substitute vegetables for fatty sides like french fries.
  • Drink water instead of re-filling your soda cup multiple times.
  • Banish complimentary bread and chips from your table. Plan in advance with online menus.

Also, take a look at our serving-size guide for more tips on how to eat healthy.

Sleep more — Sleep not only helps you stay healthy, but can even aid in controlling your weight. Here are a few ways to master your sleep schedule while on the road:

  • Plan ahead for time zone changes — Battling jetlag can be tough, but it’s vital to getting good shut-eye. Try resetting your internal clock by going to bed earlier (or later, depending on the shift) starting a day or two before. This will help you adjust to the new time zone more easily.
  • Create familiar surroundings — Bring a pillow or blanket from home to help re-create a setting you’re comfortable with. Or if you’re accustomed to white noise, there are plenty of phone and computer apps available to download.
  • Quiet floors — Some hotels offer quiet floors that are blocked off specifically for patrons looking to get plenty of zzzs.
  • Relax — Take 30 minutes before bedtime to wind down or even lightly stretch in your hotel room. This will help your body feel refreshed and ready for a good night of sleep.

Whether you’re traveling cross-country or around the globe, these tips will set you on the right path. For more tips on wholesome living, check out our wellness website.

GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention welcomes the opportunity to share this general information. However, this article is not intended to be relied upon as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.