On the road again: your guide to eating well and staying fit when you travel

Today’s guest post is co-authored by Candace and Lysa, who are Health and Wellness Advisors at WestJet.

We all know making healthy food choices and exercising on a regular basis reaps many rewards, but it can be challenging to maintain a routine when travelling for work or leisure. To help keep your health at the forefront on your next trip, here are some simple solutions for eating and exercising on the fly.

Planning is the key to making healthy food choices on the go. When you travel, make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need by trying this trip-friendly fare.

  • Pack a punch with protein. Take canned foods such as tuna, sardines or salmon with you. Pair these proteins with a side of vegetables or whole-grain bread.
  • Make a muesli mixer. Pack oats to whip up a homemade cereal. In destination, add fruit and nuts from a fresh-food outlet.
  • Cheese, please. A variety of cheeses come packaged in individual portions. Add whole-grain crackers for a quick and wholesome snack.
  • Salads don’t have to be green. Quinoa, bulgur and couscous make great salads. Prepare a quinoa or black bean salad and pack it to go.

Sometimes you have no choice but to eat at a restaurant. Following these tips will help you fill up on the right stuff.

  • Choose a soup or salad. Soups and salads are healthier side dish options than fried choices. They’ll also fill you up faster so you’ll likely eat less of your more calorie-dense entree.
  • Skip the entree altogether. Soup and salad might be enough to satisfy your hunger. Remember – it takes 15 minutes from the start of eating to feel full.
  • Select foods prepared using healthier methods. Choose grilled meats over deep-fried meats and tomato-based sauces over cream-based sauces.
  • Eat your vegetables. Most entrees come with at least one vegetable. If not, be sure to order a vegetable side dish.
  • Skip dessert or choose some fruit. A full meal that ends with a sugary dessert may make you feel sleepy.

  • Active living. Try to incorporate exercise into your daily life, even when you’re on the road. Plan your exercise ahead and pack accordingly. Save space by using one pair of shoes for running and for walking from site to site or pack a bathing suit that you can wear during laps and while you’re lounging at the pool.
  • Get your cardio. Elevate your heart rate by exercising continuously for 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Don’t forget that your 30 minutes can be accumulated in 10-minute sessions. Go for a brisk walk on the beach or around a park, run the hotel stairs, go for a swim or use the hotel’s gym.
  • Strengthen those muscles. If you don’t have access to a traditional fitness centre when travelling, try other activities using your body weight as resistance. Calf raises, crunches, lunges, jumping jacks, tricep dips and squats are all great strength training exercises. Aim for eight to 10 reps per exercise and repeat two to three sets. Doing this two to four times per week is best.