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Old Oct 1, 11, 5:52 pm   #1
 
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Help! . Staying healthy on the road

Since I started travelling about once every two weeks, I've put on a considerable amount of weight. I do get physicals every year, so my primary care physician has noticed the decline : increased body weight, higher cholesterol level. Fortunately, I do have a big frame, so its not that bad (so I think)
I'm in my 30s.

Much of my travel is to the West Coast (from NYC), and to Europe. To save time, I like to take red eyes back (getting maybe 4 hours sleep).

I am interested in resources in staying healthy, perhaps also with the use of technology/apps to check progress.
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Old Oct 2, 11, 1:57 am   #2
 
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Everyone is different. How much discipline do you have?

I gained a lot of weight when I started traveling in my early 20s and still struggle with it in my mid-30s. Could tell you about a whole year when I was based in Washington DC but traveling to Vancouver every week and actually got out for a run in Stanley Park almost every day (and got back into shape). Could also tell you about other months or years where I was so busy that I barely slept, forget about working out (and gained the weight back). You definitely want to find whatever works for you as soon as possible.

Working out is one part. Food is the other, and more my issue. If I were to die tomorrow, I would not have any regrets about not enjoying some of the best food on this planet, made possible by work and related travel. I have probably eaten too many calories per day since I was young, but playing sports through college covered that up. Hitting the road revealed my lack of discipline, and have been trying to reengineer my brain for 10 years. But the neuro-associations built during my first two decades are strong!

Hopefully others will have some suggestions there, but I will share two things back on the physical side that seem to help regardless of whether I am eating well or not?
1. Carry a pedometer (or get yourself a pedometer app). Try to get in at least 10,000 steps per day. Even 6000 is a good start.
2. Pilates -- find yourself some classes in NYC -- and perhaps even out here in LA.

I started both of these a few years ago when for the first time in my life I was not only heavy, but short of breath from just normal activities (i.e. climbing steps). My weight still comes and goes, but overall my fitness level has been much better since doing Pilates at least twice per week and trying to take the 10,000 steps per day. My tested levels are actually remarkable for my weight and family history. The Pilates will also be really good to lessen the physical impacts of the travel itself.

Having the pedometer is pretty enlightening, and has actually changed my airport routine quite a bit. If I have time at the gate before boarding, I no longer just sit and wait there -- will basically see how many steps I can take before it is time to board?

There are many many apps out there. Google "iphone health app" and you will see lots of options. I use one called MyFitnessPal.

Last edited by dbuckho; Oct 4, 11 at 2:13 am.
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Old Oct 3, 11, 11:04 am   #3
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I usually don't use the people movers in airports now, and will walk next to them. I usually try to pick someone who is using them and try to walk fast enough that I beat them to the end.
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Old Oct 3, 11, 12:31 pm   #4
 
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Unfortunately doing day passes at gyms can get expensive. I would check the cities you are traveling to and look for any chain gym you might be able to join that has locations across Europe.

Traveling and exercise that even more dedication than being at home. If you can't realistically get to a gym invest in things like bans and other items that you can use your own body weight. Go for a walk or a run. Use steps, walk fast and walk on the people movers. In short find ways to increase your phyiscal activity.

Also, diet. Again its tough. Airline food, even the stuff up front, is horrible as is much airport and hotel food. Try to find a grocery store in your locale area or places that serve healthier food. Avoid excessive amounts of booze. Avoid the deserts and ask the FAs to serve you salad without dressing.

If you don't change this in your 30s within five years most of your weight gain will be permanent. Take a look around at some of the 40 and 50 somethings you see traveling (most of them that can barely fit into a business/first class seat) and decide if you want that to be your future.
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Old Oct 6, 11, 4:03 pm   #5
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Food is key.

I remind myself every time I eat in a restaurant on travel that this is NOT a special occasion, and that there is no need to have a full meal from soup to nuts.

Soup and a salad; one or two appetizers; a salad with added protein - these are all full meals. No need for bread, dessert, or drinks full of calories. If you're eating every meal in a restaurant, there should be no need for "treats".
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Old Oct 14, 11, 9:03 am   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katja View Post
Food is key.

I remind myself every time I eat in a restaurant on travel that this is NOT a special occasion, and that there is no need to have a full meal from soup to nuts.

Soup and a salad; one or two appetizers; a salad with added protein - these are all full meals. No need for bread, dessert, or drinks full of calories. If you're eating every meal in a restaurant, there should be no need for "treats".
Good points all.

Cheers.
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Old Oct 19, 11, 10:34 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katja View Post
Food is key.

I remind myself every time I eat in a restaurant on travel that this is NOT a special occasion, and that there is no need to have a full meal from soup to nuts.

Soup and a salad; one or two appetizers; a salad with added protein - these are all full meals. No need for bread, dessert, or drinks full of calories. If you're eating every meal in a restaurant, there should be no need for "treats".
This is really hard for me though. I see the interesting things in the menu and want to try everything. Have to remind myself that I will get the next meal and the next to try the different things...
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Old Oct 19, 11, 10:54 am   #8
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If you'll be frequenting the same areas regularly, and the same restaurants, select a few items that you know are filling and healthy, or reasonably healthy, and stick with those staples, rather than letting the unhealthy goodies from the menu tempt you each time.

Check out the restaurant's menu on their website in advance if you can, and know what you are going to order before you arrive.

Find restaurants within walking distance of your hotel and walk, rather than drive to the restaurants.
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Old Oct 19, 11, 10:56 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katja View Post
Food is key.

I remind myself every time I eat in a restaurant on travel that this is NOT a special occasion, and that there is no need to have a full meal from soup to nuts.

Soup and a salad; one or two appetizers; a salad with added protein - these are all full meals. No need for bread, dessert, or drinks full of calories. If you're eating every meal in a restaurant, there should be no need for "treats".
Agree 100%.. I only eat a light lunch when at work... on travel, due to lunches becoming a social occasion I often eat heavier and include a beer as well...

Need to gain more self control...
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