Every other day, I wake up and go running. I’ve been doing this for several months now, and I’m getting better at running. I even want to run a race soon. And I’m planning on running straight through the winter. This is huge for me.
They say it takes about 21 days to make or break a habit. So how do you keep good habits while you’re traveling? Eating well, exercising, keeping up your hygiene…they can all take a back seat pretty quickly when your normal home routine is upset by traveling, especially traveling on a part time basis.
I’m not perfect, so I’m still trying to figure this out myself, but with a little bit of introspection and reflection recently, I’ve found some good ways to keep good, healthy habits on the road.
You’re traveling, so something is almost guaranteed to go wrong. If 10 years of Boy Scouts taught me anything, it was to be prepared for whatever comes your way. No, you can’t have the solution to every little thing that goes wrong, but you can be ready, mentally and physically, to deal with problems as they arise. Whether by keeping a trusty pocketknife by your side, having a first aid kit with you, or knowing the best ways out of a building, just being ready for something to go wrong can make your journey a little easier.
KEEP A KIT AT THE READY
Speaking of kits, I’ve talked a bit about having a bugout bag ready. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and it can serve multiple purposes, but having some kind of kit with the basics ready will help in an emergency. Think about the basics for survival: food, clothing, shelter, water, first aid. Surprisingly enough, those are the very things you’ll want to have with you when enjoying time in the outdoors. Keep it simple, but keep it handy.
Traveling is stressful. Long security lines, crazy traffic, crazier people, and everything else travel related can all lead to big headaches. Hell, even having fun can take its toll on your mental and physical health. The way to counteract all that stress is to breathe. And yes, I do mean, “like, meditation?” A few minutes at the beginning of the day and a few minutes at the end of sitting, breathing, listening in a quiet, distraction free room will keep you on track.
If you’re doing outdoors activities, you likely won’t have to worry much about this one. But a lot of air, rail, or road travel, coupled with hotel stays, eating out at restaurants, and drinking at bars or pubs, will take its toll on your physical well-being. You’ll put on weight, retain way too much water, your muscles will atrophy, and you’ll invite a host of other ailments. 20 minutes of fast-paced walking each day can help to counteract this, but why not bring a pair of running shoes and some workout clothes and hit the hotel gym? Or better yet, get outside and explore the world around you. Pretty sure you won’t regret that.
Healthy eating habits are easy to let slip when traveling. When you enter an unfamiliar area, you tend to cling to the familiar, and in most places, that means junk food. And of course, road travel is notorious for the fast food joint. But it’s so easy to just hit up a local grocery store for some fruit, nuts, and choose-your-own-adventure cooking supplies. You’ll probably enjoy using fresh, local ingredients to cook more than you would enjoy a stale burger from a fast food joint.