4 Ways to energize your wellness while traveling

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If you travel for your child’s sporting activities, this blog is for you! Whether it is an out of town hockey tournament, a swim meet, or dance competition, kids’ out-of-town sporting activities often monopolize the weekend away, leaving a parent’s wellness to be easily forgotten.

Parents spend so much time caring for their kids that they forget to take care of their own health and wellness. Traveling for kid’s sporting activities over a weekend can set up our lifestyle to be derailed. How you ask?

Unpredictable and unstructured environments are very challenging to navigate when you are making lifestyle changes

Unpredictable and unstructured environments are very challenging to navigate when you are making lifestyle changes. When you eat out for most of your meals at unpredictable times, you are set up to derail your nutrition and lifestyle.

  • There are less choices available around food.
  • When we eat out, we know that portion sizes are usually too big and that usually results in over-eating.
  • We don’t have enough balance on our plate.
  • We may drink more alcohol .
  • There is often limited activity for the parents throughout the weekend. Most of our time is spent taking kids to the event or competition – and there is lots of standing around.

I also find that men and women take a black-and-white, all-or-nothing approach to their wellness. That I will work on my wellness when I am home, starting on Monday. That there is no point in worrying about it over the weekend. This sets us up for a feast/famine pattern of eating. That we will feast on the weekend and then fast during the week, which is not energizing for our hard-working, 40+ year old bodies!

We end up coming home from these weekends feeling bloated, tired, heavy, lacking energy and feeling…discouraged. Like we have lost momentum, and that we are going back to square one for our Wellness plan.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Many of us parents have set goals for our own vitality and wellness in 2017 – There are strategies that we can launch or energize to enhance our vitality and wellness while traveling.

4 Ways to energize your wellness while traveling for your kid’s sports

1) Energize your nutrition by BYOF – Bring your Own Food – so are not at the mercy of the foods around you.

When people travel, they tend to overeat on grains and tend to under eat fresh vegetables and fruit and milk & milk alternatives. Being hungry and left to choose only the foods that surround you is a recipe for eating processed, sugary salty and unbalanced foods.

Pack some of your own food so you don’t have to eat out at every meal. Stick to vegetables, fruits,  and include some protein-containing foods to help give you long-lasting energy.

Healthful snack options include:

  • Apples, easy-peel oranges, grapes, dried fruit, fruit sauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts: Almonds, pistachios
  • Carrot sticks, snap peas, hummus
  • Pack in some milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and cheese slices. Store these in your cooler (just use hotel ice) or the hotel fridge.
  • Tuna and cracker packs
  • Instant soups
  • Instant oatmeal – put these in your hotel room’s coffee pot

And remember to pack a fork, knife, spoon, and a cooler.

By bringing your own food, you are not far from a healthful option that will help you move toward your wellness goal. BYOF!

2) Plan to be a polite picky eater when eating out!

Customize your meal to be consistent with your wellness plan by asking for what you need. Order your burger with half a bun, ask for your dressing on the side. Make half your plate vegetables – order a side salad or steamed veggies. When ordering food, stick to healthier cooking methods – baked, broiled, roasted, grilled foods, and avoid the fried foods. Of course choose your beverages carefully – sparkling water with lemon or another low calorie beverage, and over dinner, skip the alcohol if you can.

Ask for what you need – be a polite picky eater.

3) Energize your hydration!

Pack a water bottle so you are visually cued to keep yourself hydrated throughout the weekend. This will help you feel vibrant. You can also pack in caffeine free teas or sparkling water. Be careful not to over-caffeinate your body. And of course, watch your alcohol intake, and hydrate in between alcoholic beverages

4) Energize your activity by packing YOUR active wellness gear!

When you think about packing up your child’s hockey or dance gear, make sure to pack your own wellness gear! My wellness gear is the first thing that goes into my suitcase any time I am away! Pack your running shoes, socks, active pants or shorts + top, running belt, etc. Packing your gear will give you the option to walk, run or take advantage of the hotel gym if available.

Once you have your active wellness gear, plan to be active during pockets of “dead time” over the weekend! There is lots of standing around and waiting for your game or event to begin. During this time, head out for a walk! A group of parents and I did this for a hockey tournament this past fall – we walked before all games and over the course of the day, we logged in quite a few steps.

When you walk or doing something active yourself, you are also not eating out of boredom. The activity + fresh air will do wonders for your energy. And – you might make a few new friends!

I shared this tip during a recent Global Calgary segment I did with Scott Fee. You can see by the body language in the picture below that this tip of bringing your own gear was a little surprising for Scott! However, he was the brilliant mind who pulled out the benefit of building new friends while being active – great tip Scott! You can watch the interview here.

Pre-planning is an important strategy for people making lifestyle changes

If you are committed to your goals, you can work on your wellness while away.  Pre-planning is an important strategy for people making lifestyle changes. Without preplanning for a lack of structure & a new environment, we can easily slip back into our old familiar habits that we are actively trying to improve.

You can maintain your momentum toward your vitality and wellness throughout the weekend, by taking one bite at a time! Energize your nutrition! Energize your hydration! Energize your physical activity! And move toward your vitality and wellness!

If you need help in nutrition and lifestyle pre-planning for an upcoming event, you can contact me.

Kristyn Hall
Kristyn Hall
Kristyn Hall MSc, RD, Food, Nutrition & Culinary Coach, Registered Nutritionist and Calgary Dietitian, Calgary, AB.

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