Well, it is finally happening. We are getting back out on the road!! The long ‘travel winter’ seems to be coming to a close (THANK GOD!!!). For those of you who have been following along for a while now, you may remember a little site I started 7 or so years ago called RoadWarriorFit. Well, the pandemic put the breaks on that voice so I have been working over here now but with boarding passes being printed again, I thought it was time to dust off one of the very first messages I ever delivered but still stick to today, the importance of Guardrails. The rules that help to keep you on track and keep you from careening off of the road.
Over the years, my rules have continuously evolved. I eat a lot less carbs now than I did when I wrote the original, portion control has become a big part of my routine and the workouts have become much more disciplined and intense. So to kick things off over here, I thought I would mark my return to the written word with a revisiting of the RoadWarriorFit rules for traveling while focusing on health.
Rule #1: The 5 P’s
This is the number one rule for a reason. Go in to your travel with a plan. Know when you have the time to fit your workout in. Know if you are going out with clients and need to accommodate for that indulgence. Plan for prioritizing your own health. And if you are still wondering what the 5 P’s mean – Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
Rule #2: Travel Like a 2 Year Old
Do you have toddlers? Have you had toddlers? Have you ever seen anyone travel with toddlers? What is the one thing you would never have traveled without – a snack bag. That magic bag that the parents could dive in to anytime anyone got a bit fussy. Think the same way. Bring your own. Pack healthy snacks, nut butters, dried fruit (in moderation), healthy bars, Shakeology. You get the drill.
Rule #3: Workout Before Wine
This was one of the originals and still holds true. Alcohol is a quick way to get a whole bunch of quick calories that shuts down your liver processing (actually, it prioritizes it). You better have pushed yourself before you start doing 6 oz curls.
Rule #4: Eat Your Veggies Early
Since I started paying attention to both portion control and total portions, I realized that I never get all of my veggies in unless I have at least one serving during breakfast. I live for the omelet bar that can load up my omelet with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and especially jalapenos. Of course I also get it with a side of bacon so don’t fret for me missing out.
Rule #5: Taste the Rainbow
So in my original rules, I had one that centered around not eating brown food. Truth be told, I still avoid it but that’s really not enough. You need to eat all kinds of colors, including brown (just not a lot of brown). Load up on the greens, the yellows, reds are fantastic and purples are usually out of this world good. Just make sure the colors are from your actual food and not a lab somewhere.
Rule #6: Never Let a Rest Day be a Cheat Day
Pretty simple but needs to be said. You can take a day off from working out. You can take a day off from being on top of your nutrition. You should never take a day off from both simultaneously. Yep, even on vacation. One or the other. Pick (and refer back to rule #1)
Rule #6: Have a ‘Healthy’ Obsession
Ever heard the phrase – “Idle hands are the Devil’s playground”? I found this to be true with myself. Presented with a lot of time alone on the road and nothing to really focus on, it is easy to fill that void with food, drink and a litany of other unhealthy obsessions. So make a preemptive strike and fill it with something ‘healthy’. A hobby you can take with you, a desire to learn, a series of books to devour. You need something to intentionally fill the time or the unintentional quickly will.
Rule #7: Know When to Break the Rules
There are times when some of the rules should be broken. If you have spent all day on an airplane crossing an ocean, take the day off. Focus on getting adjusted to the new time (did I mention a workout is a great cure for jetlag?). If you have meetings all day after a plane flight and a client dinner after that – do your best but don’t kill yourself. You can miss a day. Even two but never let a third day go by before getting back to where you need to be.
So there you go. The newest iteration of RoadWarriorFit’s rules for living a healthy life on the road. Are there other guardrails I put in place? You bet. But I will save those for another post.