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June 2012 | Newsletter archives

Keep your energy up while traveling

Traveling requires a tremendous amount of energy, even more than you usually expend on a daily basis. Often, when you travel, you do things you’ve never done before and spend day after day walking, running, hiking, trekking, and simply moving around. This can cause even the most fit outdoor enthusiast to tire. There are ways to keep your energy levels up, though. I like to follow these basic tips when I travel.

First: Prepare. Getting ready for your trip before you leave is a great way to make sure you have plenty of energy while you’re away. You probably already know you’ll be walking more than you walk at home and standing on your feet longer than normal. Start by walking more in your daily life, around the block, to the local market, to school or work if possible. This will ensure that your muscles are acclimated to walking and to being used all day.

Staying hydrated is key. Hydrating yourself while sweating will keep your metabolism running right. Always drink water. Coffee isn’t hydrating and neither is soda. Keeping your water intake high will help you throughout your trip. In fact, I recommend ordering water with every meal and drinking more water than you normally drink.

That said, I don’t think you need to entirely disregard caffeine. We all like a cup of coffee or a Latte during the day, but coffee acts as a bit of a diuretic so I recommend keeping coffee intake to a minimum, and try some of the local teas. Many countries have a plethora of teas available that you wouldn’t be able to experience otherwise.

Stretching is a great way to warm up your muscles before you go out for a long day of walking. Stretch the muscles in your legs before you leave, while you’re out, then again at night. This will help prepare your muscles for more activity and actually helps keep your energy level up for the next few days.

Napping is a great way to recharge your mind, body and soul after an early morning wake up and exhausting 8 – 10 hours on your feet. Taking a nap will get you charged up for the evening and into the late night. Make sure to not take a nap on an empty stomach or to sleep more than 1 hour depending on sleep patterns. If you sleep too long your body will not want to get up and you can be groggy and tired for the rest of the evening.

Eat well. And remember, you’re on vacation. That means you need to eat even more vegetables and fruits than usual. Vegetables are naturally nutritious and fruits are filling without being fattening. Their natural sugar content will also help to provide the energy bursts your body needs while traveling.

Travel can be stressful. It can affect you physically, mentally and emotionally. When you’re traveling, you’re constantly being exposed to new foods, sometimes even new diseases, depending on where you’re traveling. Your mind is being exercised as well, as you plan your trip and deal with challenges that might require speaking a new language, or altering your plans at the last minute. All of these stressors will have an impact on your health.

The best advice I can give is to be aware of what you’re doing, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water and eat to keep your energy level up. If your energy level is up, you’ll be happier, healthier and you’ll have a much better time.