Bulletproof Your Holiday Travel
I was told that we might get our first snow shower of the year on Saturday. Is it wrong of me to get excited about this?
While some of my clients (I won’t mention any names) have thought it’s quite ridiculous for me to feel that way, I say YAY!
If this doesn’t prove I’m supposed to live in an area with seasonal change, I don’t know what will. In my opinion, LA is boring around the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite times of year! The memories shared with family, the lights, and of course the food! So much food! Good thing the Holiday Countdown Challenge kicked everyone’s metabolism into high gear… more on those transformations in the weeks to come.
So now that the holidays are fast approaching and we’re reportedly getting our first snow of the year, I decided it was a great time to talk about 3 tips that can help to bulletproof your holiday travel. Actually these are three things that most people should do regardless of travel plans or not!
Don’t Go Dry
While going dry (alcohol) might not be a bad idea for some, allowing yourself to become dehydrated is a surefire way to not only let the travel get the best of you, but also promise a rough night at the holiday party.
You may not know it but it’s much easier to become dehydrated when you fly. Not to mention you’ll likely have other things on your mind such as Thanksgiving dinner, family, friends, coordinating activities, travel schedules, etc.
You’re not going to think about drinking water, which is why you need to fool proof your approach.
Have a water bottle on you at all times. I recommend the following:
- Bring a water bottle with you to drink on your way to the airport
- Buy another water bottle or fill yours up after you pass through security
- Sip on your water throughout your flight – depending on the length of your flight you might need to go through a number of those small 8-ounce bottles they hand out
- Re-fill or buy one more bottle after you get off the plane or ask for 1-2 more of the small bottles on the plane and store them in your carry-on
Here’s the thing, you’re not going to realize you’re dehydrated until you go to the bathroom and notice the color of your urine. Don’t let it get that far and instead keep pounding the water. When you notice your urine is relatively clear it’s probably safe to back off a bit as you’re targeting more of a light yellow color. We’re all adults here… I think we can talk openly about the color of your urine.
Dehydration can bog you down more than you think. In fact not only will it affect your digestion and energy levels, it’ll also cloud your thought process and decision making; exactly what you DON’T want when traveling!
A great hydration supplement I like to take is Ultima Replenisher. One scoop of this mixed with 8oz of water goes a long way in fighting dehydration. The raspberry flavor is my favorite.
Often times I hear people say they don’t like to get up and go to the bathroom on the plane. Don’t just sit there, go to the bathroom, get up and stretch around a bit, especially on longer flights. This will tie into our last tip.
Snacks Will Be A Savior
My wife will be the first to tell you that snacks are one of the first things we think about when preparing for travel. I’m the type of person that gets hangry. It’s like a video game, I can see my life levels slowly depleting and getting into the “danger zone.” When this happens, nobody is happy. So I (we) plan ahead.
A lot of people aren’t aware that they can actually bring food on an airplane. The fact that you can creates a window of opportunity for you to travel feeling great and also avoiding most of the crappy airport snacks that you’re left with when unprepared.
If you’re traveling by car you have the luxury of bringing a small cooler with some healthier snacks such as fruits and veggies. You’re options are a bit more limited when traveling by plane, but you still have a lot at your disposal.
Justin’s Nut Butter Packets
These are arguably one of the best snacks you can pack. Rip the top off and enjoy. You can take it one step further by buying an apple at the airport before getting on the plane.
Bars aren’t an ideal choice for snacks but they do make for very easy and convenient snacking, which is exactly what you want when traveling. I like 3 types:
Epic actually has a great line of snack options as they have trail mix combinations and bars. If you don’t like beef jerky then you probably won’t like the Epic bars as they’re essentially a meat bar. It sounds disgusting but really they’re not! The bison bar is my favorite in particular.
Try not to have more than one. In fact I’d recommend taking multiple options so you’re not left with eating bar after bar on the plane. This will almost certainly set you up for an upset stomach after the plane. Bars are great snacks, not great meals.
Protein/Green Powder Packets
For those of you that take supplements at home it would only make sense that you take some travel-sized packets with you on the road. If you’re new to supplements, taking individual packets of protein and greens powder can again do a lot to help get you feeling healthy and strong when on the road.
I like Garden of Life Raw and Vega as protein options that are both dairy-free and easy to digest. The greens powder can go a long way considering you’re probably not eating any vegetables at the airport. Green Superfood is a good choice, but really most of them will do just fine. You won’t get the fiber from the actual vegetable but you’ll at least put up a good fight in balancing out the p.h. levels in your stomach. Both can be mixed in 8 ounces of water and can even be combined into a little travel cocktail consisting of protein, greens, and ultima. It sounds gross, and won’t taste that good, but it gets the job done.
Pack a Tennis Ball and Mobilize Post Trip
Depending on the length of your trip you’re going to be crammed into either a car seat, airport seat, or both. Without getting into too much detail, certain parts of your body are going to ache and tighten up. Think attachment sites and back.
If you follow the nutrition tips above, all that will be left is to stretch out your body a bit and you’ll feel good as new, ready for Thanksgiving dinner, the Christmas party, or whatever else it is you’ve just traveled for.
Your attachment sites and back are where you’re going to get tight. These are also the areas of your body where all of our movement happens. Think shoulders, hips, and middle back.
A perfect stretch to target all these muscles at once is the Brettzel!
If you train with me you’re familiar of the wonders of the Brettzel.
Chances are you won’t have a foam roller available to you but you can bring a tennis ball with you to target points in the shoulder/rotator cuff region as well as hip internal and external rotators. You can check out these videos I posted on how to use a tennis ball/lacrosse ball in place of your foam roller.
As far as the Brettzel is concerned, just stack a couple pillows on top of one another so as to fit the width of your hips. This will help protect your lower back during the Brettzel.
The Brettzel is a breathing exercise that when done properly will open the middle back, shoulders, and hips; all the areas that just tightened during your trip. Stay on each side for 1-2 minutes and focus on your breathing; in through your nose and out through your mouth. You’ll feel MUCH better when you stand back up.
As I said, these tips aren’t just great for traveling but are ones that you can use during your workweek and everyday life as well. Arriving to your party hangry, tight, and dehydrated is a recipe for disaster. Don’t show up someone you’re not, plan ahead, use the tips I suggest in this article, and enjoy your holiday travel the right way.