Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Travel woes . . .

Trying to maintain weight is a battle many folks contend with. It does not have to be however, even the best intentioned individuals have periods when something else in their lives takes priority pushing their health, fitness and nutrition plan to the wayside. Travel, whether for work or holiday is a regular culprit . . .and since the vision of SailTrim is an organization that is housed virtually while I move about the world of sailing . . .mastering an "on the go healthy lifestyle" is a part of the program.

I've come to have a fair bit more respect for the professional sailor's lifestyle as my own life parallels. When home is a "duffel bag program" that is laid out in a different local within a different culture and this changes week to week: it's not easy to to maintain the little things that facilitate healthy choices. For example; I had no appreciation for how lucky I was to have access to good tap water and keeping my glass full while working with such convenience! Good hydration sets a solid foundation for healthy living. When well hydrated, whether it is psychological or physiological, people typically make healthier choices.

I had kicked myself for not bringing my trusty Nalgene bottle in past travels . . .I brought 2 with me this go around (they are great for storing items). The first thing I purchase when arriving to a new destination: a couple of large bottles of water to keep the "walk about bottle" always full when out and about.

If there is an impending "weigh in" shortly after arrival from a long flight . . . I am still collecting "data/feedback" from the community on this topic. However; I've been finding that if I make an extra effort to be well "topped off" (hydrated) before I get on the plane and just keep sipping fluids to evade that whole "dry" feeling, save the dreadful cup of joe for the last hour of flight; I feel fine. I typically encourage folks to be mindful of this and if you do not know how much your body typically retains on a day to day, don't have a means to do pre and post weights; I would recommend adding ~1-3lbs to average weight.

If I have the time, my steadfast method of relieving lower extremity bloating from travel (or long days of hiking) are wearing tights while flying and sleeping with a pillow or two under my legs the first few nights post travel. While relaxed, gravity is facilitating the return of extracellular fluid which has a tendency to take up residency while sitting in the plane and or due to the pressure points from hiking hard on the lifeline. Taking 3-5mins to elevate legs and gently massage works wonders and feels great too!

The gym does not fit into my lifestyle at all anymore . . .so what do I do to stay "sail ready", next to always having my water bottle and sailing gear in hand? I walk everywhere, do ~ 30mins of yoga/pilates twice a day (for sure once/day if it's busy) and walk away from laptop for a mini stretch after ~60min of work. These are habits I developed before embarking this venture and seems to work well no matter the country, time zone or climate. This is where one needs to have an open mind and think "outside the gym" to maintain fitness goals.

Do I miss the gym . . .yes, very much. Primarily because of the lovely people I shared it with. My training, though not nearly as intense has me feeling good and ready for unexpected adventures (on or off the water).

In short . . .if you have the foundation for a healthy lifestyle in place and positive attitude. . .it won't really matter where you travel too. If still working on the "lifestyle" part . . . keep checking in and as a community we'll get there!

Fair Winds,


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