Over the last week I have been living in an airport in Toronto and a hotel that is connected to an airport and working really long days. This situation is a very dangerous one for your health as it seems to take a lot of control out of your hands as far as healthy lifestyle choices are concerned.
Because of the hours and the proximity to the hotel I have no car or even a need for a car and have been handcuffed as far as food choices go so I wanted to give a few tips for travel and eating and exercise for those that have not a lot of these choices.
Some Travel Tips – Remember to Think Ahead
1. Finding fresh fruit and vegetables– First thing that I did when I got booked into the hotel was ask where the nearest market was to get some fruit and veggies.
This is an automatic for me whenever I travel but I got a very vague “Its a long car ride away” and “The restaurant can make you some vegetables” so I knew there would be no help there.
Instead I prowled the airport and found a coffee bar that sells apples and oranges. I get an apple, bran muffin and coffee for breakfast every morning.
2. As far as meals go I have had to be careful – I usually eat what I want out of leftovers but of course the food in an airport can be terrible and so I have taken it as that and made sure to avoid hamburgers and opted instead for Swiss Chalet chicken which, although not the best, was the best I could find.
3. Water consumption – Being is an airport or hotel for 8 days in a row means that you need to stay very hydrated to avoid getting sick as well as staying healthy.
I have been grabbing bottles of water and drinking from the water fountains more that I would even do at home.
Air conditioning really lowers the moisture in the air and I would dry out even worse if I did not stay very conscious of my water intake. I am drinking about 3 liters of water every day.
4. Exercise – My first few days were far too busy to get any exercise so I have been getting more and more motivated over the last few days to do a lot of stretching and even sneaking into the gym at the hotel for short quick workouts just to get all of my muscles moving.
Of course if you are sleep deprived the last thing you want is to compound the problem by tearing down your muscles but I feel like just getting the muscles moving under some is the best thing for me instead of just sleeping.
5. Sleeping – I am very fortunate that the hotel that I am staying at is close to the terminal I am working in as well as having very comfortable beds. I have been trying to fall asleep as early as possible and waking as late as possible but still only getting about 6 hours sleep.
The common wisdom is that you can not catch up sleep later but I think that this short term sleep deficit will disappear after a few days back at home just exercising better and eating as close to perfect as possible.
The problem with trying to catch up sleep is that you do not get much more out of 10 hours sleep as 8 so you just have to be consistent with the 8 hours or whatever you need to sleep (everyone is different).
I think on this trip as much as it has been really unhealthy for me that it is important for anyone to not just fall into the simple road trip failures of lack of sleep and exercise and increasing bad eating, drinking, and alcohol but instead you have to to protect yourself.
Be vigilant in protecting your well being through your sleep, diet and exercise. I know that on this trip I may have drank too much coffee but only as much as I needed and I have been as careful with eating and drinking as possible with nearly no pop and only one beer a few days ago.
Most importantly plan and decide ahead and you will be less prone to making bad mistakes on the road.