Share on Facebook
November 15, 2010
Chances are, you'll be traveling during the holiday season to reconnect with family and friends or take a much-needed vacation. While holiday travel can be great for your psyche, it can take a hefty toll on your health. The journey itself can be filled with stress—traffic, flight delays and those new, more invasive airport security screenings—as well as causing a disruption in your sleep schedule and eating habits; all of these can lower your immune system's ability to fight off cold and flu germs, making you more prone to getting sick. Once you arrive at your destination, you'll likely face large festive meals combined with a lot of sitting and schmoozing, not great for your waistline. If you have a smart action plan, though, you might be able to clear some of these hurdles to stay healthy and fit during the holiday season. Here are 10 tips for dealing with holiday travel provided by leading fitness and travel experts.
1. Plan meals in advance. "Pack your carry-on with healthy goodies so you have something on hand when hunger strikes," says vegan travel blogger Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, creator of the Healthy Voyager website and radio show. She recommends bringing a small bag of nuts, a few low-sugar energy bars or your favorite sandwich to eat during the flight. If you don't have time to pack some snacks, use an app like the free GateGuru to find out where you can get a healthy meal at the airport. If you're driving to your destination, avoid eating a heavy meal right before you hit the road to keep from getting drowsy; instead, eat a small low-fat meal and tote along some snacks to stay energized throughout your drive.
Share on Facebook
November 5, 2010
Regular workouts are supposed to increase your muscle mass and decrease your body fat, right? Well, yes, with a caveat. Some folks ramp it up too much especially when they start a new training regimen to prepare themselves for, say, a grueling marathon or triathlon. (On a side note, I'm rooting for Chilean miner Edison Peña in this Sunday's New York City marathon. The 34-year-old trained for his first marathon by running up and down the pitch-black tunnels of the mine wearing his boots and headlamp.) Overdoing your workouts can actually lead to diminished strength and increased body fat—your body's way of begging for a break. While your body can handle a particularly tough workout, as Peña and the other 43,000 marathoners will see on Sunday, it also needs time to recover from the stress overload, says Corey Stenstrup, performance development trainer at IMG Academies. Peña may want to put his feet up for a week or two afterward.
The best way to recover from that particularly tough workout? A day or two of rest followed by a light bout of exercise, recommends Stenstrup. Also make a point to get at least eight hours of sleep a night which your body will need to repair those tiny muscle tears that occur during workouts and enable your body to build new muscle. Good nutrition is also key: Think lean protein (fish, skinless chicken breast, tofu), whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Here are the 10 ways your body will let you know if you're headed for exercise burnout.