How to Maintain Healthy Movement While Traveling
I get asked a lot about movement and travel. How do I stay healthy and move while traveling. I’ve been to 15 countries this year alone. That’s not including the flights I’ve taken within those countries. As much as I love travel, it’s tough on the body. One of you wrote in and asked what do I do to pair movement with travel? How do I take make sure I’m moving while… I’m, well moving? So here are my top three tips, based on what I do on how to incorporate movement while you travel.
The number one thing that saved my life was the moment I decided to not believe in jet lag.
Jet lag is as much of a state of mind as it is physiological condition. The body has an incredible adaptability system. It’s actually much smarter than your mind. After all, it’s spending most of it’s time protecting you from y tahwin it. Chips, soda, alcohol, sugar, cheat days and all that time you were eating foods you didn’t actually know where unhealthy. Your body is a pro at protecting you from the damage your mind does too - anxiety, stress, etc.
If you look up any articles on “recovering from jet lag” they’ll all tell you basic things like set your watch to the new timezone - this is a psychological trigger by the way not a physiological one. And other tips like sleep and hydrate and get some sun. These are all things that you would need daily anyway and are in no way exclusive to plane travel. Because most people believe jet lag is a thing, it allows you small gap of not paying attention to your body and listening to what it tells you.
What plane travel does to the body is use up a lot of its water and energy, so naturally you feel stiff and tired. Getting up and moving your body can play a critical role in helping you get back into a better circadian rhythm. The best part it that it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Simply going for a walk after I land, breathing in the air, getting some sunlight is the best way to move while traveling. Keep it light and easy. I make sure to walk as much as I can anywhere I go. I often prefer free walking tours just for the sake of learning while I’m walking. This has another positive effect as it’s also associating a physical activity with a mental one. The body actual loves these little juggles.
The second tip is moving your body in a way it doesn’t normally move. In an earlier episode I talked about how moving your body can often help you get out of your head and make better decisions. Well moving your body in a way it doesn’t normally move helps to strengthen stabiliser muscles, breaks up stagnant energy, loosens connective tissue, and helps you to stay present and aware of different parts of the body, in essence increases your body awareness and proprioception, which is your own sense of where your body is in space.
For example, professional athletes will often take up a physical activity that Is largely different than their training just to activate different areas of the body and points of awareness. This is why American football players take ballet classes and another reason why yoga is really the best compliment to any sport and even a compliment to critical problem solving in business. It’s because you are moving your body into these random and sometimes absurd postures namely just to see if you can do it. And there’s often a lot more that you can do than you think you cane, because as I mentioned earlier about jet lag - it’s all a mind game. To add intentional stress to different parts of the body is actually good for it, as long as you pair the movement with breath and move consciously that is with awareness of your movement.
Henry Ford said If you believe you can or you can’t you’re right. The same applies to movement, particularly when you move your body in a way it’s not moved before. And this can be as simple as taking a dance class or just wriggling around. I wiggle in my sit on the plane, it looks funny, even feels funny, but my body doesn’t hurt as badly when I land on the other side.
The last one is having a practice that you can do under any circumstances. This is why I love yoga, because I can do it literally anywhere. I have some friends who go for runs - that’s also good too. Even 10 min a day will really make the difference to your body while you’re out of your standard routines. Some spaces while traveling I’ve had to do yoga on the bed, which means no crazy poses or handstands. Instead, a few simple stretches a couple of push ups and some wriggles and shakes and lots of walking really help me keep movement a part of my life when I’m away from standard exercise routines.
What do you do to keep moving while traveling? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.