With a few supplies, you can bring fitness anywhere you go.

Stay Healthy While Traveling for the Holidays

Whether you’re traveling to visit family or heading for sun and sand, you can stay on track with your health goals over the winter holiday season. Here’s how to keep wellness a priority, no matter how many miles you log.

Plan Ahead

Does your destination have walking or hiking areas where you can work up a sweat? If you’re going to an urban area, is there a gym or class you can attend during your visit? Of course, what you choose will depend on the weather and climate as well as on your time commitments. But no matter what, try to  get your steps in by walking every where you can. (Even the airport  – stride up and down the terminal for 10 or 15 minutes between flights.) And when possible, plan sightseeing activities you can do on foot.

Find Fitness Opportunities

Exercise often drops to the end of your to-do list during the holidays, and of course you can’t bring your gym with you when you travel. But you can bring your routine, if you bring the right gear. Make sure your suitcase has room for your running shoes and a couple of fitness bands. And load a fitness video or two onto your laptop or tablet. Then if you’re squeezed for time, you can at least do some strength training or a yoga or dance session indoors.

Prioritize Rest

Sleep is often last on the list of priorities during the holidays, especially when especially when sleeping in an unfamiliar bed and room. Travel with ear plugs, an eye mask,  stick to the same routines and healthy sleep habits you’ve developed at home. To do that, you may want to bring ear plugs and an eye mask in case your getaway isn’t as dark or quiet as you’re used to.

Restore and Retreat

Traveling can be stressful – especially when there are lots of people involved. Take a few minutes for yourself when you can, and slip away to savor a quiet moment. Try meditation or a solo walk to clear your head and maintain balance while you’re in flux. It will pay off in more pleasant social interactions when you rejoin your posse.

While it might take a bit of effort to keep up your healthy lifestyle activities while traveling, it will pay off in leaving you truly rested and refreshed when you return.

Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.