Are you following our boomer travel fitness series? I’m making progress preparing for a trip. Staying fit while I’m on the journey? Well, that’s another story. But I’m in luck — today, Nora Lynch (Fit Travelers Have More Fun) is back to tell us how to keep our Travel Oomph while we’re on the trip.
It’s trip time! Here are my best boomer travel fitness tips to help you stay energized and feeling good so you can have an amazing travel experience.
- Eat an energizing breakfast (which may not be the one on offer in the country you’re visiting.) Stock the guesthouse or hotel refrigerator with cereal, yogurt, fruit or whatever will make your body smile.
- If you’re touring by car or bus, be sure to plan chunks of active time. Our bodies were made to move! Include parks and gardens, walking tours, city loaner bikes and after-meal strolls in your travel plans.
- Carry water with you and drink it. Dehydration is a huge energy drain.
- Make sure you’ve planned sights and activities that you’re passionate about. Don’t settle for a generic top 10 list — make sure you’re seeing YOUR top 10. Look for personal connections to destinations: favorite hobbies to pursue, beloved books or films set in the place you’re visiting, or learning a new skill or local pastime to amp up the energy you bring to your travel day.
- Be kind to yourself. Remember — our bodies are the ones that have to deliver everything our minds have planned on a vacation. If you’re tired and need a break from sightseeing, do it. Take a rest day or give yourself the afternoon off. Remember, the key is enjoyment, not items ticked off a must-see travel list.
- Be smart. Don’t waste your precious energy standing in line. Find out if you can reserve an entry time, purchase a city museum pass, or book a tour to avoid the energy drain of waiting to enter popular attractions.
I recommend doing a quick Boomer Body Awareness Check-in before starting your travel day and again at mid-afternoon. Ask yourself, “On a scale of 1-10, where is my energy right now?” Do a body scan for tense or painful areas including jaw, neck, shoulders, low back, legs and feet. Check your mood — are you feeling relaxed and upbeat, or are there storm clouds on the horizon? Ask yourself if you’re feeling well rested and adequately fueled. Once you’ve done this 30-second scan, use the quick fixes below for the Body Awareness Check-In Issue you identified.
Five Quick Fixes To Recharge Your Travel Oomph
- One of my favorites — the foot massage. Our feet take a beating when we travel! Watch one of these videos before your trip: Classic foot massage or tennis ball foot massage.
- Stretching —those tight, aching muscles will thank you. Make sure you know a simple stretch for calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings before you leave home. It’s also a good idea to have a stretch in mind to relieve an aching back. This easy yoga pose could be just the ticket.
- Relaxing breathing — you can do this anywhere. Take a few slower, deeper breaths. See if you can breathe into your belly (you’ll notice it move under your hand) rather than using just your lungs. As you breath, notice thoughts and release them if it is mind-clearing that you’re after, or focus on breathing into the heart and feeling gratitude for something or someone special if mood elevation is what you need. I also recommended relaxed breathing if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the newness or strangeness of your destination. Watch The Energy Project’s video for inspiration.
- The afternoon nap — Donna told me it’s her favorite. If you’ve had a late night or didn’t sleep well, give yourself permission to take a nap and see how much more you enjoy your dinner and evening plans.
- Stopping to eat or hydrate. We are often so intent on seeing everything that we forget to fuel our bodies, which is why a quick mid-afternoon Body Awareness Check-In is key.
Just a couple of minutes daily can pay big energy and enjoyment dividends during travel. So which quick Travel Oomph fix are you going to try on your next trip or vacation? Post a comment to share your favorite.
Nora Lynch, MS, RD, Certified Wellcoach, is the founder of Fit Travelers Have More Fun and creator of The 4 Week Travel Tune-Up and The Travel Oomph Assessment. She helps boomers get a little fitter and more energized for travel so they can see and do everything they’ve dreamed and feel great doing it! Her most recent trips have been to Oregon wine country, Cozumel, Mexico; San Diego, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Rome, Italy. (photos courtesy Nora Lynch).
Have you wondered if better fitness would help your travels? Well, I’m your guinea pig. Nora has offered her course to me so that I can tell our boomer readers about it. Stay tuned for my reports at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook.