A couple of months ago, I set out on a summer road trip. The beginning of May had me in the best shape of my life and my eyes were set on California.
Context: I model and am currently pursuing an acting career.
I had a bout a month's worth of travel mapped out for my drive. First, I left Nashville and headed toward Texas where I bounced around Houston, Dallas, and Austin. From there I left to Denver where I spent a week followed by a beautiful but exhausting drive through Utah and on to Los Angeles. I'm telling you the entire trip thus far city by city to really show how busy and "on the go" I've been. It hasn’t been all bliss. At times, I'll be honest it's been a little trying. That’s exactly what I want to talk about: maintaining your health while traveling.
Notice how I started this blog very proudly stating that I began my trip in the best shape of my life? It's because I quickly allowed the road to change it. I failed in three aspects that I'll briefly cover.
Allowed my circumstances to scare me.
Chose convenience over purpose.
When I say circumstances, I obviously mean travel. Specifically looking at what long periods of travel time can do to the body. The first being water retention. Whether you are driving a long distance or stuck in a plane for more than just a couple of hours you will retain water. Don’t ask me how, and it’s really not my concern, how or even why the body retains water when traveling; the point is it happens! You have to mentally prepare for a couple of days post travel to consist of slightly higher weigh ins and possibly a little extra pudgy feeling. ITS OK. Don’t try and overcompensate by limiting your water intake during all of this. Just prepare mentally, and make time for activity that will make you sweat. Accept that it will happen and simply work it off!
Secondly, I just mentioned the concept of overcompensating and its exactly what I want to warn against. When I first arrived in Texas and began driving back and forth between cities. My schedule became more hectic and unbalanced than usual. It became way too easy to get all of my daily calories from quick foods such as protein bars, powders, and other things that take no time to make. These foods can work just fine in supplementation and in portioning but when they become the base of all your nutrient intake your feelings will be altered. These foods after typically not very filling thus leaving you with hunger and no room for extra. They also typically contain higher levels of sodium than whole foods. Sodium isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be; however, when your sodium levels jump, so does your water retention. Now add the water retention of traveling and boom...you’ve just “lost” your physique and all of your hard work is for not.
I just covered exactly why it's often easy to choose convenient, high sodium foods over whole/cooked foods. It's a factor that really can’t be fixed by anything in particular. Just take every offer you get for a home cooked meal. All you can do is prepare for it. The same way you can add on extra cardio sessions or find a sauna to sweat out the travel induced water weight, you should do for the days you know you consumed excess sodium and/or calories. If you have a long day of travel, wake up a bit early and do some extra cardio, but do not make the mistake of trying to cut calories and eat less because you “won’t be moving much” or some other excuse. We all know how hungry we get after a long day of driving and guess what, there wasn’t too much physical activity going on there.
We work hard so we feel confident and look how we want when we go places. Don’t let your progress stop when you travel. Set time aside and be prepared for some slight bumps along the way. But don’t let it stop all the progress you’re making!
#Elite Ambassador Lincoln Chapman IG:lincoln_chapman