5 Ways to Stay Energized During the Holidays

Traveling this year? Here's how you can keep yourself excited for the festivities.

Couple cooking together

In an era where we still haven't figured out how to teleport to friends and family sprawled across the nation (or for many of us, the world) we rely on planes, trains and automobiles to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays are rewarding, cheerful and delicious, but come with pressure points - travel being one of them. Between unexpected traffic, tricky schedules, and lengthy travel times, the journey can be rough on your body. But it doesn't have to be! Stay happy and healthy this season with these trusty tricks:

Fuel Up Beforehand

While this may literally apply to your road trip, it's important to fuel your body as well. It will not only save you money (have you seen the price of food at the airport?!) but also crush the temptation of sliding through a drive-thru and making not-so-great choices. Whether you're flying, riding or driving this year, travel can be a long and draining, so it's important to eat something nourishing that will keep you satiated for a few hours. (Let's face it, a lot of that traditional holiday food is good for your soul, but not necessarily for your body. It's best to start off strong!). Something with a lot of flavor, fiber, and protein, like this SuperFood Tofu Bowl, should do the trick. If you're departing before the sunrise and need something a little more like breakfast, go for oatmeal and yogurt, perhaps stirring in a few chopped nuts (we're a fan of Georgia pecans!) for a good dose of healthy fats to keep you satisfied. However, even with shorter trips, chances are you'll need at least one pick-me-up along the way...


Take One For the Road

Between never-ending highway traffic, train rides and airport lines, it's smart to have something on hand to nibble on before you reach your final destination. The key here is to hack your snack: is it high in fiber or protein to keep you full? Is it low in simple sugars and salt so you avoid sugar crash and uncomfortable bloating? And most importantly... is it portable and easy to eat without creating a mess on the passenger seat? Fresh, whole fruits and vegetables are a great fit. If you want to take a sealed container of yogurt or hummus for dipping, be sure to keep it under 3 ounces, per airline rules. Mixed nuts and sunflower seeds are also good choices, as are energy bars and granola. Go for options that contain about 5 grams or more each of fiber and protein, and keep the sugar count below 20 grams, especially if the sugar is coming from a refined ingredient. Eating snacks high in vitamin C like oranges and broccoli, has a bonus effect of supporting your immune system (especially important during the travel season when you're exposed to new places, people, and germs!).

Drink Up

While you may be tempted to hold off on the water to avoid pulling off the highway every hour or so for a bathroom break or clambering over every plane passenger to get to the cramped restrooms in back, it's important you stay hydrated for many reasons. General fatigue is often caused in part by dehydration; since travel is busy and a break from routine, you may not realize that you haven't sipped nearly enough to stay physically and mentally energized. Furthermore, sipping on water will relieve the feelings of hunger and boredom many people experience during long trips, tempting them to mindlessly snack to pass the time. Keep a high quality water bottle with a tight-sealing lid by your side, and refill it as needed. You can take your empty bottle through the security checkpoint and fill it after you pass through; as a bonus, this saves you from having to purchase an overpriced bottle of water before your flight!


Bust a Move

The passenger seat of a plane, train or car isn't very conducive to exercise, which is disappointing given the fact that many of us will be confined to them for hours on end during our holiday travels. Exercise boosts energy levels, and has been proven to alleviate stress and anxiety (even the kind that comes with the holidays!). On a road trip, be sure to stop at least every two hours (you'll need no reminder if you're staying adequately hydrated!) to stretch your legs - and your arms, neck and back - and perhaps do a few jumping jacks to kick your circulation back into full swing. If you've got a long flight ahead of you, take a few laps and stay on your feet as much as possible in the airport before departure. Don't be afraid to bust out the yoga pants - traveling in your most comfortable clothes makes movement and exercise even easier.

Take a Snooze Cruise

Sorry drivers and pilots, but until we get to a point where we have self-driving cars and planes, this tip doesn't apply to you. But to all passengers... why not take the travel time to catch up on some zzz? Getting enough sleep (that's 7-9 hours for most adults - seriously) is crucial to maintaining physical, mental and emotional health. It's also vital for your immune system; lack of sleep and increased stress leaves you more vulnerable to the viruses and bacteria that thrive in the winter months. Invest in noise-canceling headphones and a comfortable travel pillow, and hold off on the caffeine before your trip; you'll wake up well-rested, clear-headed and ready to roll into the holiday festivities!


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