Traveling doesn’t have to cause problems if you’re trying to eat right. To stay on track with good eating while traveling here are a few tips that will help.

Ask for sauces and dressing on the side!

Have your foods baked, boiled or grilled!

Create your own meal from low fat, low calorie appetizers!

You don’t have to eat it all, take the extra food home!

Skip the high fat continental breakfast, eat fruit!

Don’t forget to exercise.

Make the effort to stay on track with healthy eating habits while you’re traveling.


Traveling and Fitness

I have a job that has me traveling a lot. I’m beginning to have some problems. I’m gaining weight, I’m tired all the time and I’m eating all the wrong things. What can I do to get back on track?


Houston, Texas

Having a job that keeps you on the road or just vacationing for several days at a time has the potential to ruin your diet and your exercise program. If you still want to get in your workout and eat the right things, do some planning. Start by calling ahead to see if your hotel has a fitness center on the premises. Some hotels may have an agreement with a local gym. So, find out what’s available. If there’s no gym, you can still get in a workout. It won’t be your regular workout, but it can still be a good workout. Your road workout should include toning exercises and aerobics.

For toning, you can do calisthenics. Pick an exercise for each body part. Push-ups for the chest, back and shoulders, wall sitting for legs, toe raises for calves and sit-ups for your abdominals. Do 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 15 reps. Use good form and concentrate on each rep. For aerobics, walk, jog, skip rope or do your regular aerobic workout. Don’t forget to stretch. Spend about 5 to 10 minutes using a routine that stretches the whole body.

You can also try a flexing workout. Flexing can be the perfect exercise for people who travel a lot. To get the most out of flexing, you should flex each muscle for 3 to 5 seconds for each rep for 8 to 12 reps. Do 5 to 6 sets for each body part. Use a mirror to watch yourself and make sure you breathe.

Be prepared for the weather. Try to get a good idea of the type of weather you’ll have to deal with during your trip. You can get a workout in, even if you’re traveling.

After your morning workout, make sure you eat something. It’s a good idea to pack a portable blender and a thermos. You can pick up fruits and juices at most convenience stores or the nearest supermarket. Fruits will keep for several days.

You can add fruits to your juice in a portable blender or eat them raw. Carry some fruits with you for a morning snack. Drink plenty of bottled water throughout the day. For lunch, have a large salad with the dressing on the side and baked or broiled fish, chicken or turkey. Tell the waiter to hold the butter and heavy sauces. Stop by your local health food store and pick up air popped popcorn, whole wheat cookies, unsalted tortilla chips, herbal tea and whole grain rolls to take with you on your trip. Avoid fast food restaurants, bakeries and convenience stores for between meal snacks. Sometimes you won’t be able to avoid eating fast food, but don’t make it a habit. Dinner should be just as healthy. For dinner, have a low fat protein like blackened fish or grilled chicken. On the side, have some steamed broccoli and a salad. Go easy on the dressing. If you choose an entree with a starchy carbohydrate like pasta or linguine, skip the protein. You can have sunflower seeds or a few almonds later. After dinner snacks can include a modest helping of whole-grain cookies, air popped popcorn, herbal tea or whole grain rolls.

Though you don’t have the convenience of your own kitchen or the use of your local gym, you can still eat healthy and get in a good workout by doing a little planning.

So, don’t use traveling as an excuse.


Summer Outdoor Workouts

I work and exercise outside almost every day. Are there precautions I should take to ensure my safety?


Dallas, Texas

Exercising outdoors has become very popular. People are riding bikes, rollerblading, running, walking and a number of other things to get a workout. But, if you exercise outdoors, there are some safety tips that will help protect you from some dangers.

You should run, walk or bicycle with a friend and avoid isolated and poorly lit areas. If you use a route that others use or you go with a friend when working out you’ll be less likely to be a victim of foul play. Always let someone know what route you’re taking and when you expect to return. Carry phone change and identification. Don’t wear headphones, they make you less aware of traffic sounds, dogs, approaching strangers and can cause problems with your equilibrium. Dress to be seen by traffic and follow pedestrian laws.

Being seen is important while bike riding. During the day a bike flag will help drivers notice you. A whistle will help to warn drivers if you need to get their attention. At night, you’ll need reflectors, white or yellow for the front and red for the back. You can also put them on you pedals. Most state laws call for lights on the front and back if you’re riding during the night. Halogen lights and rechargeable batteries are best.

When jogging, walking and cycling at night or during the day, you should wear brightly colored clothes that are different from the landscape. Yellow is good because it never blends in. Red is great and day-Glo orange will definitely be seen.

If you’re going to workout outside you should wear sunglasses. Everybody needs sunglasses and not just in the summertime. Exposure to ultraviolet light over the years can damage the lenses of the eye. Any sunglasses are better than no sunglasses. Here is what you should look for in a pair of sunglasses. The tint is not what blocks ultraviolet light. It’s the special chemicals added when the lenses are made. Brown or amber tinted lenses block the sun’s rays best but they sometimes distort your vision. Gray and green lenses don’t block as much ultraviolet light but they don’t distort your vision. Wraparound frames are good, they block light above and below the eyes, but they shouldn’t block your side vision. Your sunglasses should be dark enough so you don’t see your eyes in a mirror. Plastic lenses are light but glass lenses don’t scratch as easily. Mirrored lenses offer extra protection against glare but scratches are a problem. Double gradient lens sunglasses are darker at the top and the bottom. These glasses are good for sports such as tennis and skiing. These glasses are not good for highly reflective sports such as bicycling and water sports. Everyone’s sunglass needs are different but everyone needs sunglasses. If you have special problems, you should see a professional.

Whether you’re riding a bike, running, walking or skating you should ask yourself, ‘Have I taken all the steps I need to make my outdoor workout safe?’ Use a little common sense, and make your outdoor workout safe.

Before starting your fitness program, consult your physician.


Join me every Tuesday and Thursday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sayre Beacon School for Family Fitness Night at 58th and Walnut streets. Kids and adults can join me for double dutch, line dance, kung-fu, women’s self defense, hip-hop dance, arts and crafts, basketball or to just get in the best shape of your life. And it’s all FREE! Call (215) 471-5219 for more details.

If you have a fitness question or concern you would like addressed write to “Tips to be Fit” P.O. Box 53443 Philadelphia PA 19105 or Or call (215) 387-3081. If you miss information from the “Tips to be Fit,” column go to and search “Tips to be Fit.”

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