You guys have heard me talking a lot about “tools,” as of late. I thought I would discuss a few of them here and explain how I use them to my benefit. Traveling can be a tricky thing but the Relentless just see it as another challenge to face.
We have many things available to us for our use. However, many times we see them very black and white and forget the gray areas. Any given tool can do multiple tasks. I find it critical that we utilize the correct tools for the proper task to maximize efficiency and minimize unnecessary, and unproductive work.
Some tools are very versatile and many only use them for the “standard” use, not ever thinking about how they could use it more effectively.
I have a very unique travel strategy and most say that it’s crazy (like I haven’t heard that before). But, it’s not something that I do just because. As always, there is methods behind the madness.
My Traveling Keys:
Whether I’m flying or driving, I typically always fast for the duration of travel. This helps me in the following ways:
A. I don’t have to worry about eating “good” food at the airport. It’s expensive too!
B. I won’t be very active throughout the day so my caloric need won’t be that high
C. I follow an intermittent fasting protocol daily, so it’s not too difficult to just extend my fast for 6-8 more hours.
Although you may not realize it, traveling is a stressful event when you look at it from a hormonal stand point. Heck, waking up is a stressful event.
(the body produces cortisol prior to your cognitive response, etc. I touched on this in my post, The Basics of Breakfast. see “Primer on Cortisol” section).
Another stressor would be digestion. I’d rather not have my body fighting itself trying to digest food along with the stress of making sure I don’t miss my flight, gate doesn’t’ change, or what have you. And mind you, this is coming from a guy of very little overall stress. Not everybody realizes that little stresses such as digestion, choosing what to eat for lunch, what to wear can all add up and tax the body. I try to minimize as much stress as possible in order to help achieve optimal physique goals, for me and my clients.
Fasting is also a natural “detox,” for lack of a better word. That’s right, you don’t have to buy some magical liquid to do a “detox.” By fasting, it requires your body to burn things off (for energy) that it normally wouldn’t. This is why some people may get light-headed or nauseous. These things that are being utilized are not very efficient at suppling energy. It’s like putting good gas in your car and then putting cheaper gas in it. It may be just a bit above par on the performance side. That’s perfectly okay for this context. Our body doesn’t have a demand for food, assuming you didn’t workout that morning.
Perhaps, a bigger and better reason is that you’ll be burning fat all day long. Don’t expect to lose 10 lbs or anything but every little bit counts, right? No food is coming in but your body still needs energy. It will turn to stored forms of energy (i.e. fat). For those worried about their muscle falling off, I would suggest you check out Debunking Some Common Fitness Myths.
I’ll usually curb my appetite with coffee or a non-calorie energy drink. I’ll drink plenty of water as well.
[tools of the trade: coffee (black w/stevia) and 3/4 Nike compression pants]
You ever wonder why you’re all stiff after extended periods of sitting, particularly in a cramped space (i.e. airplane, car)?
The answer: Circulation.
The compression pants help out with circulation. If you’ve ever gotten your heart rate measure with the cuff on your arm, you know exactly what I mean. You’re never able to feel your blood pumped through your arm casually throughout the day but tighten up that cuff and you can almost hear it. Same principle applies to compression pants on a lower level of course.
When not active, your body has energy sparing strategies to help reduce energy requirements. While seated, you’re legs are relatively still. This requires very little energy and your body reduces circulation to these areas to minimize metabolic load.
It’s important to know that the body is always in survival mode. It’s always trying to find efficient ways to sustain life, sparing energy expenditure whenever possible. Basically, little movement yields little blood flow (this is also true for ‘stubborn body fat’ but that’s beyond the scope of this article).
Compression helps to increase this circulation and avoid excessive stiffness. Many pro athletes have adopted the use of compression while traveling. Compression leggings and socks are what I recommend. Sure, you might get some funny looks from people but they’re more than likely to be hunch-backed and eating some vending machine burrito, so who cares! Point out their kyphosis, tip your hat, and wish them a good day.
Until next time my friends.
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