Americans travel like never before. This summer saw historic increases in airfare purchases as cooped-up adventurers made up for time and experience lost to the pandemic. In July, airline ticket sales were 35% higher than in July 2019, according to industry data. This seismic shift from people buying goods in favor of buying services has given rise to a new term: revenge travel.
And while it certainly should be good for the soul, it’s not exactly good for the body. Weight gain is an unfortunate side effect of enjoying those gorgeous beachside sunsets, especially when a pina colada is in hand. In fact, even before reaching their Instagram-worthy destination, most vacationers have already gotten carried away. One study shows that the average air passenger consumes about 3,700 calories during a long-haul flight.
For some this is just part of the fun… After all, you are on vacation. But as remote travel becomes more common, many are making a living, and making a living, by being on the road. And maintaining a healthy routine here is quite a challenge. Steele Smiley knows all too well what that’s like. When I first met the fast casual entrepreneur and healthy living guru in early 2021, he was busy crisscrossing the country, building his chain of Crisp & Green restaurants. Today, the CEO oversees 200 stores in 20 states (they have opened a store every 6 days in 2022).
Now he’s launching a Mexican-inspired fast casual called Paco & Lime. It will debut in Minneapolis this fall. Before that, the businessman sat with Forbes to talk about how you stay healthy while traveling. Hint: you’ll have to ditch the pina colada and forget about the airplane food (a glass of wine or two with dinner is fine, and you should always pack your own nutritional food for the flight). It’s not necessarily glamorous, but it gets the job done. Read more of his advice below.
How often do you travel for work?
Steele smile: “My parent company, Steele Brands, has more than 250 stores built or under development in 25 states, with more stores being added every week. So I travel a lot for work: I look up potential sites and meet with franchisees. I also personally go to all the openings that I can. My personal time is my business time and vice versa.”
What are some key tips for travelers looking to stay healthy and fit on the go?
IT IS: “Make every day the same: just adjust the hours for time zone changes. That means always making time to exercise. I treat a travel day like a home day and stick to the schedule regardless of location.”
How do you find the time for this while you’re on the road?
IT IS: “Wake up earlier is key. I run every morning regardless of location and temperature; winter cold in Minnesota or summer heat in Florida. But the most important thing is not to get out of the house routine just because you are away.
And does this also apply to your diet?
IT IS: “Absolutely. It should come as no surprise that I eat what my restaurants sell: healthy, nutritious food. But I also keep that largely identical while on the go and that includes the moment of my meals, too: breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, mid-afternoon and dinner. Stay true to your routine as much as you can.”
Obviously, this is not an easy task for most travelers. What are some ways to help maintain consistency?
IT IS: “I viscously monitor my activity through technology, from my Whoop band, my Therabody leg sleeves to my blood sugar monitoring, they all play a huge role in my performance in keeping to my schedule.”
So people don’t necessarily need to travel less to stay fit?
IT IS: “Definitely not. Travel is mandatory in the multiple consumer unit business. I need to be where my franchises are and be with my clients. My key is to make every day the same. That may sound boring to some, but it is the recipe right for my body and my business.”
What is the keyword that provides the secret ingredient to your success?
IT IS: “Intensity. I put the same intensity into my exercise, nutrition and recovery as I do into building my businesses. Without that intensity, I wouldn’t have the stamina to grow my businesses at such an aggressive rate.”