Don’t Let the Road Win!: A brief guide to kicking butt while on the road (and at home)

Shout out to Alive! Multivitamins for sponsoring this post!

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Greetings from the road! I’m currently on a three-day adventure in Lansing, Michigan, filming an episode of Made for the Outdoors for the Sportsman Channel – and having a blast! I’ve been traveling a lot the past few weeks, but to be honest, it kind of feels like I’ve been on the road for the past ten years. Whether it was for wakeboarding contests or film trips and now to speak at conferences, film for TV, or to deliver boots to Tiff in Spain, I have and still spend a good part of my life on the road. My suitcase rarely ever gets fully unpacked, and even when I’m at “home”, it’s usually not long enough to get into a routine.

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While it’s been a blast and I truly believe travel teaches you more about yourself and the world than any class or book ever could, it does take its toll… I think we can all agree that travel is just plain exhausting – hectic airports, crying babies, rental car lines, driving for hours on end, checking in and out of hotels, etc. And on top of that, being exposed to thousands of people and whatever germs and/or viruses that come along with them. Life on the road isn’t always easy, and with my on going battle with cancer, I have to admit it’s been a challenge for me to stay healthy. But because of that, I’ve found ways to travel smarter and make life a little easier while on the road. Below is my little (or maybe not so little) list of suggestions I’ve found super helpful for anyone in need of a boost to keep them healthy whether on the road or just amidst hectic times at home. 

1.             Stay Hydrated

When it comes to “not letting the road win”, your number one defense is hydration. Ever wonder why your skin dries up, you get extremely thirsty, or catch a buzz quicker than normal at 30,000 feet? Well, as it turns out, the air on planes is EXTREMELY dry – around 12% humidity which is literally drier than most deserts... That one beer buzz is making a lot more sense now, right? To combat the arid environment, I bring a (reusable) water bottle on every flight and fill up before and after at the airport refilling stations.

On top of that, I have a bad habit of just forgetting to drink water, especially if I’m filming for hours on end or if it’s just a hectic day…and because water is just kind of boring. So, instead of sips throughout the day, I CHUG water. That way, if I only remember a few times a day, I’m still getting in enough total water by slamming 15 oz at a time versus a 1oz sips.

Not only does dehydration weaken the immune system and leave you more susceptible to sickness, it’s also a leading cause of fatigue. Getting Rehydrated can also be a real biotch, so I highly suggest being proactive about this one. I keep notes in my phone and aim for 70oz/day. This will vary depending on your size and typical intake. BOTTOMS UP!  

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2.             Bring VITAMINS!

I’m always pretty surprised when I don’t get flagged going through TSA because my carry-on is pretty much a travelling pharmacy. I have to make sure I’m prepared should anything happen while I’m away from home, and thus, doctors and regular pharmacies. Antacids, ibuprofen, allergy meds, prescription drugs, backup prescription drugs, and most importantly, VITAMINS. Because of the challenges listed above (see #4), taking a multivitamin is part of my daily routine.* While things like vitamins are not a cure for any health related issues, they are beneficial for people in general due to ensuring you can get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.*

I have zero shame in saying I love a good gummy multivitamin and currently love the Alive! Women’s Multivitamin Gummies in new Mixed Berry flavor. They’ve got the vitamins and minerals needed to live a healthy lifestyle and when you’ve got the right nutrients you’ve got the right fuel to power through your day.* I take them daily, so even if I don’t eat as healthy as I’d like (let’s be honest, how often does that happen?!), I’ve got my bases covered.* For me, the best part about these gummies is that, unlike other brands, they don’t contain gelatin, so they won’t melt, making them perfect for travel. Even when travel means sitting on a boat on a 95 degree day. So do your body and immune system a favor by giving them a little extra burst of goodness.*

3.             Move.

The unlikelihood of finding a hotel fitness center that meets an even remote definition of “fitness center” should probably start being used as one of those stats that compares odds like being bit by a shark or struck by lightning or winning the lottery. Point being: it’s rare. That said, I can’t stress enough how important it is to just MOVE. Circulation is one helluva thing! So whether you’re on the road or not, making exercise a priority is non-negotiable. It doesn’t have to be a 60 min HIIT session or 90 minute spin class adorned in $200 spandex pants. If there’s a “fitness center” available – use it! if not, here are some simple ways to get moving:

  • TAKE THE STAIRS. Even getting your heart rate up for 30 seconds a few times throughout your day makes a huge difference.

  • Go for a walk. If it’s nice out, walk outside. If it’s cold out or your hotel is on a freeway exit ramp, walk around the hotel, walk around your house, walk around the mall, walk anywhere, just walk.

  • Stretch – This one could actually be its own “number” on the list. Admittedly, I’m a little obsessed with stretching, but it’s honestly had a major impact on my life. I’m not taking about reaching for your toes twice a week. I’m talking about taking 10-15 minutes out of your day to really loosen up. Every nook and cranny of your body - quads, hammies, glutes, hips, calves, back, neck, arms, shoulders – all of it. And with each stretch, hold it longer than you want. The moment a stretch gets uncomfortable (not painful) is the moment that the stretch is starting to work.

  • Personally, I prefer a morning dance party. While getting ready, put the music ON and boogie DOWN!

So, even if you’re in what feels like a closet with an outdated recumbent exercise bike or you’re the person doing lunges at the airport, get your blood moving.

4.             Keep Your Butt clean

I’m not sure if I should say this or not (but I am): I have an ex-bf (who shall remain unnamed) who travelled over 300 days per year for work. His number one rule of the road? Keep your butt clean. While I will rephrase slightly, he’s got a point. Traveling makes for long days. Sometimes it’s hot, sometimes it’s cold, it’s dirty, stressful, etc. So, I like to bring the following items with me on every flight, long car ride, or just for long days:

  • Disinfecting wipes – Newsflash: thousands of people ride in each airplane/bus seat and the surrounding area is hardly, if ever, disinfected. SO, wipe the tray, the window, the armrests, etc. Start the trip off right by creating your own little clean space.

  • Hairbrush, toothbrush, wet wipes – I call this one the “white trash shower pack”. Taking 2 minutes to freshen up in between flights will literally leave you feeling like a new human.

  • Neck pillow – I used to roll my eyes at people walking around the airport with their neck pillows dangling off of their backpacks. Now, I can humbly say, I am that person. When traveling, you gotta get rest whenever you can, and on top of that starting a trip off with a kink in your neck is NO BUENO. (Also duals as a shield from the snoring guy next to you when they tip into you territory.)

5.             Skip Continental Breakfast

You better believe I’ve been known to crush some mini muffins and am a sucker for a Texas-shaped waffle, but I find that starting my day off with uber-processed sugar, carb, and fat packed foods is… less than ideal. I like to pack a big bag of almonds and/or grab a piece of fruit on the way out of the hotel (if it’s avail).

Continental spreads aside, the idea is to eat one “homemade” meal a day. Lunch meetings and/or dinners with clients, friends, or colleagues is oftentimes inevitable both on the road and at home, so brekky is usually the best opportunity to get something healthy in.

6.             Bring a Hawaiian (or two)

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The last, and possibly most important on the list, is to always pack a Hawaiian shirt. I have a stash in Spicer, a closet full at home in Minneapolis, a few in Florida, and have a backup in my car. I basically never leave the house without one. Whether it’s a serious business trip or a Bahamas vacation, you never know when a good Hawaiian party shirt might be completely necessary. Some of my biggest regrets in life are not having a Hawaiian when I needed one. Put a Hawaiian on and try to get mad, I dare you.

You’ll thank me later for this one.

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These are just a few tips to help make your life easier, stay healthier, and kick butt while you’re on the road or just trying to live your best life at home. So take your vitamins, chug some water, grab your Hawaiian shirt, and keep boogying! Be good to your body and it will be good to you.

xo

Alexa

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

STILL KICKING!: A belated birthday post

This post is sponsored by Biochem.

Another trip around the sun, another crazy, adventure filled 365 days! I know this post is a little late, but life has been so crazy (crazy good)!! A lot has changed over the past year – moving across the country, new jobs, new friends, new dreams, but much has remained the same: every day I try to take care of myself the best I can while still having some fun. After all, life is all about balance.

So many people rag on getting older, but if you ask me it seems a whole lot better than the alternative.  I’ll take some wrinkles, sun spots, and grey hairs in return for more memories and meaningful moments. However, the body does change so it becomes more and more important to take care of ourselves as the years go on.

The biggest change for me in recent years has been joint pain. Over the years my ankles and knees have taken a beating thanks to gymnastics, wakeboarding, and endless shenanigans, but haven’t been a problem. I used to make fun of my sister when she mentioned her aching joints, but with each passing year there’ve been a couple new pops and cracks in my knees when I stand up after debating between almond butters at the grocery store. I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon, so I do what I can to protect my joints and prevent injury - I do a lot of exercises specifically to strengthen my knees and ankles, but I also add supplements to my routine, because without sufficient protein and nutrients, the workouts don’t matter.

I don’t eat meat consistently, so I oftentimes throw a protein supplement in the mix. There are a lot of options out there, but I prefer Biochem’s plant-based line of protein powders, because they’re packed with natural protein that tastes dang good. My all-time fav is their “Flex” vegan vanilla plant powder; It provides a ton of natural protein but also has anti-inflammatories like turmeric (if you haven’t tried turmeric, it is an AMAZING natural anti-inflammatory agent), ginger, and Ayuflex. I add FLEX to everything from smoothies to oatmeal to yogurt to baked goods (like I said, “balance” ☺)

I know it sounds contradictory to put a “health” supplement into baked goods, but if you know me, you know I’m a baking junky, and I refuse to give it up. So, because I realize it’s not the healthiest hobby, I modify most of my recipes to use less or no sugar, substitute butter for applesauce or avo, and/or use alternative flours. But on top of that, I like to jazz it up and sneak in some other goodies like protein powder The Biochem vanilla is my fav because it has no funky protein-y taste and actually enhances the flavor while providing benefits. Holla!

It’s easy every day choices like this help me keep my health in check without cutting any of the fun. So as you grow, “age”, and continue to make memories, remember to take care of yourself but to not take yourself too seriously. Instead of battling for PERFECTION, try to incorporate small healthy habits into your daily routine (while having fun).

Because if you’re like me, you plan to run around for years to come. You only get one body, but you have countless opportunities to show it some love.

Until next time, be excellent to each other and to yourself.

A.Score


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