Whether travelling or going out locally we may find ourselves out of the house a little more as the weather warms up. This is great but no matter who you are this could put a dent in your attempts to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

Being an on-the-go individual, people often ask me how I maintain a healthy diet, and how do I keep fitness a regular part of my life. First of all I recognize that it is not always easy. Having been on a few trips this year, I have fully experienced how deviating from my regular regimen quickly reflected on my nutritional choices, fitness routine, and thus my health. I will go through 3 different things I adopted to help me stay on track when away from home.

Open your mind to these things and collectively it wlll take your health from average to good!

This article is good for people who don’t have a lot of time, are busy, young professionals, parents, and others who struggle with finding time to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Nutrition: Protein Bars

As previously mentioned, people often ask me how I maintain a healthy diet. One thing I do is try to keep my protein and fibre intake high. In addition, I aim to maximize on whole foods vs. processed foods.

When it comes to protein, I always get asked “What is a good protein bar?” or “Are protein bars any good?”  When choosing a bar, look at not only the nutritional information but also the ingredients. If you see a long list of ingredients of which you can’t pronounce half, most likely it is just as good for you as a chocolate bar. 

I recently came across Quest Bars. Skeptical at first, but after doing the inspection I was quite impressed! The list of ingredients was minimal with some artificial sweetener at the end of the list (minimal quantity). Each bar contains about 200 calories, 10f of fat, 20g of protein, and 21g of carbohydrates (17g of which are fibre)! Impressive for something packaged. Then I put it to the taste test – FABULOUS!

I first tried the cookie dough kind, which are still my favorite. I have tried the double chocolate, chocolate brownie, cinnamon roll, just bought a box of the coconut cashew. All very delicious compared to other protein bars.

I now carry these with me for go-to snacks while travelling and while bustling around town. Sometimes I eat just half if I need a quick sweet fix, and sometimes I use them to tide me over between meals.

Staying Active: Walking

Walking is a form of exercise, though for some of you (including myself) it may not be your first choice, bottom line is ANYTHING is better than nothing. For the past year I have used various apps and devices to measure my activity level. I truly have gained so much information from using the FitBit and JawboneKnowing how much you have moved can be a good eye opener. For example on days I notice I have only done 5-7,000 steps, I will actually find a way to get more steps in (high knees on the spot, or go for a walk to a place I was planning on driving) in efforts to get closer to the recommended 10,000 steps her day. Creating awareness of your fitness level is the first step to actually improving it. 


I often get asked to give my opinion on certain fitness fads. I usually advise my clients and friends on what I think are worth the dollars and what can help them. The FitBit and Jawbone are both fitness monitors that can help take your fitness level from low to much better.

*See my article on the

Staying Lean: Strength Training

This is for people that want to really make sure they are taking care of their health and improving their fitness. Strength Training is an irreplaceable component to any workout. Whether done using body weight or using equipment, it is essential for improving your lean tissue mass, burning fat, and giving you a stronger, fitter structure.

I have tried many types of portable fitness devices. My 2 favorites are the Go Fit Resistance Bands, of which you can get a full upper body workout (that actually burns)!  *See my article on 10 Best Shoulder and Arm Exercises.

My second favorite is the SKLZ Core Wheels. These made my abs burn for days. See my article outlining the types of exercises you can do with the Core Wheels.

These are both portable pieces of equipment you can throw in your car, suitcase, and carry on.

Being open-minded and trying new things can help you break out of a rut that you have become stuck in.

I often meet people who tell me who fit they used to be. While great to hear, I want to hear more of how you have improved your fitness and what little strategies you have incorporated into your diet to make better food choices.

Good luck everyone! Feel free to comment or ask me a question in the comment below.

Asma Kassam
Asma is a Registered Kinesiologist and Personal Trainer at AK Fitness Inc. She teaches bootcamps, personal training and active rehabilitation. She trains at a studio in Burnaby—Capitol Hill Athletics—as well as a studio in Downtown Vancouver. She is also passionate about nutrition as is a Certified Sports Nutrition Advisor. Visit my webpage at akfitness.ca