How the Padres Stay in Top Shape on the Road

Big Leaguers are the ultimate road warriors. The Padres travel approximately 38,000 miles per season – the distance of a full trip around the equator and then some.

The drawbacks go beyond jet lag and airport security checks. Players crave consistency, but travel separates them from daily routines that promote health, rest and focus.

These challenges also apply to the rest of us, says Heinz Hoenecke, MD, Padres head team physician from Scripps Clinic.

“Leisure or business travel can be exciting, but it’s also easy to feel run down if you don’t plan ahead,” says Dr. Hoenecke. “It’s important that people take the time to map out a good game plan for sleep, nutrition, hygiene and other aspects of good health.”

Here’s a look at how some Padres players stay in top form when they’re away from home:

Matt Stairs
“I wash my hands every time I walk by a soap dish – always have. I drink lots of water on flights and on the longer ones I get up and walk around as much as possible. And I bring along proper snacks. After a night game, you don’t want to eat pizza and french fries.”

Heath Bell
“I try not to sleep on airplanes, since it kind of messes with my neck. If your neck isn’t right you won’t be able to throw or swing a bat. I try to get plenty of sleep and I drink two bottles of water before bed and another when I wake up. It’s a grueling schedule so we have to be rested and hydrated.”

David Eckstein
“One of the most important things I do is bring two of my own personal pillows on the road with me. I also pack little healthy snacks in my bag, like fiber bars, so I’m not just eating whatever is around. Traveling presents lots of eating situations that aren’t great for your body.”

Nick Hundley
“I try to eat consistently, so I can keep my energy going. I try to choose the healthiest option on the menu. Sometimes it’s tough, but if you work at it you can find what you need. As a catcher I exert lots of energy, so I try to get at least nine hours of sleep a night to help rebuild my body.”

Cover These Bases Before Your Next Trip

  • Learn about your destination’s weather and health issues
  • Discuss your trip with your doctor and get all needed vaccines
  • Pack a travel health kit with items appropriate for your destination
  • Find someone at home to be your contact person while traveling