Business travel can be hazardous to your health.
You don’t get as much sleep as usual, get up early to catch your plane, change time zones, and get into an unfamiliar bed.
You can’t find healthy food options as airports are filled with fast food restaurants and business dinners usually include red meats and cocktails.
And you find it hard to train for a variety of reasons.
Yes, business travel can be hazardous to your health. But this is optional. If you’re a frequent business traveler and determined to stay healthy in 2018, here are 7 tips to keep fit while you’re on the road to work.
1. Make a plan
The most important thing you can do for business travel fitness is to make a plan. If you are planning on exercising, you will need to bring the right clothing and equipment with you. You need to have an idea of what you are going to eat and you need to determine how you can be active during your trip.
If you can’t plan, you will default to doing what’s easiest. And the easiest thing to do while traveling is to forego junk food at airport restaurants and sit on your hotel bed and watch TV while you work late.
2. Keep it simple
Any little physical activity helps, so don’t try to over complicate things. You don’t have to run 5 miles a day on your commute, and you don’t have to spend an hour at the gym. If you set ambitious goals for yourself, you will most likely feel like you don’t have time to reach them, which means you will stop exercising altogether.
Instead, plan to run just 1 mile and consider lifting weights for just 10 or 15 minutes. You can fit a quality workout in under half an hour if you want to keep things simple.
3. Create a fitness program while traveling
Consistency is also key when trying to stay in shape while traveling, so it’s always a good idea to create a routine.
Try going to bed at the same time every night and then waking up at the same time every night. Set aside time to exercise first after you get up, or maybe delay your workout for an hour right after work and before dinner.
Creating a routine will help you develop powerful training habits that are hard to break.
4. Wear comfortable shoes (or bring gear)
Training opportunities are all around us – if you have the right shoes.
Wear comfortable shoes to the airport and you can walk through the terminals during your transfer. Wear comfortable shoes when you arrive at your destination and you can walk around the city and see the sights. Comfortable shoes even make it easier to walk up stairs, which is an easy way to stay fit.
Most travelers don’t consider walking through terminals, sightseeing, or climbing stairs a workout. But that’s exactly what you do when your body is in motion and your heart rate is high.
Alternatively, if you can’t bring comfortable shoes, check to see if your hotel provides workout equipment. For example, Westin-branded hotels have New Balance Workout Wear for guests to borrow when they don’t have theirs. Renting some gear might be just what you need for a quick yoga stretch or even some old-school push-ups or squats in the comfort of your own hotel room.
5. Focus on food (and water)
Business trips are often associated with a sedentary lifestyle. You sit on an airplane, you sit in a hotel, you sit in meetings, etc. But what you eat while on a business trip can be just as bad for your health.
It’s easy to grab a bite to eat at the airport, but restaurants rarely serve healthy food. And work trips often include lunches with colleagues and clients, which can mean a steakhouse—again, unhealthy.
So think ahead by bringing along a few snacks that can satisfy your hunger on travel days. Do your best to choose fish and lean meats over steaks when out and about with co-workers and clients. And a lemon or lime soda looks like a smoothie without the calories of beer, wine, or spirits.
Find a grocery store when you get to town. You can grab a healthy snack and even prepare food that can be stored in the hotel’s mini-fridge. And finally, don’t forget about water. Drinking plenty of water keeps you hydrated and prevents hunger pangs that lead to bad decisions.
6. Now is the best time
It’s easy to say, “I’ll work out later.” But the longer you put off exercising, the less likely you are to actually complete it.
That’s why it’s best to go for a run or elliptical trainer as soon as you arrive at your hotel. And that’s why it’s always a good idea to train first thing in the morning before a work day, as numerous tasks derail your fitness plans.
It’s always easy to put things off until later, but the best thing you can do for your fitness while commuting is to take care of your workout right now.
7. Don’t beat yourself up
Here’s the last piece of advice: Don’t beat yourself up. If you skip a workout one day, or if you eat junk food one night, there’s always tomorrow.
It’s easy to get frustrated and give up trying to stay healthy while on the road. But don’t let one bad lunch or one bad day convince you that staying in shape isn’t worth the time or effort.
Common Sense Corporate Travel Agency
Have you ever seen a travel itinerary and cringed? Maybe it was insanely early or late night flights. Perhaps the high hotel prices necessitated a day trip. Or maybe the lack of hotels has forced you to stay in a motel with no restaurant, let alone a fitness center.
At JTB Business Travel, we are committed to helping companies get the most out of their business travel investment. But we’re also focused on creating manageable itineraries to help business travelers be at their best while traveling. Behind every product and service we offer, and behind every recommendation we make, is common sense.
Contact us today to learn more about our common sense approach to business travel.