If you have a job that requires you to travel from time to time, you know that travelling for work can often be a stressful and unpredictable experience. Even for a seasoned traveller, it can be exhausting when you have a particularly demanding client or an extensive conference schedule. This is why a lot of people consider business trips to be exempt from their usual diet and workout routines. However, not only is it very easy to pack on a little extra weight and ruin the last few months of hard work to stay fit, but you can also form some really bad habits that will follow you home. For this reason, you should always aim to stick to your usual routine regarding food and exercise as much as possible during your business trips (or any trips for that matter). Exercise has been shown to significantly increase productivity, so you will also perform better professionally. But how does one stay fit when travelling for work amidst all the chaos? Here we will break down some of the best tips on how to achieve that result without disrupting your working schedule.
Take a walk
This is a simple idea that will do wonders for your health. Basically, when you need to get somewhere, forget about cars, public transport and even elevators and walk there. It may not seem like much, but it provides a solid foundation for your exercise. Leave for your meetings an hour early and walk to your destination and you have the added benefit of fresh air and sightseeing. Make the best of every situation, for example if you are stuck at the airport, always have a pair of comfortable walking shoes in your carry-on luggage so you can walk laps around the terminal. Bad weather is also not an excuse – you can walk up and down the stairs at your hotel. This is also important because you will be spending a lot of time sitting in a chair in various meetings or lectures, which increases the risk of developing a blood clot in your legs, so it crucial to stretch your legs and increase blood flow to avoid it.
Use what you can
Business trips typically mean you need to pack light, so bringing workout equipment with you is impractical. Luckily, most hotels have fitness centres and additional facilities which you should always utilize to their full extent. For example, you can find excellent Byron Bay accommodation in Australia that offers a fully equipped gym, tennis court, yoga classes and a spa, which is an excellent opportunity to get a good workout as well as relax afterwards. You should prioritize hotels like this if you have a say in choosing the accommodation for your trip. However, even if you are stuck in a hotel with no fitness facilities, you can always research the city ahead of time and find a nearby gym that offers day or week passes so you can exercise while you are there. Even with no equipment, you just need to get a little creative – for example you can get a total body workout in your hotel room in as little as thirty minutes.
Always eat right
Because of the hectic and cramped schedule, a lot of people on business trips tend to make bad decisions and eat whatever and whenever they can regardless of the quality and nutritional value of the food, which is something you should try to avoid at all costs. Always have a big healthy breakfast to start your day and get your metabolism going. Avoid too much pastry and have a bowl of oatmeal instead. Always carry a couple of protein bars with you to keep you from getting too hungry if your meetings run long. If you go out to a restaurant in the evening, order something close to what you would usually have for dinner at home. Of course, if your room has a kitchen (most well-equipped hotel rooms do), you can skip the restaurant altogether, buy groceries and cook your own meals. An additional tip if you are staying in a foreign country whose cuisine you are not familiar with – if you are not sure what the food they are offering you is, always ask first! It’s better to end up looking like a clueless tourist than to spend the following day on the toilet.
It’s easy to forget to drink enough water when you are busy, so you should make a conscious effort to avoid that. Airplane cabins have dry air and can dehydrate you faster than you would imagine, so the general rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water for every hour you spend flying. While coffee seems to be ever-present in a business setting, you should avoid drinking too much of it and consider switching to tea as a healthier option. Going out for drinks in the evening is customary when celebrating a successful business deal, but keep it within reasonable limits and make sure to drink a large glass of water before bed to avoid getting a hangover in the morning. And of course, you should always drink plenty of water when you do your exercise. If you find yourself in a warmer climate than you are used to, increasing your daily fluid intake is a must. Also keep in mind that some foreign countries don’t have drinkable tap water, so do your research beforehand and stock up on water bottles if necessary.
Staying fit while traveling for work isn’t that easy, but as you can see, it’s possible. It’s important to stay active, to take walks whenever you can and to pay attention to your nutrition and water intake. Hopefully, these few suggestions will help you stay in good shape, but don’t forget that there are other options too. The possibilities are endless, so be creative and keep moving.