Business travel can be hard on your health.
You don’t get as much sleep as you normally would, getting up early to catch flights, changing time zones and using an unfamiliar bed.
You can’t find healthy dining options, as airports are packed with fast food restaurants and business dinners typically include red meat and cocktails.
And you have a hard time getting in your workout for myriad reasons.
Yes, business travel can be hard on your health. But it doesn’t have to be. If you’re a frequent business traveler resolved to stay healthy in 2018, here are 7 tips for promoting fitness while you’re on the road for work.
1.Make a Plan
The most important thing you can do for business trip fitness is create a plan. You need to take the right kinds of clothing and equipment with you if you plan to work out. You need to have an idea of what you’re going eat, and you need to identify ways you can be active during your trip.
If you fail to plan, you’re going to default to whatever’s easiest. And the easiest thing to do while traveling is to fall back on unhealthy foods at airport restaurants, as well as sitting on your hotel room bed and watching TV while you work late.
2. Keep it Simple
Every little bit of physical activity helps, so don’t try to overcomplicate things. You don’t need to run 5 miles a day while you’re traveling for work, and you don’t need to spend an hour in the gym. If you set ambitious goals, you’re much more likely to feel like you don’t have time to reach them — which means you’ll pass on working out altogether.
Instead, plan to run just 1 mile, and think about lifting weights for just 10 or 15 minutes. You can pack a quality workout into less than half an hour, if you’re willing to keep things simple.
The most important thing you can do for business trip fitness is create a plan.
3. Create a Travel Fitness Routine
Consistency is also a key when you’re trying to stay in shape while traveling, which is why it’s always a good idea to create a routine.
Try going to bed at the same time every night, and then wake up at the same time, too. Set aside workout time first thing after you get up, or maybe slot your workout for the hour just after the workday and before dinner.
Creating a routine will help you develop powerful workout habits that are tough to break.
4. Wear Comfortable Shoes (or Borrow Some Gear)
Workout opportunities are all around us — if you have the right shoes.
Wear comfortable shoes to the airport, and you can walk the terminals during a layover. Have comfortable shoes when you arrive at your destination, and you can walk the city and see points of interest. Comfortable shoes even make it easier to walk the stairs, which is an easy way to stay fit.
Most travelers don’t think about walking terminals or sightseeing or taking the stairs as working out. But that’s exactly what you’re doing when your body is in motion and your heart rate is up.
Alternatively, if you can’t take comfortable shoes with you, see if your hotel lends workout equipment. For example, Westin brand hotels have New Balance workout attire for guests to borrow when they don’t have their own. Snagging some gear on loan can be just what you need for some quick yoga stretches or even some old-school push-ups or sit-ups in the comfort of your own hotel room.
5. Focus on Food (and Water)
Work travel is often sedentary time. You sit on an airplane, you sit around your hotel, you sit in meetings, etc. But what you eat during business trips can be just as detrimental to your health.
It’s easy to snag a quick bite at the airport, but the restaurants there rarely serve healthy foods. And work travel often includes meals with colleagues and clients, which might mean a steakhouse — again, not healthy.
So think ahead by packing a few snacks that can satiate your hunger on travel days. Do your best to choose fish and lean meats rather than steak while out with colleagues and clients. And ordering a club soda with lemon or lime looks just like a cocktail without packing the calories of beer, wine or liquor.
Find a grocery store when you get to town, too. You can snag some healthy snacks and even produce, which you can stash in your hotel’s mini fridge. And, lastly, don’t forget the water. Drinking lots of water keeps you hydrated and fends off the hunger pangs that lead to bad decisions.
6. Now is the Best Time
It’s easy to say, “I’ll workout later.” But the longer you put off your workout, the less likely you are to actually go through with it.
That’s why it’s best to go for a run or to hit the elliptical machine first thing when you arrive at your hotel. And that’s why it’s always a good idea to workout first thing in the morning before the workday and its many to-dos derail your fitness plans.
It’s always easy to put things off for later, but the best thing you can do for your fitness while traveling for work is take care of your workout right now.
7. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Here’s one last tip: Don’t beat yourself up. If you miss working out one day or if you have an unhealthy meal one night, there’s always tomorrow.
It’s easy to get discouraged and to give up on trying to stay healthy while on the road for business. But don’t let one bad meal or one bad day convince you that staying fit isn’t worth the time and effort.
A Corporate Travel Agency That Uses Common Sense
Have you ever seen a travel itinerary and cringed? Maybe it included insanely early or overnight flights. Maybe high hotel prices necessitated a fly-in-fly-out day trip. Or maybe hotel scarcity forced you to stay at a motel devoid of a restaurant, much less a fitness center.
At JTB Business Travel, we’re focused on helping companies make the most of their investment in business trips. But we’re also focused on creating manageable itineraries that help business travelers be at their best while traveling. Behind every product and service we offer and behind every recommendation we make is a common sense approach.
Contact us today to learn more about our common sense approach to business travel.