The business traveler. Often referred to as the road warrior. Many may think that business travel is no big deal. But why would it have been dubbed “warrior” if it is not tough?
The reality is that whether you travel for work once in a while or a great deal, these trips can take a serious toll on your body. Busy schedules, changing time zones and added stress can put your fitness regimen on the back burner while you are away from home. Constant dining out, grabbing junk food on the run, skipping meals altogether, work-related social functions and more can sabotage your usually healthy diet. But your health does not have to suffer just because you are on the road. The following tips can make a big difference and can help keep you in balance while on the road:
To avoid skipping meals due to your busy schedule during business trips, it is important to plan ahead. Before heading out of town, consider preparing healthy meals and snacks at home and take them with you in proper storage containers.
Try to make enough small, healthy meals and snacks so that you can eat every three hours. By doing this, you will also be ready for the unexpected – like being stuck somewhere without access to food.
Or, if you’ve rather not cook, here are a few options that can easily be packed into your carry-on bag:
Protein bars with low sugar content, protein shakes, tuna fish in a pouch, protein pudding in individual cans, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Of course, you should always drink plenty of water. Carry water bottles with you or buy a travel bag with a built-in water bottle. When ordering room service or eating out, ask for your meal to be cooked without extra butter and/or oil and request that any sauces and dressings be served on the side.
Try to prepare in advance for social situations that could lead to overeating, rich desserts, and excessive alcohol consumption. Have a protein bar before going out so so that you are not famished by the time you get to the cocktail party or business dinner. This will help you to choose smaller and/or healthier portions when it is time to eat again. Plan to order non-alcoholic beverages during these events. It is very easy to overeat when alcohol is involved after all.
Before booking your trip, do some homework on your hotel. Try to stay at a location with a fitness facility. If a complete gym is not available, try to choose a hotel with cardio machines.
Also, before you head out of town, pick up some Thera-Bands. These lightweight, stretchy resistance bands are affordable, they travel well and they are great to use when your hotel gym does not have weights. To keep the blood flowing and muscles moving when you are out on the road, make time to do some of the following in your hotel room: Push-ups with hands shoulder-width apart for chest and deltoids,
Push-ups with hands in close together for triceps, Step on the center of a Thera-Band and pull the other end with your hands to do bicep curls, side lateral raises, front raises and shoulder presses, lunges or jump lunges for legs and glutes, jumping jacks or pack a jump rope.
If the weather is nice and you are in a safe area, take a walk outdoors. Walk at a comfortable brisk pace up the road and then come back for a great cardio session while enjoying new scenery. If business takes you to a hotel by the beach or park, go on a run before or after meetings.
Of course, it is usually difficult to do your full workout routine like you would at home while on a business trip. In order to protect the fitness level that you’ve worked so hard to achieve, the key is really just to get some exercise every day. If you are on a lengthier trip, try to do a minimum of one-third of your usual cardio routine at the typical level of intensity. Also, try to do your strength-training program at least once a week using the same amount of resistance as usual.
By putting tips into practice and getting at least some exercise while you are on the road, you will not only be doing a great thing for yourself, but you will have more energy, be more alert and more productive during your trip. And that is sure to make your boss happy too.
Featured Image: Bergen Mama