How to Stay Fit on Your Business Trips

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They say that there are few things you can guarantee in life, two of them being death and taxes. Well, we have a third: when you go away on a business trip your fitness regime goes out the window. It can be hard to maintain an exercise plan and a healthy eating programme when you are running from back to back meetings, eating on the go or in restaurants when travelling on business trips.

For many, our exercise routines fall into the category of habits, and (good) habits, once formed, become part of a routine so that they can be maintained. So, it stands to reason that when our routines are disrupted those good habits we’ve worked so hard to cultivate have a tendency to fall away. It begins at the airport. Having to wait around for a flight can be tedious and what better way to fill that gap than with a drink and a snack in the executive lounge. Drinks on the plane don’t help either, and neither does heavy, starch-laden food. Your body dehydrates much more when in the air causing bloating and fatigue - being tired is also one of the top contributors to bad food choices. Then there’s the hotel, room service, entertaining clients; the list continues. Business trips, particularly at an executive level, often involve lots of meetings, whether they be in the boardroom over pastries and coffee or at a five-star restaurant over an a la carte menu.

It’s not just about watching what you eat though. Exercise is a vital element when it comes to keeping fit both at home and on trips. It is sometimes hard to find the time to fit in a training session when you are away, but the value is incredible. Not only does it help maintain your physical well-being, but it can also be a great stress reliever. After a tough day of meetings and negotiations sometimes it is necessary to jump on a treadmill and clear your head. Often blowing off some steam in the gym is exactly what’s need to gain a fresh perspective on an upcoming business deal or pending presentation.

To maintain your optimal level of fitness is not always easy when you are away from home, but there are definitely some easy to apply tips that will keep you in the habits of a healthy lifestyle:

Pack snacks – When you are packing your bags throw a few healthy snacks in with your luggage and don’t forget to add a few snacks to your hand luggage too. Not only will this keep you away from the unhealthy choices in the mini bar fridge it will also give you something to nibble on at the airport. Packing your own snacks also means that you won’t be disturbed on the plane while you polish off your points for the meetings.

Drink water – On the plane drinking water can prevent dehydration, which will stop you feeling tired and craving junk food. Keeping hydrated will keep you on top of your game, allowing you to land feeling ready to do business. Drinking water is also a great way to stave off hunger.

Eating out – Common sense dictates that if you eat pastries from the hotel’s breakfast buffet, and then continue to eat calorific foods throughout the day, your waistline is more than likely going to expand. Business trips can often be an onslaught of informal meetings, presentations and functions that involve constant consumption of food and drink. Entertaining clients, being it in a foreign city eating out at every meal, can either be an opportunity to embrace your inner glutton, or to exercise your willpower and make sensible meal choices. Stay away from the pastries at breakfast. Order two starters instead of a starter and full main. Decline dessert. If you know you are eating out more than once in a day choose a light meal for lunch. And keep your alcohol intake to a minimum.

Get moving – Big deals, forging new client relationships, investor meetings, research trips. These are just some of the reasons corporate executives travel away from home. These are all fundamental elements of any successful corporation and so require you to be focussed on the task at hand. It is under these stressful situations that keeping fit and healthy fall by the wayside. Managing fit some exercise into your daily routine on a business trip, might mean adjusting your normal schedule slightly. But it can be done.

  • Ask your corporate travel agent to book you into a hotel with a gym.
  • Before your trip, draw up a short series of exercises you can do in your room if there is no gym.
  • Pack a prop like a skipping rope, resistance band or yoga mat. They don’t take up much space and it means you can quite literally exercise almost anywhere if you want to.
  • Pack your gym clothes. By setting an intention to exercise you are more likely to do it.
  • Walk. The best way to explore a new city and to see the sights is on foot. Wherever possible, walk instead of taking taxis or public transport.
  • Ask your travel consultant to book you into a hotel close to a park or some other facility where you could go for an early morning run.

Your physical health is as vital to the future success of your company as the health of your business is, so make sure you don’t let one suffer at the expense of the other just because you are away from home and out of your normal routine.

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