While business travel may be a necessity, it can be stressful and as a specialist corporate travel agency, we know all about it. Extensive business trips can lead to a host of stress-related illnesses and overall poor health. Living a healthy lifestyle should extend beyond your home life and be part of your travel management plan. In fact, a recent study by On Call International, a travel risk management company, revealed some interesting statistics.
The Google Consumer Survey was based on 1 000 known business travelers who confirmed there are more pressing issues besides the traditional travel challenges such as long flights, time zones, tense meetings, odd schedules and new surroundings.
An unhealthy diet and lack of regular exercise can have adverse effects on a business traveler’s wellbeing. It often leads to, or worsen, serious health problems. In addition, chronic stress can cause several issues for business travelers and decrease their work productivity and performance. Common stress related conditions include headaches, gastrointestinal distress and chest pain. Existing conditions such as asthma, anxiety, depression and skin rashes can also easily be exacerbated.
So just how do you plan a ‘Healthy Business Trip?’ Aside from companies providing their employees with training and workshops on how to identify and avoid stress-inducing activities or habits, we’ve included a few tips to help you get started.
Business travel is challenging enough so making healthy choices while traveling requires real mindfulness and planning. Most of us live within a specific routine including exercise, diet and ‘down-time’. It’s this balance that can easily get upended on a business trip.
When you know your departure date, get in as much exercise as you can before the time. You are more than likely at the mercy of someone else’s schedule once on your trip and might not get a chance later on. Pack exercise clothes just in case you find a Yoga studio or a Gym nearby. If exercise is near impossible, try taking the stairs wherever you go instead of the elevator. It may seem silly but climbing stairs is a great cardio exercise.
Keeping hydrated is vital in our everyday lives but even more so on a business trip. The humidity of air in an airplane is much lower which could lead to dehydration. Drink sufficient water before and during your trip and minimise alcohol and coffee intake.
Choose healthy food with high water, mineral and protein content. Leafy greens, quinoa, nuts, seeds and fruits are among the best food options to boost energy levels. Healthy snacks like granola bars, nuts, dark chocolate and fruit are great for on the road, at the airport or for a busy day of sightseeing. Try to have at least one healthy meal per day and the key is to eat everything in moderation. Commit to making at least one meal a day healthy and fresh.
This is almost a catch-22 situation as stress affects sleep patterns but in order to reduce stress, you also need a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to poor cognitive processes and greatly compromise alertness, concentration and decision-making abilities. Small adjustments to your daily routine can make all the difference. Don’t exercise or eat just before bedtime, make sure your alarm is set for the right time and make use of earplugs and eye covers if required. Less than 6 hours is not healthy and you should aim for a minimum of 8 hours.
Even though you are traveling and in unfamiliar surroundings, try to stick to your regular routine if possible. This can help prevent illness and you will feel more comfortable in your new destination. An added bonus is that upon your return home, you also won’t feel too much out sorts.
With more than 20 years’ in corporate travel, we provide all of our clients with financially efficient and stress-free total travel solutions. We take our ‘duty of care’ responsibility seriously and do everything in our power to promote the health and safety of our corporate travelers. Book your business trip through TravelManor and experience business travel the way it should be.