Are you a business traveler? If so, you are not alone. The Global Business Travel Association reported the number of business trips taken annually in the U.S. is approximately 488 million. Maintaining a healthy business trip doesn’t have to be so hard.
Whether it is for days or weeks, it can be a challenge both physically and emotionally. Between the transportation, which means you probably are sitting for extended periods, restaurants which may or may not offer healthy choices, and hotels, which while they may be nice it is often difficult to get a great night’s sleep. No wonder it is such a challenge for business travelers to stay healthy on the road. Is this a challenge you have?
Is a Healthy Business Trip Attainable for Me?
While traveling for work has its challenges, and a healthy business trip may seem out of your reach, it is certainly not impossible to eat a healthy diet, engage in exercise, get a good night’s sleep and take frequent movement breaks. But the truth is, it is much easier to be healthy on the road if you are already leading a healthy lifestyle at home. The reason I say this is, when we are away, our routine changes and we do not have all of the same comforts or familiar routines on the road. Achieving a healthy business trip might be harder if you’re not used to maintaining a healthy lifestyle day to day.
Last month, a financial organization had me present on this very topic, Staying Healthy on the Road. At the end of the lunch and learn, I asked what was the greatest take away from the presentation and the overwhelming response was how we forget that by making simple changes we are able to have a positive impact on our health and general well-being, both in the office or on the road.
3 Simple Strategies to Help Maintain Your Health and Vitality, and Even Have a Healthy Business Trip!
Fueling the Body
Much of our energy comes from the foods we eat. Imagine your body is a car, what type of car are you? Bet you wouldn’t use cheap gas is in Ferrari, so why would you put processed, sugary foods in your body.
- Start your day with a good breakfast. Whether at home or on the road, try to include: fruit, whole grains and some protein. This could include, but not limited to: protein smoothie, oatmeal with fruit, milk and nuts, or eggs, fruit and whole grain toast. Stay away from sugary pastries and processed cereals.
- Pack healthy snacks, such as veggies and hummus, nuts, some of the whole food bars (e.g. Clif bars), air popcorn, dried fruits.
- Drink water. For extra flavor add a slice of lemon, lime or any fruit you like. This not only improves the flavor but it is another way to get antioxidants in your body. Herbal teas and coffee are also a good alternative. Stay away for soda. Remember many of the fruits you eat are also full of water too.
- Limit alcohol so you are able to get a good night’s sleep and feel rested and energized for the next day. Have you ever attended a business meeting hung over or with a “little headache” from the festivities the night before.
- Late night dinners are often part of workplace travel but to feel energized the next day you should consider staying away from the big steak, creamed spinach and potatoes. Try healthier options, such as fish, grilled vegetables and salads.
Movement Breaks and Stretching
- Try to stand up every 30 minutes, even if just for 15 seconds, but a few minutes is best.
- Park away from the entrance so you have to walk further.
- Many hotels have running/walking paths. Go for a walk at the end of the day or first thing in the morning to get energized.
- Take stairs when possible.
- Take stretch breaks.
- Pack fitness bands for resistant training. Push ups are also fantastic.
- Be aware of your breath, especially when anxious or stressed. There is a tendency to take very shallow breathes, which reduces the oxygen in your blood which will ultimately impact our energy level and ability to focus and attend.
- Every 30 minutes focus on your breath for 3 slow, steady breathes. Breath in through your nose to the count of 3 (feeling your abdominal area expand), then exhale to the count of 3. Repeat. Sit up straight.
- This can be done anytime, anywhere. Awareness of your breath can truly change how you are feeling immediately.
- Add a smile to get the endorphins released.
- This is taken from Tony Robbins and used to get into a “state” of positivity and to feel energized and focused. Shout out affirmations, or a simple “yes” a few times. This is powerful and almost always guaranteed to make you feel better.
I would love for you to share any strategies which you have found beneficial to maintaining your health and well-being on the road and at home. To share your healthy business trip tips, or to get more information on corporate wellness programs or personal fitness sessions in the Baltimore area, get in touch!
If you are in the Baltimore area please reach out to me if you would be interested in a complimentary lunch and learn related to this or another workplace related wellness topic. Click here to get in touch.