4 Ways the Fittest People Tackle Business Travel
Traveling business professionals have always faced challenges being away from home so often. These days, it’s no longer the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers who make up the largest traveling business force — it’s Millennials. The good news is that being more tech-savvy than any generation before them makes it easier for Millennials to find out-of-town options for staying on track with their health and fitness goals.
Still, mastering your smartphone doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult to adhere to your routine when traveling. You may be more open to mixing work with play and exploring the gyms, yoga classes, or healthy lunch spots you discover in a new city, but several factors make sticking to healthy choices difficult when business takes you out of town.
Health and Fitness Obstacles for Business Travelers
Whether you’re entertaining a client or a vendor is taking you out, you might feel obligated to indulge in alcohol or unhealthy foods you would steer clear of if you weren’t traveling. Pasta and wine isn’t exactly the most motivating pre-workout meal, so there’s a good chance you may skip a planned workout afterward and guarantee a calorie surplus for the day.
Even when you’re determined to stick to your fitness goals during business trips, your location can limit your choices. If you’re from a large metropolitan area, you might be a little spoiled by the wide variety of healthy options nearby. If business takes you to rural America for the first time, you might be caught off guard by the lack of health-conscious restaurants and gyms available.
Sometimes, the challenge may come from within and have nothing to do with your environment. There’s nothing wrong with placing significant importance on your work, but a “work above all else” mindset can prove counterproductive. Work must be balanced with your health. If you easily become hyperfocused on the job, then it’s even more important for you to stay fit by finding efficient ways to exercise and eat healthfully.
How to Stay Fit and Still Take Care of Business
With a little prep work, it’s possible for you to stay fit even while traveling. These four tips will help make healthy eating and exercise a routine part of your travels:
Get in the right mindset.
Show me the busiest person you know, and I will show you how even he or she has an extra hour available every day. All it takes is organization and prioritizing your health, plus a focus on efficient ways to exercise and eat better.
Don’t use traveling as an excuse to take time off from your health and fitness regimen. Instead, use it as a challenge to stick to your goals, especially if you’re a frequent traveler. Commit to making the time and effort to eat right and train while you’re out of town. Like any other meeting, make your exercise a priority in your schedule.
No gym? No problem!
Find out ahead of time whether you’ll have access to a gym or whether you’ll need to improvise by training another way. When I travel, I check beforehand for gyms in the area I’ll be visiting. When gyms aren’t available, I can typically make do just fine with calisthenics for a hotel room workout. I strongly believe in treating exercise like any other appointment — put it in your calendar. Don’t let yourself off the hook just because your options aren’t ideal.
Sometimes, switching up your training routine actually produces the best workout results. For instance, instead of hitting the gym, go run a few 400-meter sprints at a local track or do a bodyweight workout and see how many pushups you can do in 12 minutes!
Plan your meals ahead.
Food has the biggest impact on your health, and as the old saying goes, you can’t out-train a bad diet. Don’t wait until the day you arrive in a new city to find out what’s available to eat. Search for restaurants by your hotel beforehand and see what’s on the menu.
If fast food and convenience stores are all you find, then have healthy meals delivered and waiting for you at the hotel. Not only are healthy meal deliveries an extremely convenient way to meal prep, but they’re also typically cheaper than eating out for every meal. Chances are that your daily allowance will easily cover the bill, and you can use the time you save by eating in to make sure you get a good workout.
If you must cheat, do it at night.
Healthy eating and steady training during the day does a lot of damage control for a not-so-healthy dinner or late-night meal. Eat small, frequent meals during the day that are full of proteins and healthy fats but low in carbs.
When you work out, do exercises with enough volume and intensity to create lactic acid, which boosts your muscles’ ability to burn fat. The 400-meter sprints I mentioned earlier would work nicely. The combination of healthy eating and exercise will raise insulin sensitivity and allow your body to handle the cheat meal better.
Traveling Millennials are better equipped than most to stay on track with their health and fitness when they’re out traversing the world. Tackle your health and fitness the same way you tackle other business goals — by making it a challenge that you’ll do everything you can to conquer.