Traveling on business is both chaotic and stress-inducing. A business person’s time is no longer their own. There are delayed flights; demanding conference schedules; unpredictable episodes that demand improvisation and insight. It all goes to make keeping to a strict exercise regimen nearly impossible.
Some business travelers make the mistake of merely shrugging it off, telling themselves that business is business, that it has to come first and physical fitness will just have to take a back seat. But that reasoning can become habitual and then acceptable — before too long the commuting business person no longer keeps in good shape. And the host of ills that follow from such a decision can be catastrophic — anything from just plain flab to heart problems and even diabetes!
But a busy travel schedule and a good workout don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The savvy business person who is dedicated to keeping physically fit can find ways and means to maintain a fitness regimen of sorts into even the most grueling schedule. Here are five specific ways to do it:
Dress casual and bring along your jogging shoes at the airport. Standing in long lines and flight delays are inevitable — but standing still and sitting around moping like a tween are not inevitable. Keep a rubber ball in your pocket or carry-on for some isometric hand and arm exercise while standing in line; jog around the terminal when your flight is delayed for two hours. It beats sitting in Cinnabon!
Book a hotel that is near a safe public park or even a river/lake trail, so you can get up early and take a vigorous walk or run in the fresh air. Stay out of hotel gyms — they are notorious hotbeds of germs and viruses that can lay you low. The same goes for hotel pools and hot tubs; most of them are little more than cesspools that are never cleaned properly — the local health department has better things to do than check the pool at the downtown DoubleTree.
Tech It Out
Use apps on your smartphone, like pedometers and insistent wakeup calls, etc., to keep to a daily regimen while traveling — just be sure to make realistic goals that won’t become reasons to feel sorry for yourself or completely stressed out. Apps can monitor your blood pressure and heart rate, too, to give you a clear idea of just how well (or not well) you’re doing.
Do It Now
There is a hypnotic somnolence to long flights and quiet hotel rooms that discourages exercise — the airlines and hotels want you to sit back and relax, not work up a sweat. So steel yourself to begin your modified exercise at the first opportunity. Don’t switch on HBO or take a nap until you’ve achieved some clearly pre-set exercise goals.
Make Mine Mineral Water
Strictly limit alcohol intake while traveling. You may be expected to attend all sorts of social activities, but no one can make you take more than a sip of wine. Toast your continuing good health with a bottle of Perrier instead. A business trip is not an excuse to let go and forget about the body’s health and welfare for just a few days. A physically fit body means a clear and focused mind — which is what is needed on any business trip.