When on the road, it can be challenging to keep our health in check. Understandably, many variables are outside of our control however there are steps that can be taken to ensure that we return from a business trip feeling in tip top shape and great health.
Choose a time zone and stick to it
If you’re flying long distance for business, it’s likely that you’ll need to switch flights at a connecting airport. Whilst this can break up your journey and give you the opportunity to stretch your legs, it can also throw your entire body clock out of sync – particularly when there are multiple time zones to jump in and out of. With this in mind, it’s best to choose a time zone and stick to it – perhaps not when it comes to sleeping (you’ll need as much as you can get) but when it comes to feeding your body – sticking to one time zone is a must!
This means avoiding indulging in every in-flight meal or snack offered to you and sticking to your usual three meals a day (or five small meals if that works better for you). When travelling, we’re not burning a lot of calories and so it’s important to avoid giving into your cravings and only feed your body what it needs for that situation.
Be picky with your accommodation
When away on a business trip, the last thing that you want is a restless night’s sleep. It’s important to always make your recommended 7 to 9 hours between the sheets a priority. That’s why it’s crucial that you or your employer shop around and don’t just choose a hotel based on the attractive price tag attached to it.
So whilst a city centre hotel might sound ideal from a location perspective, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to meet all of your other business needs, for example it’s worth factoring in the local amenities. Whilst it’s great to be nearby eateries – bars and/or nightclubs are a different story.
Let’s not forget that sound travels – so unless you have some really sturdy earplugs, it might be wise to keep searching…
Invest in a fitness tracker
There are various brands and retailers selling activity trackers at the moment – and for good reason! From Fitbit to Jawbone and Garmin’s, you’re spoilt for choice. These fitness trackers are ideal for keeping track of your movements and ensuring that you’re reaching a recommended number of steps each day. Setting up a goal of between 10-15,000 steps each day will do wonders for your health – from reducing the risk of early death by 30% to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by 50%.
Be smart with your restaurant choices
Everyone’s got to eat and whilst travelling, let’s face it; pre-made sandwiches just aren’t going to cut it! It’s a hassle and you’re away on business which means that you may have to entertain clients. A packed lunch just somehow doesn’t scream professional does it?
Restaurants are ultimately going to become your best friend – but they can also end up as your worst enemy if you’re not careful. A common approach for many diners is to “eat what they wouldn’t eat at home”. This idea is our ultimate pitfall and our enemy. When away on business, it’s absolutely essential that we treat restaurants and what we put into our bodies in the same way as we would at home. This means no carbonated drinks, no desserts and no second helpings. Don’t be afraid to be picky with your food either – ask the waiter/waitress if they can put the dressing on the side or if they can swap high fat ingredients for healthier alternatives.
If you find yourself getting hungry throughout the day, try to reach for a healthy snack of fruit or nuts and avoid the temptations of crisps or chocolate.
Emily Mclaren runs her own travel and fitness blog. She grew up in the expat world, and got a taste for travelling and continued to do so independently. You can keep up with her travel and fitness posts at www.bordersandburpees.co.uk. Emily also writes for The Huffington Post.