Unless working out and eating right are two of your favorite hobbies, keeping up with both requires diligence and (most importantly) a routine. But what are you supposed to do if constant work travel makes it nearly impossible to keep to a routine?
Develop a plan to help yourself stay fit and healthy while you travel!
In this installment of Up in the Air, we’re talking about how you can create a plan that will help you incorporate a healthy-living routine no matter how often you travel. Let’s do this!
Seek Out Pockets of Nature
One of the toughest parts of constant work travel is the feeling that you primarily live in the stale air of airplanes, hotels, and boardrooms. If you can get away for an hour either before your day begins, during the day, or before you head to sleep, then try to find some nature to break away from the stale air.
Many large cities around the world develop pocket parks in even the most concrete of areas to help their residents get some greenspace. Search the map on your phone to see if there are any such parks nearby so you can breathe in some much needed fresh air. Remember: we all work better when we take our eyes off the computer once in awhile!
Download Workout Apps So You Can Exercise Anywhere
Even if your hotel room isn’t equipped with a gym, you can easily workout with help from your smartphone. Like yoga? There are yoga apps that will take you through an entire hour-long class (with video!) or even 15 minutes if that’s all you have time for. (My personal favorite is Yoga Studio.)
Prefer other workouts? You can find nearly anything on your smartphone, from barre to pilates to crossfit and more! Some apps will even sync to your calendar, allowing you to keep the same workout routine you had at home (a must for anyone who lacks workout motivation – myself included).
Try to Keep the Same Sleep Schedule You Have at Home
This may be easier said than done, but if it’s possible to maintain the same sleep schedule you have at home, then doing so will help your body deal with the constant environment change. The more you can replicate your normal life, the less toll frequent travel will have on you.
This may sometimes mean getting a bit less sleep than you usual (especially if a work dinner turns into drinks), but maintaining your morning routine the next day will help you feel focused and ready for the day ahead, even if you are a little sleepy.
Create a “Menu” and Stick to It
While it may be tempting to indulge on things you wouldn’t eat at home (room service anyone??), doing so will only make you feel worse in the end. During frequent travel, your body needs the foods it’s used to getting. For example, if you overload on carbs when you wouldn’t at home, those long meetings will feel ten times longer than usual.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore the interesting new foods at your destination – just make sure you do so in moderation and stick to a format of your home menu. For example, if you always have a protein in the morning, salad in the afternoon, and certain types of snacks during the day, you can still maintain this basic idea while trying your destination’s variations of the meals.
Tip for Everyone: Always Look for Ways to Get the Blood Flowing
Whether it’s taking your meeting for a stroll, using the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking to lunch instead of ordering in, you should always be looking for ways to move. Then take frequent breaks throughout the day to stretch!
Head to the restroom and do some jumping jacks, touch your toes, anything to get your blood flowing. It’s way too easy to sit for an entire day (whether at your desk or shuffling from meeting to meeting) and this type of sedentary lifestyle can be extremely detrimental to your health.
Worried about productivity? Don’t be! You’ll probably find that your focus improves after you’ve gotten your blood flowing. Keep your body on the move as much as you can and your health and concentration will thank you for it. Never let the pressures of the workday distract you from your overall health!