Traveling for business used to be fun, but with long lines and heighten security at airports, bad or no food on planes and a more hectic business environment, it is easy to be stressed out and fall into bad health habits on the road. What can you do to minimize the impact of frequent travel on your health and fitness? Here are some tips that help me stay healthy and enjoy my travels.
- Rest - It is easy to have your sleep routine disturbed by time zone changes, jet lag and too much alcohol at business dinners. A 20 to 30 minute power nap on the plane or when you check into your hotel will do wonders for your productivity and attitude. Get a full night’s sleep at your first opportunity.
- Food - Most airlines have cut back on meal services and you are lucky to get chips or nuts even on long flights. When you do get food, it is usually not very appetizing or nutritious. For long domestic and international flights, most airlines offer special meals that you must pre-order, such as low-calorie, kosher, low-sodium, etc. I might request a fruit plate, vegetarian plate, or cold seafood instead of the mystery meat covered with gravy that is served to everyone else. For most flights, bring your own healthy snacks. Fruit, a bag of veggies (cut up carrots, celery, peppers, etc.), trail mix, cheese sticks, protein bars and your own home-made sandwich are terrific options. Business meals can quickly put on the pounds. I order soup (clear, not with cream) or salad, an appetizer (instead of a main course) and fruit for dessert. I limit alcohol to not more than one glass of wine. I also look for a local farmer's market to pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks.
- Exercise - Walk the airport while waiting for your flight instead of camping out at the bar. Choose an aisle seat so that you can get up to stretch your legs and walk around at least once an hour. Pick hotels with a good workout facility or consult your personal trainer for a good workout routine you can do in your room with little or no equipment. Another option is to bring a workout DVD.