Some people love to travel for work. Others view it as a necessary evil and little more. But whether you love it or hate it one thing is true for everyone; travel throws everything in your daily routine off.
This can be especially true of your fitness routine. Often any free time you have between meetings and client dinners is taken up with trying to catch up with emails or check in with the folks back at the office. This can make it hard to work out, even if you know that you should (which is true, you should.) Sure your hotel has a gym, but finding time to get there is going to be hard.
The good news is that business travel and fitness can work together, as long as you pack a few essential supplies before you leave home and do some forward planning. Here is a look at staying fit on the road that is suitable for almost anyone.
Take the Right Tools
If you are going to see through a commitment to staying fit while on the road you will need to pack a few key supplies:
Pick one workout outfit. Something that can be hand washed in a sink and that will dry quickly. Lycra and spandex are good choices. Ideally you should also pack running shoes but if you are very short on room in your travel bag you could consider planning on doing a barefoot friendly workout such as yoga or Pilates.
A Yoga Mat
Yoga mats are lightweight and roll up easily. They take up very little room in your luggage and even if yoga is not in your fitness plans it will be far more sanitary completing any workout in your hotel room than the carpeted floor.
Strength training should be a part of anyone's fitness routine but you can't lug along a set of weights when travelling for business. Resistance bands, on the other hand, are small, light and can be used to complete some very effective body weight exercises that will keep your strength training efforts on track.
Have a Plan
Planning when you can fit in a workout is a must. When you first hit your hotel take a few minutes to review your schedule and find time for a workout each day. Perhaps you can hit the hotel gym during a lunch break between meetings. Or make time to take a run in the evening or early in the morning. Add these as appointments in your calender to help ensure that you do fit them in.
As far as what to do, there are more options than you might think while you are on the road. Check and see if your hotel has a fitness center or pool. (If not, you can always run the stairs—pretty much every hotel in America has a staircase!) If you’re a member of a large national chain gym, there might even be a location close to where you are staying. Or, if you’re a runner, try a scenic run and see some sights while you exercise!
If you don’t have access to a gym or are crunched for time, you can still get a great workout in your hotel room. There are lots of online video-based programs that you can do with just the internet. There are also some great apps for your phone that can do the same.
If you just can't fit in enough workout time but are (rightly) concerned that you need to do more to counteract all that sitting you’re doing, try to incorporate extra activity in other ways.
For example; walk more. While waiting for a plane take a walk around the airport. Take the stairs (whenever possible) everywhere you go. On breaks or after your workday, explore the area surrounding your hotel on foot.
To track all this, and to keep you motivated, invest in a pedometer. It does not have to be a fancy one, no need to buy a Fitbit is you don't think you'll get much use out of one. A simpler one will do fine and then set it to reach a goal of 10,000 steps each day.
Just like any exercise routine, a business travel exercise plan will take some planning ahead and discipline, but keep the benefits in mind. Staying active will help you combat jet lag and feel better throughout your trip. Plus, when you arrive home, you won’t have to 'catch up' on your fitness routine because you won't have missed too much.