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Staying healthy during business travel

As a frequent business traveller, you are likely aware of the problems associated with staying healthy during your trip. There are the hearty hotel buffet-breakfasts, the multiple-course business lunches, and evening outings - often involving some drinking.

It can be a real struggle to keep feeling fresh and at your best and with all the meetings and conferences, there's often little time for exercise. Here are a few suggestions as to how you can take advantage of your trip, while keeping the pounds down, and staying active:

1. Proactive and healthy diet when not in meetings

Fitting a healthy diet into travel plans might seem impossible with all the dining out but rest assured, it is possible to stick to a healthy routine while travelling for business, it just requires commitment to yourself and to your health. The key is to view your personal health as seriously as you view your work commitments.

Eating healthily is a critical issue for business travellers. It's all too easy to fall prey to heart-burn and this is made all the more worse if you're in the middle of an important meeting or conference.To avoid this problem it's probably best to bypass the local fast food restaurants, by creating snack packs. Packing healthy and non-perishable foods are options.

Choose convenient foods still packed with vitamins and nutritional value

  • Healthy snack bars
  • Apples and canned tuna that have pull off tabs
  • Beef jerky
  • Shaker bottle with packets of a post-workout recovery mix

Here are some other items that travellers can mix in sandwich bags. Two bags a day should be more than enough for a snack in-between meetings.

  • Raisins
  • Various nuts
  • Dried banana and orange chips
  • Corn-nuts
  • Pretzels
  • Sesame sticks

A couple bags of these kinds of dried non-perishable foods, should be enough to take care of the sweet and the salty cravings.

2. Exercise, exercise, exercise!

Health experts recommend at least 20 minutes of exercise a day, as a minimum. When your on a long-haul flight, this target is perhaps a little more difficult to reach, but there are a few things you can do to stay relatively active. Taking time to stretch and move your body at regular intervals during the flight will keep the blood circulating, reduce muscle fatigue.

The American Council on Exercise have a few suggestions on exercises can be done during your flight, from the comfort of your seat:

  • Toe curls: While sitting in the seat, concentrate on the toes and curl them, then release, and then curl...etc. Do this for a good minute starting with the left foot, then go onto the right foot, and vice versa. Doing these simple exercises with the toes will promote better blood circulation to the feet.
  • Foot lifts: Press the toes down on the floor, lift the heels and then bring them down and repeat several times.
  • Ankle rotations: Raise your leg slightly and move your feet and ankles in a circular motion. Repeat this, but in the other direction.
  • Knee lifts: Sit up and keep the knees bent while lifting the thighs. Flex the legs back and forth using the knees and thigh muscles. Repeat several times while alternating between intervals.

The issues faced by travelling on business

Trying to stay on top of the "business game" when it comes to exercising as part of the travel schedule is a must. In fact, just setting aside 30 mins in the hotel swimming pool or gym can work wonders. Exercising is one of the best forms of coping with stress and decompressing.

Here are some quick exercise fixes which will only take about 20-30 minutes a day while travellers are on a business trip:

  • When checking into their hotel, head over to the gym and find out the facilities/what kind of equipment is available.
  • Ask at the hotel's reception desk if there is a hike and bike trail in the area. If there's such an area nearby, why not work in a little excursion?
  • The majority of 3 to 5 star hotels have inside pools. Take advantage of this and do a few laps in the early morning before the day kicks off.

Other factors to staying healthy during business travel

When you are in other country for business, jet lag can leave you in a state of sleep deprivation. For some helpful tips and tricks on this issue, check out our guide on how to deal with jet-lag.

Eating healthily, exercising, and getting enough rest between meetings and conferences is all tied in to a successful work ethic while traveling. With some dedication, and forward planning, you can stay healthy while travelling, and make your trip a success.

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