When you’re traveling, it can be hard to stay healthy. Especially if you’ve just started a new diet or gym routine, it can be easy to get off track when your schedule’s suddenly interrupted. And when you’re traveling for business, it’s even more challenging: you’re drinking on the plane because it makes you anxious to fly, and you’re invited to dinners with clients where it’s potentially rude to say no to the meal. Whatever your business name or industry, there are pressures to fit into a group when conducting business. And let’s not even start talking about the stress of meeting new people in a new place, which has the risk of throwing you back into your unhealthy habits.
Luckily, there are some strategies you can use to stay healthy while traveling for business. We’re not saying that you’ll be able to stick to your habits 100 percent–you might have to eat a bagel or two in a morning meeting. But generally speaking, these tips will make a huge difference, and here’s how.
Keep track of what you eat
For anyone who’s on a diet–whether it’s to lose weight or stay healthy–one of the first rules many nutritionists will tell you is: “Write it all down.” Keeping track of what you eat is one of the best ways of holding yourself accountable, and helps you maintain self-control in your weaker moments. Because if you wrote down “muffin” in the morning, you’re more likely to reach for a salad when you have a choice at lunchtime. If you have a plan that includes a daily amount of calories, this will help you, too.
As a busy entrepreneur, using an app like Lose It! can make a difference. You’ll also look way smoother at a business meeting pulling out your phone for a second instead of hastily scrawling what you just ate on an embossed napkin. With a 4.7 star rating on the Apple Store, it’ll make your eating habits easier to manage while traveling.
Don’t drink–too much
Another huge challenge when you’re traveling for business is not drinking. Especially if you get anxious during social situations, and need a couple of vodka-tonics to have a conversation with potential business partners, you can easily fall into drinking too much. But alcohol is empty calories, and it’s a toxic substance despite the fact that we consume it all the time. The number of alcohol-related deaths worldwide as of 2018 is 3.3 million, and health care costs in the US related to alcohol as of 2017 was $27 billion.
We aren’t saying don’t drink at all. (Though if you suspect that’s a problem in the “work hard, play hard” world of business, it might be a good idea.) But watch your drinking, and don’t get carried away. You don’t want to end up saying something you’ll regret–it’s a trip for business, not for pleasure.
Get some exercise
It can be hard to make time for exercise in your everyday business lifestyle, so it’s going to be an extra challenge to do it when you’re traveling. Especially if you’ve got meetings all throughout the day, and soirees in the evenings to make connections, you might not have the time. But even if you find an extra half hour or wake up early to exercise, it’s a smart idea. Not only because it’s healthy, but also because it’ll help you as a businessperson. According to Entrepreneur.com,
“Physical activity stimulates the release of hormones to boost your mood, jumpstart your energy, fight stress and more. Being active in the morning might be particularly beneficial. Research shows that exposure to early morning light can help you feel more awake during the day, as well as improve the quality of your sleep at night. All of these things can add up to increased productivity at work.”
So if your hotel’s got a gym, use it. If you need to use an exercise app or a program like ClassPass to save some time, do that. 45 percent of adults in the US aren’t active enough, and it’s time to change that.
Finally, you need to keep your stress in check. It’s hard to do that, when you’re rushing in the morning, so you don’t miss your flight, or when you’re meeting new people. And work itself is stressful: in a survey from Accountemps, it was found that 15 percent of workers lost sleep over work “very often,” and 29 percent lost sleep “somewhat often.”
If you find yourself stressed, use some meditation techniques or speak to a professional. That way you can be ready to deal with stress no matter where you’re traveling for work.
These are some of the best ways to stay healthy when you’re traveling for business. What other strategies do you recommend?