It happens to the best of us. We’re going on a business trip and have intentions to keep on track with our healthy lifestyle streak. Only to find that at the first client dinner out of the gate, we’re sitting down to talk business while eating a bowl of creamy pasta and joining in a few classes of wine. This combined with our early bird wake up call, or red eye departure, lack of sleep, jet lag, fast growing email inbox and we’ve been bumped off the health wagon before we even recalled where we are. Healthy streak, done, and left in the dust.
But what if you thought of corporate travel differently? What if you used a corporate trip as a way to accelerate your health? Your regular demands aren’t calling, the hotel gym is a quick trip down the elevator, and if you’re on the corporate dime, you can spend a few more dollars on that organic healthy smoothie, rather than picking the one size fits all breakfast buffet.
After years of sales calls I developed a foolproof plan to make my corporate travel work for me. I used the opportunity of convenience and new surroundings to boost my health. Implement just a few of my suggestions and you’ll notice the difference.
1. Airport terminal food courts can be expensive, loaded with temptations and lack variety in healthy options. Don’t leave it up to chance. Plan the night before and bring a selection of healthy snacks to get you through breakfast and beyond. Take some of your favourite herbal teas and ask the airport coffee shop for hot water. Use the time on the plane to hydrate.
2. Bring a box of your favourite health bars. I recommend Chia Bar and Kind bars. If you find yourself delayed or running late with limited time for breakfast, or you feel tempted by the hotel minibar these little guys can be your travel BFF.
During your Trip:
3. Stop trying to be perfect. You have to allow yourself a little bit of wiggle room. Don’t want to say no to a friendly ‘cheers’ to seal the work deal? That’s fine. Just limit it to one and drink plenty of water during and after.
4. Communicate at the start of dinner what time you need to leave (because you have a conference call or a pending deadline). This insures you won’t be there longer than you need to. Nor will you be tempted by dessert or sugary nightcap cocktails.
5. Take advantage of the hotel gym. It’s close by, and even if you only have 30 minutes, the action of doing some exercise can have enormous benefits on your day both physically and mentally. If you’re staying in a nice part of town, skip the gym and use the opportunity to go for a walk or run and experience a new city.
6. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Clearly I can’t say this enough. Airplane travel is very dehydrating and causes tiredness and cravings. Drinking plenty of water is my top travel tip and it just happens to be an easy thing to do. If you’re worried about getting up out of your airplane seat too many times, request the aisle! One of my essential travel vitamin supplements is Megahydrate. These capsules actually increases hydration keeping you more energized and focused while on the road. I take these capsules before and after my flight.
7. Give yourself a day to get back into a routine by lengthening your out of office email message by a day. Also, don’t cram your schedule with deadlines and meetings on your first day back unless it’s absolutely necessary.
8. Make a ritual out of scheduling a yoga class when you return from a trip. Lengthy plane flights can leave you tight and in need of movement and stretching. A yoga class is a great way to treat yourself for staying healthy on the road.
9. If you’re a regular corporate traveler I recommend always having your travel kit stocked with herbal tea or other coffee substitutes, health bars, workout gear and supplements. It makes planning so much easier.
Feel like some of these are too hard, or threaten your ‘team player’ status? Remember, a commitment to your health takes strength and diligence. Your health is either moving forward or back, and only you have the power to make sure it moves in the right direction. You’ll be a happier, stronger and a more successful manager, employee and relationship builder as a result. It just takes practice. And you might even inspire your colleagues and clients along the way.
We’d love to hear your tips to staying healthy on the road.
Got some to share with our fellow corporate warriors?
Please leave a comment below.