My health is always a top priority. No matter if I have a busy work schedule or am just relaxing on the weekend, being active and consuming a nutrient-dense, balanced diet are at the top of my daily to-do list. No, I’m not always motivated to do so, especially when away for work, but I do it anyway because I know how good it makes my body & mind feel. If I don’t eat well, my body responds by lacking energy, feeling sluggish, bloating, and not digesting properly. If I’m sedentary all day, you probably don’t want to be around me - my mental health craves physical activity. Staying on track with nutrition and exercise while traveling isn’t as difficult as you may think. Here are what I’ve found to be the most effective ways on how to stay fit while on business trips:
Prioritize Your Workout Time
It’s no secret that squeezing in a work out can be extremely challenging after a long, exhausting day and when you get back to your hotel room, being active is the last thing you want to do. But just like any other goal you have, you need to make physical activity a priority by allotting a specific time of the day to get it done. Plan ahead!
Get Up Early
A great way to ensure that you will get your work out in for the day is to wake up early and get it done first thing in the morning or use this extra time to seek out a nutrient-dense breakfast. Exercising in the morning has many perk such as boosting your energy and setting a positive tone for the day. Plus, you can go about your day without worrying about having to work out later.
Plan ahead and prepare at least some meals for the week. Obviously this has limitations such as air travel, access to refrigerators and microwaves, etc. But if it’s realistic for you, pack your own breakfasts and lunches are the very least. This way, you know exactly what you’re putting into your body, providing the energy it needs. Check out some recipes on the FIT. Blog to get some meal prep ideas.
Use Your Hotel Room As a Gym
There are SO many equipmentless, bodyweight exercises that can be done anywhere. Get creative! Youtube and Instagram are great places to look for at-home, minimal-equipment workouts if you’re in need of some ideas. Owning a resistance band is a smart investment because it will make exercises more challenging and it’s super easy to pack. Want to add some weight to your work out? Use your bag or suitcase to increase the intensity of your routine.
You Don’t Need a Lot of Time for a Workout
A common misconception is that work outs need to be a certain length in time, but the reality is that something is better than nothing. Have 5 minutes? Great - do something to get your heart rate up. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and due to its high-intensity nature, a HIIT session can be as short as 10 minutes. If you’re truly giving it your all and pushing yourself, you won’t be able to do more than 15-20 minutes of it. Remember, any active time is better than none.
Pick Your Hotel
If picking out your own hotel is an option, base your search around criteria such does it have a gym? Does is have a pool? Does it have a mini fridge and microwave? Is it close to a running path? This list isn’t all-inclusive so think about what would be helpful for you.
Bring a Reusable Water Bottle
Hopefully you never leave your home without one, but if a water bottle is not as attached to you as your cell phone is, make this your goal! Staying hydrated is SO important every day, but especially with traveling water can hold you over between meal and aid in proper digestion which is a common a problem with stressors and change imposed on the body due to travel.
Bring Healthy Snacks
Protein bars, rice cakes, almonds, protein powder - these are just a few snack ideas that are easy to just throw in your bag and take them on the road with you. Having a healthy snack with you at all times is helpful because they may hinder you from making poor nutritional decisions when you’re really hungry and will hold you over between meals.
Opt for the Stairs Instead of the Elevator
This is a good tip for any day of the week. On day-to-day business, if you have the choice of stairs or an elevator, choose the stairs to get some light activity in the midst of your day. You can also use the staircase in your hotel to get some cardio in!
Walk Everywhere You Can
My general rule of thumb is if you can walk there in 30 minutes or less, do it. You won’t have to pay for a cab. You will get some fresh air. You will see and explore more of the area. You will get to stretch your legs and get some physical activity in.