How to keep fit and healthy on the road How to keep fit and healthy on the road

How to keep fit and healthy on the road
19 Apr 2018

As you pack your case to jet off on yet another work trip, your thoughts are likely to focus on logistical details such as whether you have your passport, what the hotel is going to be like and if you have prepared adequately for that important meeting. But what people tend to forget about all too often is their physical wellbeing.

In the UK alone, around 42% of men and 32% of women are now overweight, according to the National Health Service, while one in four are obese. The situation is even worse in the US, where figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that the national obesity rate is at a huge 36.5%.

But it may come as no surprise that one of the single unhealthiest population groups consists of business travellers. Not only do people here frequently end up consuming high-calorie meals in hotels and restaurants, but they also find that trying to squeeze exercise into an already busy schedule can prove difficult. So here are some tips for making work trips as healthy as possible:

  1. Ditch the holiday mentality

One of the first big mistakes that most people make is to see a business trip as a holiday from daily life, which means that the usual rules do not apply. Lots of business travellers admit to drinking more than usual while away, and even those who take regular exercise at home often see travel for work as an excuse to forget about the gym.

But being fit is all about consistency and a mere two weeks away from your training programme can result in a loss of essential fitness and muscle mass, making it harder to return to where you were before your break.

So if a work trip is in the offing, it is important to change your mindset and think about it as just another part of your routine. Doing so will help you avoid destructive patterns of behaviour that can all too quickly unravel all the hard work you have previously put in - and make you feel lousy too.

  1. Keep active

In an unfamiliar city, the temptation can be to get from hotel room to office and from the office to your hotel room without doing very much walking at all. But a sedentary lifestyle is actually one of the biggest risks to your health. Even if you work out once or twice a week, sitting down for most of the day makes you more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes and premature ageing.

So use business travel as a chance to mix up your training with some walking or jogging. Ask local colleagues or clients for their recommendations on places to run or walk. They may even join you, which could give you a chance to develop a deeper business relationship, while working on your fitness and seeing more of your new location at the same time.

  1. Continue your fitness regime

Often when travelling, we subconsciously give ourselves reasons not to train - and the classic one is forgetting to bring your gear with you. So make packing your trainers and gym gear an essential part of your planning routine.

You will almost always have room to pop in a few others fitness essentials too. Resistance bands can be rolled up to the size of a pen and be used for all manner of strength exercises such as lateral raises, shoulder presses and upright rows without needing to lift weights.

Chances are you will always have your phone with you too so download a fitness app to track your activity as well as other considerations such as how much sleep you have managed to get. You will be surprised how motivating the simple act of monitoring your own lifestyle can be.

  1. Choose to eat healthily

It has been proven that the more people you eat with, the more calories you consume. As a result, all those business lunches and networking dinners could well take a toll on your waistline.

To make matters worse, when travelling, you are also more reliant on the food that others provide, whether we are talking about airline meals, hotel room service or corporate entertainment. So the trick is to be proactive in planning - order a low-fat airline meal, for example, and opt for healthier choices when dining out.

Time differences mean you can be left feeling ravenous at anti-social hours so, in order to avoid making food choices that lack nutritional value, have snacks like nuts and seeds at the ready to keep you going until your next meal.

  1. Work out in your guest room

Sometimes, even if a hotel has its own gym, training might not fit in with your business itinerary or your inclinations. After a long day of meetings, the peace and tranquillity offered by your hotel room can seem very appealing, but that does not mean you have to forgo your workout.

The Hilton, for instance, has recently introduced a ‘Five Feet to Fitness’ scheme into some of its guest rooms. This means that 11 different pieces of fitness equipment and accessories can be found right there in your room, including an indoor Wattbike and a Fitness Kiosk preloaded with guided workout routines. Although there is usually an additional charge, it could be worth it if you would prefer to work out in the privacy of your own room.

But there is also a lot you can do to work out even in a standard hotel room. Tabata, for instance, is a form of high intensity interval training that involves high-impact, four-minute workouts. These consist of performing a burpee for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds, and repeating the routine for the full four minutes.

Researchers in Tokyo found that this kind of high-intensity, short-duration exercise has a bigger impact on both aerobic and anaerobic fitness than more moderate but longer bursts of activity. Doing five sets of four minutes each with a minute gap between each set will give your body a good workout in just 20 minutes.

You can also try jumping jacks and squats, or use a mobile device to undertake online sessions that rely on your body weight to undertake the exercises. Alternatively, ask your personal trainer to devise a workout that you can follow no matter where you are in the world.

 Keith McNiven

Keith McNiven set up Right Path Fitness, a team of personal training specialists, in 2010. He holds a number of Great Britain and England Championship titles for freestyle wrestling.

 

As you pack your case to jet off on yet another work trip, your thoughts are likely to focus on logistical details such as whether you have your passport, what the hotel is going to be like and if you have prepared adequately for that important meeting. But what people tend to forget about all too often is their physical wellbeing.

In the UK alone, around 42% of men and 32% of women are now overweight, according to the National Health Service, while one in four are obese. The situation is even worse in the US, where figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that the national obesity rate is at a huge 36.5%.

But it may come as no surprise that one of the single unhealthiest population groups consists of business travellers. Not only do people here frequently end up consuming high-calorie meals in hotels and restaurants, but they also find that trying to squeeze exercise into an already busy schedule can prove difficult. So here are some tips for making work trips as healthy as possible:

  1. Ditch the holiday mentality

One of the first big mistakes that most people make is to see a business trip as a holiday from daily life, which means that the usual rules do not apply. Lots of business travellers admit to drinking more than usual while away, and even those who take regular exercise at home often see travel for work as an excuse to forget about the gym.

But being fit is all about consistency and a mere two weeks away from your training programme can result in a loss of essential fitness and muscle mass, making it harder to return to where you were before your break.

So if a work trip is in the offing, it is important to change your mindset and think about it as just another part of your routine. Doing so will help you avoid destructive patterns of behaviour that can all too quickly unravel all the hard work you have previously put in - and make you feel lousy too.

  1. Keep active

In an unfamiliar city, the temptation can be to get from hotel room to office and from the office to your hotel room without doing very much walking at all. But a sedentary lifestyle is actually one of the biggest risks to your health. Even if you work out once or twice a week, sitting down for most of the day makes you more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes and premature ageing.

So use business travel as a chance to mix up your training with some walking or jogging. Ask local colleagues or clients for their recommendations on places to run or walk. They may even join you, which could give you a chance to develop a deeper business relationship, while working on your fitness and seeing more of your new location at the same time.

  1. Continue your fitness regime

Often when travelling, we subconsciously give ourselves reasons not to train - and the classic one is forgetting to bring your gear with you. So make packing your trainers and gym gear an essential part of your planning routine.

You will almost always have room to pop in a few others fitness essentials too. Resistance bands can be rolled up to the size of a pen and be used for all manner of strength exercises such as lateral raises, shoulder presses and upright rows without needing to lift weights.

Chances are you will always have your phone with you too so download a fitness app to track your activity as well as other considerations such as how much sleep you have managed to get. You will be surprised how motivating the simple act of monitoring your own lifestyle can be.

  1. Choose to eat healthily

It has been proven that the more people you eat with, the more calories you consume. As a result, all those business lunches and networking dinners could well take a toll on your waistline.

To make matters worse, when travelling, you are also more reliant on the food that others provide, whether we are talking about airline meals, hotel room service or corporate entertainment. So the trick is to be proactive in planning - order a low-fat airline meal, for example, and opt for healthier choices when dining out.

Time differences mean you can be left feeling ravenous at anti-social hours so, in order to avoid making food choices that lack nutritional value, have snacks like nuts and seeds at the ready to keep you going until your next meal.

  1. Work out in your guest room

Sometimes, even if a hotel has its own gym, training might not fit in with your business itinerary or your inclinations. After a long day of meetings, the peace and tranquillity offered by your hotel room can seem very appealing, but that does not mean you have to forgo your workout.

The Hilton, for instance, has recently introduced a ‘Five Feet to Fitness’ scheme into some of its guest rooms. This means that 11 different pieces of fitness equipment and accessories can be found right there in your room, including an indoor Wattbike and a Fitness Kiosk preloaded with guided workout routines. Although there is usually an additional charge, it could be worth it if you would prefer to work out in the privacy of your own room.

But there is also a lot you can do to work out even in a standard hotel room. Tabata, for instance, is a form of high intensity interval training that involves high-impact, four-minute workouts. These consist of performing a burpee for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds, and repeating the routine for the full four minutes.

Researchers in Tokyo found that this kind of high-intensity, short-duration exercise has a bigger impact on both aerobic and anaerobic fitness than more moderate but longer bursts of activity. Doing five sets of four minutes each with a minute gap between each set will give your body a good workout in just 20 minutes.

You can also try jumping jacks and squats, or use a mobile device to undertake online sessions that rely on your body weight to undertake the exercises. Alternatively, ask your personal trainer to devise a workout that you can follow no matter where you are in the world.

 Keith McNiven

Keith McNiven set up Right Path Fitness, a team of personal training specialists, in 2010. He holds a number of Great Britain and England Championship titles for freestyle wrestling.