So you’re traveling for a meeting and your company has placed you in a 5-star hotel with a view. How nice. The bed is ginormous, there’s a Starbucks down the street, and the hotel bar serves the best margarita you’ve ever tasted. You could definitely get used to this.
During the morning of your first meeting, you see that one of your coworkers has brought a box of donuts to share with the group. You can’t refuse a donut. It’s literally impossible, so you take three. Later, your coworkers go to the local pub for lunch and you order a large platter of chicken wings with fries. Worth it? Probably not. But let’s move on. You spend most of the day sitting in long conference calls and seminars, so by the time you get back to your hotel, you’re too exhausted to even glance at the treadmill. Instead, you eat a bag of popcorn in bed and call it a day.
I get it. Eating right and exercising is hard, especially when you’re traveling for work. But it’s not impossible. To help, I compiled a list of tips to stay healthy during your business travels so you don’t sabotage your waistline or your wallet.
Scope out the restaurants and stores located near your business destination. Read through their menus and consider what you might order should you end up eating there. Is there a local grocery store nearby? Great. Go stock up on a few low-calorie snacks. That way, when the donuts are taunting you from a distance, you can whip out your trusty apple and slap those donuts in the face.
Carry A Water Bottle At All Times.
Hydration is so important, especially when you’re traveling. Become best friends with your water bottle and never let it go. Seriously. Don’t go anywhere without your water bottle. You should aim to drink half your body weight in fluid ounces if you want to stay properly hydrated throughout the day. Airports have made it easier to stay hydrated and save money with their free refill stations. Use them. Your co-workers might think you have a bladder problem because of all the bathroom visits, but it’s fine. You won’t mind. You’ll feel less bloated and more refreshed. They’ll just feel crappy because they drank diet soda all day.
Make Movement A Priority.
Forget the taxis and transit options. If your meeting site is within walking distance from your hotel, use your legs. When your buddies go to that local pub down the street, put on your walking pants and burn some extra calories. If you’re feeling extra motivated, schedule some time in the morning to jog a few miles on the treadmill or take a walk around the city for some site seeing. And if running isn’t your thing, pack a resistance band in your suitcase and do some strength training circuits like this one in your hotel room. Even if you can only afford to workout for ten or fifteen minutes, it’s better than nothing.
Wash Your Hands. A lot.
Staying healthy isn’t just about eating right and exercising. It’s about taking care of your immune system, too. When we travel, we’re exposed to all sorts of germs and bacteria. According to a recent study conducted by Acquaint sanitizer, your suitcase is exposed to nearly 80 million bacteria before you even get to your destination. That’s frightening. And nasty. To decrease your risk of infection, wash your hands every chance you get, especially if you’re traveling by plane. Buy a pocket-sized hand sanitizer and clip it to a keychain. Put a packet of cleansing wipes in your purse or briefcase and whip those babies out after shaking someone’s hand (be discreet about it, though. You don’t want to offend anyone).
Take it Easy at Happy Hour.
I know. This one’s tough. You’ve been working hard all week, sitting in informational meetings and building up your marketing knowledge. You and your co-workers are bound to go out for happy hour at some point, and that’s a good thing. You deserve it. But you don’t need to sabotage all your health efforts by ordering five pints of beer and a tray of cheese curds. Take it slow. Start with a glass of water and, once that’s down the hatch, order a lite beer or sangria. Then refill your water glass. The more water you drink in between the good stuff, the better off you’ll be. Your skin, stomach, and brain will thank you for it.
So, what do you think? Are these tips manageable? Or are you still hung up on swapping out your morning donut for an apple? I hope not. I hope you remember this advice on your next business trip and can return home feeling good about the fact that your jeans still fit and your wallet is still full.