Exercise has enormous physical and mental benefits when travelling for business. It boosts your immune system, reduces the chances of chronic diseases often prevalent in regular business travellers, while increasing energy levels and improving work productivity.
The link between healthy employees and profit is well documented, as business guru Arianna Huffington blogged earlier this year, “big business has learned that wellness is good business.” It’s ironic therefore that exercise is often the first thing to disappear from your itinerary when you feel time pressured.
Travel delays, client meetings, business dinners, social time with colleagues plus handling routine work from your home location can leave you with little time or inclination to workout. It becomes all too easy to use your business trip as an excuse to break from your usual fitness activity, but that will just make it hard to pick up again when you return home. Yet, with some advance planning and creativity, exercise can be both a beneficial and enjoyable component of your business trip.
- Schedule exercise into your diary as you would with any other important appointment. Early morning workouts tend to work best whilst travelling for business, as your sessions are less likely to get bumped by last minute rescheduling of meetings.
- If you have a personal trainer ask them to write you an exercise programme you can follow whilst you’re away – a fresh routine can be a great way to stimulate your interest. Alternatively, pack your favourite exercise DVD to workout to in your room. If there’s no DVD machine installed play it from your laptop.
- Research the fitness facilities at your hotel before you travel. If there’s no gym, plan to workout in your room. Create some simple bodyweight circuits made up of three exercises you can perform with good technique. These could be jumping jacks, press ups and lunges or squats, planks and tricep dips off the edge of the bath.
- If your hotel room’s too small, make use of the corridors or stairwell. Fifteen minutes of high intensity interval training sprinting up and down the halls or running up and down the stairs will get you fired up for the day!
- Consider discussing business over a brisk walk or run around the local area rather than across the boardroom table. A change of scenery can often stimulate thinking and create smarter solutions far more effectively than a powerpoint presentation.
- Find a fitness buddy amongst your colleagues – it will add variety to your routine and it’s more fun. Plus a little friendly competition is a great motivator!
There is little doubt that exercise is one of the key elements to remaining healthy, energised and productive whilst travelling on business. I also know from personal experience that it’s also a great antidote for jet lag if you’re on a long haul trip.
My personal preference is always to get out and run but whether you’re lifting weights in the hotel gym, performing simple circuits in your room or organising walking meetings with colleagues, exercise is an essential part of staying healthy on the road.
© Extravitality 2014