Beginners guide to exercise when travelling on business

So you’ve read the stats and you know from personal experience that those colleagues who exercise regularly have far more energy than you when travelling for business.  Not only that they’re more focused, more motivated and they get the work done quicker. Hispanic businesswoman preparing for race

You want some of that energy and vitality too so you’ve committed to getting fit.  You’re excited, you’re motivated and you’re ready to make a change.  Exercise is going to be an integral part of your business travel schedule.

But where to begin? 

Well before you even start thinking about squats, weights or elliptical trainers get absolutely clear on why you’re doing this and the source of your motivation.  If you have strong, positive reasons for pursuing a healthier lifestyle you’re much more likely to stay with it.

So my question to you is are you a stick or a carrot?  No that’s not a body shape question!  It’s about your motivation.

Stick motivation is all about pushing you away from pain.  You’re motivated to change because you can no longer bear staying as you are.  A typical stick thought might be “I’m fed up of feeling so tired and lethargic whilst my colleagues are bursting with energy and ideas despite working across different time zones.”

iStock_000013654782_SmallNow stick motivation is excellent for getting you started with an exercise plan but it’s not great for maintaining your new behaviours.  That’s because as soon as you start feeling better about yourself, the discomfort that made you take action in the first place fades, along with the motivation to keep you going.

A much more effective way to motivate yourself is the carrot approach, where you’re pulled towards something pleasurable and joyful.  A typical carrot thought might be, “I’m so looking forward to feeling comfortable, smart and confident in my work clothes.  I’ll be focused on my work not my waistline and I’m going to get that promotion.”

You see the difference?  If you’re looking for sustainable change, carrot motivation is much more effective than stick motivation because you’re propelling yourself towards an exciting and energizing vision of how your travelling business life could be.

What exercise should you do?

iStock_000050964816_Small (1)Well, what exercise would you like to do?

Again if you’re looking for sustainable change you need to engage in an activity you’re going to enjoy.

The range of exercise options for the business traveller is vast and includes walking, running, weights in the gym or sessions in your hotel room.  There are workouts designed specifically for the plane or car and many airports offer fitness facilities too.  You can even integrate fitness with your work in the form of walking meetings.

So give some serious thought to what you think you’ll enjoy because if you take no pleasure from exercise you’re simply not going to stick with it.

Pop back next month and I’ll share some exercise routines specifically designed for beginners.  Workouts you can easily incorporate into your travel schedule and that you can have some fun with too.


Author: Julie Dennis
Julie Dennis is a fitness coach specializing in weight loss and body transformation results. She is a level 4 skilled personal trainer and a qualified member of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). Julie also holds a UK Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness qualification. Prior to training as a fitness coach and establishing herself in the health & fitness industry, Julie spent over 20 years behind a desk in London employed in a variety of roles in the management consultancy, executive search and mining industries. Whilst working as part of a global team at Rio Tinto Julie experienced first hand the challenges of incorporating fitness and wellbeing into an international travel schedule. A keen marathon runner she often found running whilst on a long a haul trip an ideal reliever for jet lag.

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