Why exercise should be part of business travel

When you think about exercise and creating a workout plan to fit in with your travel schedule the focus tends to be on how that exercise will make you physically stronger or fitter.  How your blood pressure will lower, your cholesterol will stabilize and your heart will be healthier.

iStock_000050964816_Small (1)However, studies also show that in addition to all the physical benefits of exercise it has a positive impact on the way you think too.  A 2013 study at Stanford University showed that physical activity is associated with “enhanced cognitive processing”.

In relation to work, those cognitive benefits will result in improved decision making, problem-solving and faster learning.  You can also expect your tension levels to drop.

So if exercise is going to directly influence your performance at work why wouldn’t you want to continue working out when you’re travelling for business.

A further study by Leeds Metropolitan University found that the influence of exercise is so strong it can even impact your performance on a daily basis.  On the working days, employees went to the gym they reported benefits including smoother interaction with colleagues, better time management and a sense of job satisfaction at the end of the day.

These are compelling reasons to exercise on a regular basis so why do so many of us still avoid exercise when you’re travelling for business?

Time, of course, is the number one reason cited but in reality, it’s not time that’s the issue it’s about priorities.  If you make exercise a priority you’ll find the time.

Instead of viewing exercise as a “nice to have” consider it an essential part of your working day.  If you don’t you’re missing the opportunity to speed up your thinking and complete tasks more quickly and efficiently.  – Yes, that’s right if you take time out of your working day to exercise you’ll actually get more done not less.

Businessman riding a bicycleHere are 3 quick tips to help you treat exercise as a priority:

  •  Choose an activity you actually enjoy and you’re far more likely to get out of the office and exercise no matter how time pressured your feel.
  • Invest in improving your performance. If you’ve got a personal trainer at home pay for one whilst you’re away too.  You are worth it, right?
  • Keep a record of your progress in the gym and in the office. Document your increased productivity against your increased activity to give yourself the compelling evidence you need to stick with it.

Ultimately remind yourself that when you exercise during your working day you’re not ducking out you’re stepping up.  Your commitment to your physical health when you’re working overseas will manifest itself in your long term career prospects.

©  ExtraVitality 2017

Stuck for choice?  Here are a couple of light weight exercise items you can tuck into your luggage.

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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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