The why, what, when & how of exercising on a business travel trip

Why is exercising vital?

Travelling for business can be physically and mentally exhausting.  You quickly become tired, your decision making slows and your productivity drops.  The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. Prioritising exercise throughout your business trip will boost your energy and your brain power, relieve stress and jet lag and keep you at the top of your business game.

What type of exercise is best?

Ignore the latest trends and choose an activity you enjoy and exercises you can safely execute.

  • When you walk, you think and because walking is a straightforward activity, you can direct your brain power to more internal matters. Work through problems, get creative and devise solutions.
  • Running is quick and easy to get started and equipment free. Aside from a good pair of running shoes and a training bra for female runners you can wear what you like.
  • Swimming is kind to your body. The water supports up to 90% of your body weight so it’s an option even if you’re injured.
  • Biking has come a long way since the first Bike Share Scheme (BSS) in Amsterdam in 1965. Today’s best schemes have touch screens, integrated GPS and smartphone apps to help you locate the nearest available bike.
  • Workout in your room. Create some simple bodyweight circuits made up of three exercises you can perform with good technique.  These could be squats, jumping jacks and press ups or lunges, planks and burpees.

When should you exercise?

  • Reduce your risk of DVT and keep moving on long-haul flights with toe taps, ankle circles, knee lifts and shoulder rolls.
  • Next time you’re stuck in traffic place your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock on the steering wheel and pull yourself towards the wheel by flexing your arms. Hold that position for a count of three and then reverse the movement and push away.
  • When travelling by train or bus hold on to a handrail for safety and each time the vehicle turns brace your stomach muscles to maintain stability.
  • Stand up during long meetings, move around the room and stretch.
  • There are a surprising number of fitness opportunities in and around airports. Head over to Amazon and grab a copy of our Healthy Business Travel airport guides.

How can you fit exercise into your trip?

  • Schedule exercise directly into your diary. Early morning workouts tend to work best whilst travelling for business, as your sessions are less likely to get bumped by the last-minute rescheduling of meetings.
  • Find a fitness buddy amongst your colleagues. It will add variety to your routine plus a little friendly competition is a great incentive.
  • Use fitness apps to inspire, motivate and ensure your health gets as much attention as your workload.
  • If you’re time-pressed, use the 7 minute app and throw a few moves in your room.
  • Track your achievements to heighten your sense of accomplishment and keep you on the plan.

For more advice on how to stay physically and mentally fit whilst travelling for business come along to one of our autumn seminars at Stansted, Gatwick or Heathrow.

© Executive Travel Vitality 2018



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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