“On the road again!” The song rings truer today than any time since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. People are traveling this summer for vacations, and business travel is picking up again. I have traveled on planes twice in July and each segment has been full. Being in summer, vacation travel is predominant, but I also saw businesspeople occupying seats.
Regardless, if you are traveling for business or pleasure, maintaining some type of fitness is difficult eating out and in hotels. You don’t have the time, knowledge, and likely motivation, to keep yourself going away from home. As we get back into moving around the country, I want to share ideas and tips to help you not lose any progress. Remember, moderation is the key to keeping you playing hard as an athlete in your game of life!
Eating food that doesn’t negatively affect your waistline is always tough on the road. Sandwiches galore and fried food galore always seem to be the only options. Similar to being at home, pick options that are grilled or baked whenever possible. Choose sides that are fruits and vegetables that have not been cooked down and drowned in butter or sugar. You do not always have to eat premade salads; those get boring also. Bring a thermos type cup you can refill with water to reduce your costs and have a readily available hydration source. Watch your caffeine levels with time changes. A couple cups of coffee or tea are fine throughout the day.
- Water: drink half your body weight in ounces daily
- Make sure your plate has color with different fruits and veggies at each meal
- Take half your dinner back to your room, if possible, for a meal the next day
Getting a workout in may not be on your mind when packing a carryon suitcase. These days, travel hotels have enough equipment with dumbbells and the usual treadmills to get something done. A TRX™ comes with a bag you can stuff into your backpack or suitcase. A 3-in-1 exercise band from Target or Wal-Mart also can fit into your carryon luggage. In 15-20 minutes, you can get a strength training and cardio workout in your underwear from the comforts of your hotel room. Look for a Tabata playlist on Spotify, Pandora, or whatever music streaming service you use.
- Focus on your major body parts with compound moves like squats and push-ups
- Any type of physical activity and exercise is a positive on the road
- HIIT type workouts are the best for improving cognitive function and physical fitness
Be realistic in your overall expectations during business travel. You won’t lose significant muscle missing a day or two in your regular routine, it just feels like it mentally. Making time for a workout is important for your career. You are mentally sharper, and people do pay attention to those that are more fit.
As I write this blog, I am currently in Denver on a business trip. This morning I used Spotify to play a Tabata playlist and did a workout in the hotel gym. Total time with warm-up and stretching was 30 minutes: 3 rounds of Tabata and 10 minutes on the treadmill followed by stretching. Packing shorts and a workout shirt didn’t take up extra space and I wore my sneakers on the plane. Last night I took half my dinner back to the room and put in the fridge for lunch today before my afternoon meeting. My business contacts at dinner did not mind at all that I took leftovers back for this purpose. I feel good, saved my own company money, and ready for the day’s events.
For help on your next business trip, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for my newsletter at mattpeale.com and look into my coaching programs. Life is not easy, and we all need help to achieve our best.