Planning to take a business trip in the months ahead? Odds are the answer is yes. In fact – according to the Global Business Travel Association – business travel spending is expected to rise by more than 7 percent this year alone.
As more business professionals venture away from home, too many of them will also leave their healthy eating and exercise routines behind. So how does one maintain a healthy lifestyle while away from the normal routine at home?
As the assistant vice president of marketing for National Car Rental, I recently polled our most seasoned business travelers and learned that this is a common struggle. An overwhelming majority indicated they make more unhealthy choices while traveling for work vs. working from their home city.
Yet, many business travelers are fighting back, and these seasoned travelers offer this advice for staying healthy during business travel:
Prioritize your packing.
In my experience, packing the right way can better prepare you to make healthy decisions. Make a checklist of everything you need to pack -- including workout shoes and clothing -- and stick to it before you leave home. Additionally, pack healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts or other sensible, portable food. These items come in handy during airport delays. Consider packing a reusable water bottle to refill easily and often to help you avoid sugary soft drinks.
Plan ahead for workouts.
Business trips are often jam-packed with meetings and meals, and it can be difficult to carve out time for even the simplest workout. To counter this, before you leave home, identify the best times in your itinerary for exercise. Even thirty minutes per day can make the difference in how you feel for the duration of your trip, and planning ahead can ensure you follow through. You don’t even need a hotel fitness center to get the job done; look online for “hotel room workouts” or for exercise apps on your smartphone that require no actual equipment. If you are staying in a walkable area, explore your surroundings on foot. Whether on the plane, waiting at baggage claim or even pumping gas, use any extra downtime to stretch.
Dine as if you’re at home.
While it may be enticing to indulge in that large dinner portion at the hotel restaurant, save those meals for special occasions. Instead, check out lighter dining options where you’ll be staying. View menus online beforehand, and go in prepared to make smart meal decisions.
Regardless of where you’re headed, there are things you can do to stay healthy while on the road. While perfection isn’t always possible, maintaining healthy habits can be relatively easy with a smart schedule and some advanced planning.