Incorporate Fitness and Exercise on the Road

How to make sure you get that workout while you're on the road.

I’m guessing that many business travelers make choices similar to those I make when I choose to skip the travel exercise portion of my travel itinerary, when I sacrifice sleep to complete one more project, and when I don’t drink enough water.

Plus, the day is typically filled with meetings, maybe a presentation, attending sessions or a trade show. Business trips are often filled with more unhealthy options, such as convention center food, sweets and cocktails. The life of a business traveler begins early in the day and ends late in the evening. When is there time to consider fitness?

So, at the end of the day (or even the start), it just feels like an obvious choice to trade that 20 or 30 minutes in the hotel fitness center for catching up on emails and making up for the lack of sleep during business travel. We often just cut corners and sacrifice our own healthy habits to get the job done.

But this really is contrary to the fitness tips and exercise tips that business travelers should follow. The demands of business travel actually require us to maintain healthy habits when on the road in order to keep up with the work. MayoClinic.com suggests some packing tips that will help make this process go more smoothly, including exercise clothing, a swimsuit, resistance tubing and other items.

Packing correctly is the first step, and staying at a hotel that offers an onsite fitness center is equally important from my perspective. That is, if I’m struggling with the idea of heading to the fitness center in my hotel, I’m less likely to go if it’s down the street.

And it is actually easier to incorporate healthy habits and fitness tips into our business travel routines than many of us think. After all, a good pair of athletic shoes for the airport will allow us to wander the terminals and gain exercise prior to boarding a plane; walking shoes will be helpful to walk up and down the aisles on the plane (especially long haul flights); walking shoes will be helpful for those who may wish to walk around the neighborhood of the hotel; walking shoes will be useful in the fitness center at business hotels, and so on.

It only takes about 20 minutes every other day to maintain fitness while on the road, and it’s relatively reasonable to try to find ways to incorporate a few minutes of healthy activities throughout the day.

Rob is editor of Business Travel Destinations. He reviews international destinations for meetings and events -- where business travelers go, the hotels where they stay and their lifestyle preferences on the road. Rob was previously the event planning guide for About.com (owned by The New York Times Company) from 2007 - 2011. His articles also appear in business travel publications and travel sites internationally.

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