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5 Ways for Business Travelers to Keep Health and Fitness Goals on Track

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It’s easy to neglect your health and fitness goals on business trips. Between sitting for hours on a plane, attending endless client dinners, and checking in and out of hotels, it can be hard to stay healthy. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With planning and discipline, you can keep your health goals on track — even if you’re on the road more than you’re at home.  

Avoid changing your eating habits

Suddenly changing your diet can have a huge impact on the way you feel, so try to stick to your normal eating habits when you’re traveling. Now this isn’t to say you shouldn’t ever go out to eat if you normally eat at home — that’s nearly impossible. But, try not to overindulge. Think before you order something off the menu. Do you really need that cheesecake? Can you substitute steamed vegetables for a baked potato? Should you order that third beer?

Also, don’t skip meals. If your body is used to running on three square meals a day, skipping just one can seriously impact your energy level.

Stay at hotels or Airbnbs with a kitchen

They don’t say abs are made in the kitchen for nothing. If there’s one thing that’ll keep your health and fitness goals from getting derailed during business trips, it’s cooking your own food! When you’re booking your trip, seek out hotels that include a small kitchen. If an extended-stay or suite-style hotel isn’t in the cards, look for an Airbnb instead.

Once you’re all settled in, hit up the local grocery store and buy some healthy staples that will get you through your stay, like fruits and vegetables, eggs for breakfast, and salad fixings.

Make an exercise schedule and stick to it

Before you hit the road, study your schedule and carve out time for exercise. If you have a membership to a chain like Anytime Fitness or Planet Fitness, take advantage of being able to access locations around the country. Alternatively, call around to local gyms and see if they offer short-term passes for visitors.

This is also a good time to shake up your routine. Always wanted to try a spin class? Intrigued by hot yoga? Dying to go rock climbing? Trying out new exercises while you’re traveling will keep your schedule fresh, and make exercising more fun.

Stay hydrated and rested

Drinking water and getting enough sleep both have a huge bearing on your energy level, and by extension, your physical and mental performance. Make it a habit to keep a water bottle with you all the time, and set goals for how much you need to drink in a day. Also remember to order a glass of water with meals, especially if you’re drinking caffeine or alcohol.

As far as sleep goes, do your best to hit the hay when you normally would at home. Throwing your circadian rhythm out of whack can wreak havoc on your energy level, blood pressure, and even appetite.

Sticking to a sleep schedule can get even trickier when you’re traveling across time zones. In that case, consider arriving a day or so early to help ward off jet lag. Another tip for fighting jet lag? Eat right and get some exercise. Seeing a pattern?

Keep moving

Even if you can’t fit in time to exercise normally during your business trips, think about the small things you can do to keep your body active, alert, and healthy.

Have coworkers who want to explore the city? Schedule a bike tour for your crew. If time is tight, focus on smaller activities that you can do naturally during the day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to the office instead of driving or riding.

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