I’ve been on the road with a client for the last couple of months. In and out of airports and hotels, never in the same place for more than a week at a time. I never unpack my suitcase, but I’ll never miss a workout.
The excuses are there and easily snatched up to call your own. I can’t find healthy food in an airport. There’s no time to work out. I’m too exhausted to find healthy food and wind up ordering room service. I didn’t pack my sneakers. Or the worst offender; I just forget to eat.
Yes, I have traveled before, but usually for pleasure. A week in Costa Rica or Hawaii, where it is my job to relax, find healthy places to eat, and even sleep in. But, business travel does have a different sense of urgency to it, where many would not even think of those things while they dream.
Follow these five steps to streamline your fitness for your next trip:
1. Pack snacks for the airport: Raw mixed nuts, fruit like bananas, apples, grapes, and dried figs, and natural protein bars (Odwalla or Larabars), all travel well and make excellent snacks. When super rushed, they can even make good small meals. Check out my airport cheat sheet for eating at the airport.
2. Schedule your workout like a business meeting: If possible, get it done first thing in the morning so it doesn’t get blown off by an unexpected meeting or poolside cocktail. I have been working out with DVD’s (P90X) in my hotel room and then if I have time I will get to the gym or outside for extra cardio. If you are in a new city for the first time a great jog or power walk through the area is a great way to familiarize yourself with the neighborhood and even site see. I remember running through the cobblestone streets in Florence in the early mornings, before the tourists could crowd the streets and thinking it was the best way to see the city.
3. Be a Brat: When ordering your meals at hotels or restaurants do not be afraid to ask for what you want. Common questions and requests I make when ordering:
– Is the fish wild or farm raised?
– Is that cooked in butter? If so, can you use olive oil instead.
– Can you grill it instead?
– Can I substitute a salad for the fries? Most times, if you are pleasant and polite, they are happy to make changes. If not, find somewhere else to spend your money. I have that down to a science!
4. Create an arsenal: The first thing I like to do when I arrive in a new place is find the closest Whole Foods. If it’s far I invest the money in a taxi and it’s always worth it. I buy fresh fruit, already chopped veggies, hummus, and some small containers of prepared foods. In the long run it is cheaper than room service and you will have less temptation to order something unhealthy. Call the front desk and ask if they will remove all of the overpriced junk that they put in your mini bar, so you have room to stock it up
5. Always, always, always pack your sneakers! You could go with one less pair of heels or throw them in your carry-on, but do not use them as an easy excuse to not workout.
Sound like a job? After a few trips, you will feel like it’s the natural thing to do and you’ll come home feeling like a million bucks!