Keeping Your Fitness Regimen on Track While on the Road
The World we live in these days is in constant motion and as a direct result, so are we. It seems like we are never in the same place for very long. You can wake-up in San Francisco, be in Dallas by lunch and have dinner in Miami.
After doing some reflection on this, I started talking with some of my personal training clients that do their fair share of business travel. Not to my surprise, my client’s fitness regimens greatly suffer, as does their health. (How many times have you come home from a business trip with a cold or totally worn out? Granted, a lot of factors are in play here, but the lack of exercise can be a contributing factor, or should I say “exercise,” could play a role in being an important health safe guard).
I thought I would tackle the subject of keeping to your fitness regimen while traveling for business, since it is easier than you think and more important to do than you may think.
There’s no doubt that traveling these days is stressful and traveling for business is especially stressful. There’s an obvious difference between boarding an airplane to Hawaii to have fun under the sun and boarding an airplane to New York to give an important business presentation. Stress is one of many “health negatives” attached to business travel (the stress of travel and the stress of conducting business), but add in late nights (lack of sleep), dining out (over eating and often eating late), drinking more alcohol (over indulging), you can quickly put your health and well-being behind the eight-ball.
So I’m not going to tell you to eat less, drink less and get the proper amount of sleep while on your next business trip, although I wouldn’t be doing my job as a personal trainer if I didn’t, but I understand the reality of the situation. However, I will tell you that there is no reason for you to totally abandon your workouts.
To combat some of the negatives of business travel with several positives, a few of the key benefits of continuing your workouts while traveling on business are;
Exercise on the road will boost, as well as help you maintain High Energy Levels and increase Stamina, so you can “Go, Go, Go” without hitting the wall and crashing.
Exercise on the road will greatly increase your body’s Immune System to work at peak performance. Stay healthy and come home healthy.
Exercise on the road will help keep normal “day to day” Stress and your added stress of business travel in check.
Exercise on the road will help you maintain your Weight Management while on the road. Stay mindful of what you are putting into your body, but on the other hand, enjoy the pleasures of dining out within reason. That slice of cheesecake is far less damaging when you hit the gym or go for a brisk-walk the next morning.
Exercise on the road will help you maintain healthy Sleep Patterns. Jet lag, differences in time zones, a strange bed, work dancing around in your brain, long hours are all contributing factors of throwing your sleep patterns way out of whack. Exercise helps quiet the mind, relax the body and aids greatly in ensuring a good night’s sleep. Wake up feeling rested, calm and refreshed, ready to face another busy day.
Exercise on the road can help relieve Body Tension and Muscle Fatigue. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who are able to travel First-Class, you will be painfully aware of the joys of being crammed into a tight and un-comfortable airplane seat for an extended period of time. Lugging your suitcase, laptop and work-paperwork in your briefcase around takes its toll on your body. Your shoulders, back, neck and feet really feel the negative effects of travel. Exercise will help you stretch out your body and balance it by relieving the days built up tension in your muscles.
Exercising on the road will help you recover from the negative effects of Alcohol. You know that sometimes, unavoidable night of drinking with your co-workers or clients. Alcohol as we all know, has some damaging side effects. If you are feeling a bit slow, in a bit of a daze and even that dreaded feeling of being hung-over from last night’s party, exercise could be your magic pill for that much needed, quick fix. It might seem like the last thing you want to do, but it will have a much better effect on you than sleeping in. When we exercise we sweat and by sweating we release the toxins from our body, as a result you boost the recovery process. You will have that spring back in your step and feel energized to face another busy day.
Exercise on the road will keep you Mentally Sharp, focused and give you that important competitive business edge. Plus you will look and feel alive, believe me it will show.
Now that I’ve talked about the reasons to exercise, I would like to touch on: “How to Exercise” while you’re are on the road.
Today’s business travelers are so fortunate that most business hotels have realized the importance of exercise and have made fitness rooms available to their guests. This has made it so much easier not to skip a workout. Some hotels have fitness rooms that are loaded with different types of aerobic machines such as treadmills, stair-climbers, bikes and make weight machine and free weights available while some fitness rooms only provide the most basic equipment. Whatever you have available to you, I am sure you will be able to accomplish a quality workout. Most of this fitness rooms are available 24 hours, which will help you schedule your workout at a most convenient time.
If you aren’t fortunate enough to be staying in a hotel that has a fitness room, ask the front desk about local gyms in the area. Most gyms will make day or even weekly passes available to the business traveler for a reasonable fee (in major cities many hotels have partnerships set up with local gyms for hotel guests.
If you belong to a large national gym chain, like Bally’s Fitness or even theYMCA, check the list of gyms in the area you are traveling to ahead of time so you can schedule your workouts.
I actually like to check out new gyms; you might find an interesting and new piece of workout equipment that your home based gym doesn’t have and a change of workout scenery if always nice.
Business travelers have no fear if by rare chance a gym is not available to you, you still can accomplish your workout the old fashioned way. Whether it’s as simple as running up a flight of stairs (talk about a killer workout), or some good old fashioned push ups, sit ups, running in place and stretching in your room. I find doing some yoga (especially to help make my body forget that airplane seat) and shadow boxing work well for me.
Another great option available to the business travelers is to travel with a pair of running shoes. What a great way to take in the city’s sites, get a taste of some local color, and enjoy some fresh air by getting out and taking to the streets for a brisk walk or energizing run.
If you get some down time on your business trip, maybe enjoy some recreational activities like a round of golf, the local batting cages, some skating or bowling. All in addition to being exercise, they are also fun and excellent team-building opportunities.
So you can now see, with a little imagination and drive, the business traveler can find a good and beneficial workout on the road. Take it from an experienced certified personal trainer and a seasoned traveler, they will be way better off for it!
Markus B. is the Co-Founder of The Fitness Underground-Los Angeles. He has drawn off his years of experience as a Certified Personal Trainer, A Professional Athlete and an accomplished Martial Artist to help create with his partner Texas (an elite Yoga Instructor & Certified Personal Trainer) a “New and Innovative” approach to Health, Fitness and Well Being that not only Enhances the Body but also Enriches the Mind. With an increasing following in the Los Angeles area his powerful message of Good Health, Clean Living and the importance of Exercise, Markus is changing people’s lives. Helping people achieve and experience the “enlightenment” of good health and a higher level of fitness is his passion, his life’s work and a personal goal that he takes very seriously. His belief is that health, fitness and well-being is the greatest gift of all. It’s the ultimate gift that someone could give their family and more importantly themselves. It’s a supreme gift we should always be mindful of and be grateful for. Markus is often heard saying that having the opportunity to help people make important changes in their lives, and in some cases “life saving” changes is an awesome feeling as well as extremely rewarding. Come join Markus and experience the difference first hand, start enjoying and living a healthier, happier, fuller and more active life. Life is too short not to!