Life on the road isn't always the healthiest – all that sitting, snacking, stress and stuffed-up routines. But when researchers quantified how business travel runs our bodies down, the importance of finding a solution becomes clear. Here are the statistics of the average corporate traveller according to research.
- Those who travel 20 or more days a month have poorer health compared to those who travel between 1 and 6 days
- Higher mean body mass index (27.5kg/sq m v 26.1)
- Worse HDL cholesterol levels (53.3mg/DL v 56.1)
- Worse blood pressure (diastolic pressure of 76.2 v 74.6)
- They are 260% more likely to rate their health as fair to poor
The last finding is the defining factor in business travel wellbeing, as it indicates a high awareness of unhealthy habits while away from home.
Most corporate travellers don't workout when they're away from their usual gym, and fast food becomes the go-to option. These decisions, combined with long days, back-to-back meetings and the stress of being in an unfamiliar environment, all add up to an overall feeling of poor health.
Here are the key ingredients to keeping healthy and making sure you still workout when you're working away from the home and office.
1. Make it a habit
The most significant hurdle to working out while travelling is the disruption to your routine. Maintain your workout regime by making it as close to your usual routine as possible.
- Go at the same times on the same days
- Prepare your gym gear ahead of time
- Don't skip a gym session
2. Find the right fuel
You are what you eat, and if you're going to look after your wellbeing away from home, you're going to have to work harder than raiding the hotel minibar or loading up on sugar-filled pastries at the breakfast buffet. Try to keep it simple at breakfast by combining protein, carbs and fruits to get you through the morning, then aim for healthier options at lunch and dinner. For on-the-go snacks, opt for small bags of nuts or dried fruit. You'll be much more likely to work out – and you'll feel better while doing it – if you're providing your body with the right calories to burn off.
3. Go with a group
In fitness-obsessed parts of the world like New Zealand and Australia, it's usually quite simple to find and take part in organised sports and group training. Most towns and cities will have anything from fun-runs to badminton – research online to get yourself in contact with group organisers.
4. Make it convenient
The easiest choice is a hotel pool or gym – a few laps before breakfast or some cardio and weights before dinner will both exercise your body and give your mind a break from the constant hum of meetings and travel. If your hotel doesn't have the facilities, ask the concierge about nearby gyms or parks for a short run. The most convenient of them all are in-room exercises such as bodyweight exercise, yoga or resistance band exercises.