Stay fit on your business trip
Business trips: endless flights, hours of driving, non-stop networking, after hour drinks, never ending meetings and annoying bosses…
The company thrives on them to bring in sales and complete business projects but what about your well being?
One of the most annoying sides of business trips in general is the disturbance of your regular diet and fitness workouts. I mean let’s face it, you have to attend to everyone but yourself: clients, bosses, business partners, event organizers and the whole world preferably… Add on top of that the humongous quantities of stress and sometimes even sleepless nights when the jet lag kicks in.
But who says you can’t outsmart the corporate rules of business trip ‘altruism’? We have a few tips that will work wonders if you’re trying to stay in shape during, yes, that stressful time where you’re expected to be, well, basically everywhere and everything.
The first key thing to consider when you’re out in a business trip is the stress factor:
- Minimize your stress factor
Prepare yourself ahead of the trip and rehearse your presentations, to avoid any unplanned surprises. At the meetings, do your best to please clients and partners, show your boss you’re doing a great job and always take daily notes of what you’ve accomplished – this will later show value in the final business trip report.
Do not stress out about things you can’t control: the behavior of colleagues or hotel staff, bad restaurant service or any other unpleasant surprises that don’t actually fall in your own agenda. You can’t please the whole world, so take a deep breath and relax.
- Minimize the booze intake and sleepless nights
We are all familiar with those very friendly coworkers who love to “socialize” all night long in business after-parties. Whether they aim at catching up with their bosses to score informal career points, entertaining clients the non-conventional way, or even putting a move on a coworker they fancy, they gulp drink after drink, party hard and wander from bar to bar in an unstoppable frenzy.
The worst case scenario is if that’s actually your company’s unwritten norm.
If so, you will be expected to behave accordingly and get your numbers in by “networking” in after parties. To survive and thrive, first make sure you take it easy on the alcohol and follow your clean diet. Second of all: get to socialize as much as possible during the day events, making sure you get all the important contact cards and follow-up with e-mails. It’s crucial to build and keep relationships with key people in the company and outside of it. And third: do socialize with your colleagues and bosses, be nice but when you’re ready to leave the party and make time for yourself, leave and have a good excuse for it, scoring points with your boss too. Choose your pick: client meetings, reports, presentations etc. to prepare for the next day in order to be successful for the company of course….
- Get a good night’s sleep
It’s always important to be well rested and the challenge of that during business trips is in the unfamiliarity of the hotel room, along with schedule disturbances.
Pack your own foam or travel pillow if you know you have trouble sleeping in the plane and in unfamiliar settings.
If you’re travelling to another time zone and jet lag kicks in, make sure you pack some over the counter sleeping pills that will improve your chances of getting some rest. If all else fails, go for a jog or do some yoga, to score some workout time and relax.
- Don’t miss your workouts
The best case scenario: you are accommodated in a hotel that offers a fitness center for guests. If so, you can get an early morning workout using their equipment for cardio and weightlifting.
If the hotel doesn’t have a gym, there are still good ways to get a great workout by using your own body weight. You can do a yoga session or look for some great DVDs with more dynamic workouts. My favorite two are Shaun T and Jillian Michaels. For Hip Hop Abs, Insanity, Kickbox and Bodyshred you will only need your hotel room as a space to perform, which is great, considering both time economy and getting some workout variation.
Make sure you purchase good body weight workout DVDs ahead of time and have fun doing the exercises!
Don’t forget about cardio either: early mornings or late evening jogs. If your hotel provides bike rental services, why not go for an early cycling round?
- Keep your diet in check
The golden rule on how to eat clean during business trips: Prepare ahead!
Make sure you visit the supermarket on your first day and purchase a serious stack of the good stuff: bags of almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts and seeds, loads of fruit (including dry fruit for sweet tooth – try to avoid sweet fruit & nut bars, they’re packed with sugar), healthy chips, yogurt, salads and cheese bars (in case you have a small fridge in the room). If you carry those bags of snacks with you all the time you won’t starve during the day, be forced to overeat or eat junk at the end of the day!
Make sure you allocate enough time for breakfast and get your morning protein intake out of eggs and dairy to keep you full for longer. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water too (at least 2 liters a day).
- Have some fun!
Who says you can’t stay and visit the city on your own expense after business is over? Have a short break and get to know the city, discover some attractions and museums, admire some nice views…You can rent a bike and cycle around or walk and enjoy a well deserved break. Take a deep breath and celebrate your free time!
by Cristina Candea