When I hear the world ‘travel’ I get excited. I associate ‘travel’ with days off work, fun at the beach, taking it easy and enjoying myself with my friends and family.
However, the reality is for many people ‘travel’ has become a necessary and often part of their work schedule. I have a good friend whose normal work routine will take him from Adelaide to Sydney and Melbourne every week. He spends almost 14 hours either on a plane or in an airport every week. There is not much time for breakfast in bed, or strolls on the beach, with that sort of travel commitment.
Travel in the business sense means you could be experiencing busy and stressful days, long nights, jet lag, and hectic schedules in destinations not akin to a healthy lifestyle.
On top of that, when you travel your schedule and body rhythms are thrown completely out. You tend to be eating when you should be sleeping, and sleeping when you should be eating. Your entire routine can be completely different to the one you keep at home.
There is a solution to combat the stress of these changes: Exercise.
In the Hotel
Many hotels now have fitness facilities, as more and more business travellers are expecting these amenities. You may not be able to do all the exercises you do at your normal gym but that doesn’t matter. Keeping the routine even if it means turning your legs over on a bike, or doing a few weights, will help keep your body and its natural rhythms in line. Personally I love the pool, and it’s a great exercise choice especially if it’s not in your ‘normal’ routine. You can swim laps or even just tread water for some great aerobic exercise. A little boring but will do the job is climbing up and down the stairs a few times. Stair climbing is number 1 for legs and bums, and certainly gets the heart pumping too.
In the Room
Even if your hotel doesn’t have a fitness facility, there’s a lot of exercising you can get without even leaving your room. Pilates and Yoga can all be practiced in a small amount of floor space. You can buy a fitness DVD and play it on your computer or television. Consider packing resistance bands or a jump rope; they are lightweight but offer a wide variety of challenging exercises. Even if you don’t have any equipment, you can do sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, and other exercises in your room.
On the Plane
You may not be able to exercise, however I do recommend you keep yourself mobile during a flight. If you are on a flight over 2 hours, taking a walk up and down the aisle often will help to keep your blood pumping and reduce the risk of clotting. Stretching is easy to do and of enormous benefit, and with some consideration of others, you can safely do many full body stretches to keep yourself from stiffing up too much from a long flight.
Watch for and take advantage of opportunities to get out of the hotel and move. Going out to eat, walking to appointments, plan meetings other than in your hotel lobby, explore your surroundings, go dancing, hire a bike. Look for alternative exercise you can do which will invigorate and energise you. It can be fun to try something new, and your travels may present you with opportunities you may not encounter at home.
Keeping active while travelling especially for business can be challenging, but can be done. The stresses of travelling are cumulative and regular exercise will greatly reduce the negative effect it may have. A little will go a long way.