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Staying Fit on the Road

March 25, 2011

 

I love my job!  As an Assistant Brand Manager, I get to travel a lot for work.  This means trying to find balance in work, travel, fitness, and healthy eating.  While this isn’t easy to do, it can be done.  Read on for some tips I’ve picked up in the last couple months of business travel, and feel free to share your own.  This is definitely a learning experience for me!

Workouts
1) Wake up early!  If your business trips are anything like mine, you don’t have any free time.  Even if you have a 730am meeting, try waking up at 5am to fit in a workout.  You’ll be glad you did.
2) Spread the word!  Tell your coworkers your plans to workout in the morning and encourage them to join you.  Even if you’re in the gym solo, you can bet that your guilt stricken coworkers will ask how that workout went.  Case in point – I was in Florida for a 4 day business trip and had 3 workouts buddies at 515am on day 2.  When my alarm went off at 5am on day 3 (which felt like 2am PST) I really wanted to hit snooze and catch up on some sleep, but then I remembered that I had already told my coworkers that I’d be in the gym again and didn’t want them to think that I wasn’t dedicated to my workout plan.  So, with this thought in mind, I made my way to the hotel gym and worked out solo.  Apparently no one else had the same feelings as me that morning…
3) Workout immediately before and after your trip.  Even if I have an 8am flight, I make a point of getting a 5am workout in before I hop on that plane.  The same goes for when I get home; I will workout ASAP.  If I get too comfortable and realize how exhausted I am after all that traveling, I will never get off the couch.
4) Be flexible!  You never know what kind of gym you’ll have waiting for you in your hotel.  Most likely your company isn’t choosing a place based on their free weight set or treadmill collection.  On my FL business trip, I planned to run 5 miles one day and to do P90X Back and Biceps the other day.  I soon discovered that our gym consisted of 4 treadmills and not much else, so I wasn’t able to do P90X full-out.  I still wanted to workout, of course, so I fit in another day of treadmill running, and P90X was still waiting for me when I got to the comfort of my own home and pull-up bar.
5) Do your research!  I haven’t done this yet, but after reading over this post it occurred to me that a lot of ambiguity could be avoided if I just called ahead and asked the hotel what kind of fitness equipment they have.  I’ll have to try that next time!

Nutrition
1) Bring your own snacks!  Some of my favorite healthy foods to travel with include apples, raw trail mix and/or almonds, and a lot of protein bars.  You can never be too prepared.  I never expect people to provide me with healthy, vegetarian food, so I always travel armed with nutritious options.  Next time, I think I’ll bring individual servings of protein powder so I can mix it up with water when needed.
2) Keep bottled water on hand!  Stay hydrated and full on water to prevent unnecessary snacking.  A lot of people mindlessly munch when they think they’re hungry, when in fact they are just dehydrated.
3) When you find something healthy, stock up! During day two of my business trip, the hotel provided us with cookies as a nice, fattening snack.  Luckily for me, there were 2 bunches of grapes and thinly sliced strawberries scattered across the cookie tray!  To be fair, I only took 1 bunch of grapes and half the strawberries at first, but when they didn’t get eaten by anyone else, I went in for the rest.  I couldn’t let that beautiful fruit go to waste!
4) Don’t skip breakfast.  I know you’re heard this a million times, but I truly believe this is the most important meal of the day.  Definitely take advantage if you can stock up on eggs and fruit.  From what I’ve seen, the meal choices only get less healthy as the day progresses.
5) Share your plan with your coworkers.  People rarely offer me cookies or cake at office gatherings anymore (unless they want to tease me) because they know I won’t budge.  They’ve seen how I stick to my nutrition plan and how much I love to talk about P90X and the amazing things it has done for me.

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