So, you’re traveling for work again. There are only 365 days in the year, can you recall how many days you’ve been on the road?
It doesn’t matter if you are traveling internationally to Hong Kong, or 3-hours away from home, it’s hard to make healthy choices when your days are jam-packed with conferences, meetings, networking, and happy hours.
If you’re feeling lost on how to stay healthy when traveling, well you’re in luck! Here are some health tips that will not only energize you, but allow you to be your best self and dominate every business trip on your schedule.
Traveling for work can take a toll on your health. When you’re traveling to a foreign country, there’s jet lag. When you’re tossing and turning in your hotel bed, there’s sleep deprivation. The most important tip is to plan and know what to expect.
If you know jet lag will weigh you down, check in with your employer and see if you can travel out a day ahead. Especially if you can leave on the weekend, and be acclimated and ready to go by Monday morning.
If you have a choice of where to stay, read reviews about the hotel. Are the beds comfortable? Is the hotel surrounded by busy streets? Our bodies need sleep, and if we’re not getting a solid 8-hours, then we are more susceptible to illnesses and exhaustion.
“I feel drained, I need sugar.” We’ve all grabbed that candy bar instead of some almonds. Yes, the candy bar will give you some energy, but then you’ll experience that sugar crash in the afternoon. When traveling, it’s important to pack healthy snacks. That way, you’re no longer enticed at the airport gift shop, or gas station – instead of those gummy bears, you can grab some jerky instead.
Always remember – protein! No matter what you pack in your purse or carry-on, foods that contain a lot of protein will give you the most energy throughout the day. High-protein snacks include trail mix, yogurt, nuts, or apple slices with peanut butter.
Now that you know what to consume during the day, let's not forget the nightly happy hours. You work hard, so you deserve a glass of chardonnay. However, alcohol causes dehydration and affects your slumber. Plus, it packs on the empty calories! Just remember you can still have fun, and enjoy one drink during happy hour.
When you pack your sneakers and athletic wear, there’s no excuse to not workout when you’re traveling. Even if your itinerary is full of work events, you deserve a little “me time.” Hotel gyms have really improved their workout rooms. With weights and cardio machines, you have everything you need for a quick workout – even if it’s just lightly jogging for 15 minutes.
You can even make time to do sit-ups and crunches in your hotel room, or sign up for a local workout class that you’ve never tried before – goat yoga or aerial aerobics, anyone? Bueller?
It seems like almost every major city has a bike-sharing service. If the convention center or the client you're meeting is just a few blocks away from your hotel, instead of opening up the Uber app, walk or rent a bike. Even 15 minutes of walking will boost your mood and help you get in those steps.
Bike sharing is also a fun way to get to know a city, like finding local spots for dinner. Not only are you trying something new and different, but who knows... you may end up love cycling and just didn’t know it yet.
Last but certainly not least, you must stay hydrated. Too many times, we forget to drink water when we are busy, however, up to 60% of the human adult body is water. It's especially easy to become dehydrated when traveling, like on long overseas flights. This is because of the dry air that is circulated within the plane's cabin after takeoff, containing only about 10% humidity. Plus, because flight attendants are trying to serve hundreds of passengers, it's hard to get water or juice when you need it. An easy way to fix this is once you go through the security checkpoint in an airport, head directly to a gift shop to purchase a couple of bottles of water. You'll thank yourself later.
Drinking plenty of water can also minimize the symptoms of jet lag. There's a misconception that coffee will keep you awake, and alcohol will help you sleep, but, both drinks can affect your sleep patterns. It's essential to hydrate on the plane, and once you land so you can remain energized and healthy for your trip.
Traveling for work is exciting. You get to experience new cities, countries, and cultures. When you follow these simple health tips, you'll be able to sleep better, increase your mental awareness, and have the energy you need for a successful trip.