Sponsored by JJ Coutts
My fitness business Outer Strength Fitness has many clients who are business owners of small – large enterprises who are constantly traveling, it can be a challenge trying to keep in shape whilst jetting off to different places every week.
Transport, jet lag, un-comfy hotel room beds, room service, long meetings are all barriers to when you’re traveling for business.
I have noticed a strong correlation with the most successful business owner and how they keep disciplined with the health and fitness whilst travelling. Successful business owners must maintain their productivity, focus and performance at all times.
There are a few strategies that I will share to help you make better choices to stay in shape when traveling for work.
The Transport Journey
Your 3 am alarm goes off Monday morning so you can get ready for your 7 am flight. You leave the house in a cab, and start feeling your stomach growling. You need to eat asap. You arrive at the airport, no need to check in as you have carry on and your boarding pass on your phone and head straight to the lounge.
Your hunger levels are through the roof by this time and you order a big Full Breakfast (2 sausages, 2 eggs, 2 rashers of bacon, 2 slices of white bread) accompanied by a large Flat white with 2 sugars. You quickly scoff all the food into your mouth and head to the gate to board. You board the aircraft and then find out your flight will take around 2 hours to reach your destination.
Time passes and the meal/snack trolley comes through the isle. By this time, your hunger cravings are back again.
But why? You had a large breakfast only 1 hour ago.
Flying causes dehydration as the humidity in the aircraft is lower than that on the ground. Dehydration can cause our hunger hormones to go out of whack and make us think we are hungry again. So, you opt for a packet of salted nuts and a blueberry muffin. By the time you land, you have most likely had over 1000 calories of highly processed foods that will catch up with you throughout your meetings that day giving you that dreaded energy/sugar slump at 3 pm.
Here are a couple of strategies to combat any poor nutritional choices when it comes to your journey.
- Increase water intake – Aim to drink 1-2 litres 1-2 hours before your flight. This will ensure your hydration levels are high so you won’t feel the dehydration effects of flying.
- Pick healthier meals – It’s a lot easier to prepare your meals a home. All you need is some great recipes that you can quickly prepare the night before. If you can’t manage to prepare your food, there is nothing stopping you from choosing healthier meals at the airport. Pret a manger in the UK has a wide range of healthy snacks you can choose from. My favourite is their chia pudding. If you are traveling later in the day, try and find a salad that has some kind of lean protein (Chicken, fish are your best options) in it to eat.
Exercise is a great way to keep up mentally and physically with the demands of being a business owner. Stressful situations can prevent us from making the right decisions in business. Exercise releases the neurotransmitter called dopamine around 45 minutes into a session. We are our own worst enemies, stress may cause you to doubt yourself leading you into making a bad decision for you are your corporate life.
If you have been on a long flight and suffer from jet lag, exercise can be great to outcome it as it can readjust your body clock. The best time to exercise with jet lag is in the mornings.
Here’s are a couple of workouts you can put to good use.
Hotel Room Workout
- Wall Sit: 20 sec hold x 5. Place your back onto a wall and shuffle your feet forwards. Keep your back against the wall whilst squatting down and hold that position for 20 seconds.
- Push ups: 20 reps. You may either do a normal push up on your knees or toes.
- Glute Bridge: 20 reps. Lie down on the floor with your feet flat on the floor. Push your hips up towards the sky whilst placing all the weight into your heels. You should feel this all in your glutes (Bum)
- Squats: 20 reps. Perform 20 normal squats.
Complete this little circuit 5-8 times, with no rest.
Outdoor Run / Walk
When it comes to business trips, you won’t just be sitting in meetings all day long. You will be enjoying yourself with clients, which usually ends up having long lunches and dinner. This then leads to a quite substantial amount of alcohol being dunk.
Fueling your body for better business success is essential are you must have the required energy levels to keep your attention span flowing through crucial meetings and also to keep up the motivational levels to help pitch for new business.
Here are a few nutritional strategies I personally use with my business owner clients that work really well.
- Don’t mix your drinks: When you are enjoying yourself, start and finish on the one type of drink. The best alcoholic choices in terms of lowest in calories are your spirits. Gin, vodka, rum are low calorie options you can choose. If you are to have a mixer with these drinks, go for a sugarless option.
- Aim for protein and veg: When choosing your meals, whether that be room service, breakfast and conference buffets or client dinners, opt for a meal the has a lean protein accompanied with green vegetables. Lean protein with veggies will keep us fuller for longer, helping any cravings reduce which may lead us off track.
- Reduce your carbohydrate intake: Carbohydrates are very hard to control when we are traveling. The minibar in our hotel room is one of the culprits of this. Full with chocolate, chips, lollies and sugary drinks it can be hard to refuse sometimes. When you are eating, follow the above strategy and aim to increase your vegetables in every meal. Try and stay away from that minibar and any hot chips, burgers, breakfast cereal, rice and breads.
If you are a business owner that is contently traveling, try some of these strategies to help you make healthier choices which will improve your business success.
JJ Coutts: Outer strength fitness specialises in working with business professionals who struggle to maintain healthy habits and what to improve their physical and emotional state which transfers to their corporate success.