Traveling for work can be a great opportunity to stay in shape. But if you’re not careful, it can also lead to some health problems — like back pain and weight gain — and make it harder to get the exercise you need to stay healthy.
If you’re going on a business trip or attending a convention or trade show, here are some tips for staying fit while traveling:
- Exercise before your flight. If possible, try to get some exercise before your flight. If you can’t do that, at least walk around and stretch before boarding the plane. You’ll feel more energized when you arrive at your destination.
- Pack healthy snacks and meals. It’s easy to pack unhealthy snacks when traveling because they’re convenient and delicious (think vending machine junk food). But these types of foods aren’t good for your waistline or heart health — so avoid them if possible! Instead, pack foods that are high in protein or fiber (like nuts), which will help keep you full longer than sugary snacks do. You can also ask the hotel staff about room service options that include healthier choices like grilled chicken salads or fish tacos with brown rice rather than french fries or potato chips.
- Pack light — and pack smart. Don’t overdo it when packing clothes, shoes and toiletries; packing light will make travel easier. Pack workout gear that doubles as everyday clothing, like running shorts that can double as shorts or capris and a sports bra that can be worn with a tank top. Also Carry a small resistance band in your luggage. Resistance bands are lightweight and easy to carry with you. You can do dozens of exercises with them, including bicep curls, triceps extensions and squats.
- Get creative with exercise options. If you’re staying in a hotel room, use the stairs instead of the elevator or take advantage of any fitness facilities available at your hotel (if there are any). Use Google Maps or check Yelp reviews to find nearby parks or other safe places for outdoor running or walking. When traveling by car, try parking at the far end of a parking lot so you’ll have to walk farther than if you parked closer to the entrance of a store.