Posted: April 29, 2014

How to Be a Healthy Business Traveler
Not getting enough rest while out of town for business can make greatly affect your productivity.

When you're on the road for work, it can be easy to forget about your own well-being. This is especially true in modern day when meetings, conferences, paperwork and other responsibilities can swallow your free time. Keeping yourself in peak condition is not only good for your efficiency as an employee, but those who travel often and allow themselves to partake in bad eating, exercise and other habits on a regular basis may be putting themselves at serious risk of developing medical conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease. From eating nutritious foods to cutting out the stress, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you maintain your health while away on a business trip. Keep these suggestions in mind next time you go out of town:

Eat Right

Anyone who has traveled for work has probably been faced with the dilemma of choosing between sitting down for dinner and getting your work done on time. These are generally the times when people go through the drive-thru window of a fast food spot and scarf down a greasy meal on the way to the next meeting. Some also turn to these unhealthy eating choices purely for comfort – when you're feeling homesick while out of town, it can be soothing and relieving to eat something that reminds you of your hometown. But sometimes you simply have to choose your own personal health over your job. Even if you're running late, avoid stopping at the burger joint (or skipping meals altogether) and opt instead to sit down and enjoy a full meal at a restaurant that serves fresh food or pick up a pre-packaged salad at the grocery store.

While you're on the road, be sure to bring along snacks for between meals. This will help you avoid those mid-afternoon and evening crashes that often lure people toward high-calorie, high-fat foods. Keep a bag of almonds or trail mix in your rental car or suitcase. Another essential while away on business – as well as in everyday life – is to drink plenty of water. It's not only necessary for the proper function of all of your organs, but it can flush your body of toxins that might make you feel fatigued and damper your efficiency as a business person.

Get Enough Sleep

People often underestimate the importance of a good night's slumber, but getting ample and restful sleep can greatly improve your vibrancy and productivity throughout the workday. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults generally need between seven and nine hours of sleep, but this can vary depending on your specific health condition. And losing just 1.5 hours of sleep can cost you up to one-third of your typical alertness during the day. If  you have trouble dozing off while out of town, try making your sleep space as much like your bedroom at home as possible. Bring along your favorite pillow or blanket, pack your usual pajamas and pack a sweater or other items that remind you of your significant other.

Exercise

Some think of a business trip as a break from working out – a mini vacation from the daily exercise routine. However, this attitude can lead you to feel groggier and more tired while away and can make it difficult to get back into the routine when you return home. Many business travelers seem to have trouble fitting a workout amongst the bustle of business, but even squeezing in just 20 minutes each morning can leave you feeling more vibrant and ready to take on the day. If your hotel doesn't have a gym, create a workout space in your room – you don't need any equipment for sit ups, push ups and jumping jacks, and a chair can help you with squats while a pair of phone books can serve as weights. Many hotels also offer workout equipment that you can rent for use in your room.

Reduce Stress

From the tension of the workday to navigating an unfamiliar city, business trips introduce a wealth of factors that can send your anxiety levels soaring. However, there are plenty of things that you can do to calm your nerves while traveling. If you're feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to yourself and practice some deep breathing exercises. You might also try engaging in meditation in the mornings before you begin your day. Keeping your stress level low while out of town will not only allow you to conduct your work with a clearer head, but learning to mitigate anxiety in general can help you keep your heart, mind and entire body healthier.

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