While traveling for work can at times be stressful, it can also provide a nice break from the day-to-day grind of an office job. Then again, breaks from routine can be a catch-22. When it comes to health, for example, experts often suggest the power of habit can be key to everything from a good night’s sleep to a nutritious diet a reality.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at three of the biggest hurdles to staying healthy on the go, along with tips on how to overcome them.
Beating Jet Lag
Switching between time zones can wreak havoc on some, with the World Health Organization listing everything from general sleepiness to reduced mental performance to indigestion as possible side effects. Beating jet lag is relatively simple, though. Besides making sure you’re well-rested before departure, the key is to get your body into the new rhythm as quickly as possible. More specifically:
- Begin the transition before you travel. As the CDC suggests, simply start going to bed an hour or two later than usual if you are going to be traveling west and reverse that shift if you’ll be traveling east.
- Once you get to your destination, resist the urge to collapse and take a nap as soon as landing and instead stay awake at least until an early local bedtime — even if it means you rise extra early the next morning.
Food plays a large role in health as well, but the phrase “eating healthy” is a vague one that likely has different connotations for each traveler. Regardless of what it means to you, the main suggestion remains the same: Be prepared. No matter how or where you’re traveling, preparation is the main ingredient to keeping the right stuff in your stomach.
- For starters, travelers hopping in the car for their business trip have it a bit easier since they can pack a cooler of fruits and veggies as some core eats, both for the travel itself and for staying full while at the new destination.
- Folks traveling via air should research what’s offered on their airline to gauge how much needs to be packed in advance in order to stay full without sacrificing nutrition.
- In both cases, keep your bag stocked with easy but healthy snacks to help combat compulsive buying food you might otherwise choose to avoid.
- Finally, it can be useful to research both the hotel and surrounding area before departing, especially for travelers with food restrictions. (And we’ve previously rounded up some of the best hotels for gluten-free eaters and vegans!) Hunting around for hotels that come with kitchens can also be smart for folks with more severe allergies or other dining out concerns.
When it comes to staying active on a business trip, it can be relatively easy to hit the hotel gym early in the morning. Such an experience can vary dramatically based on the quality of the gym, of course, but an alternative approach is to make physical activity an integrated part of the itinerary.
- To stay active even when you’re squeezing in meetings, try working in some destinations (perhaps a restaurant if no offices fit the bill) that are walking distance from your lodging.
- If the weather permits, suggesting a couple walking meets or more active meet-ups is another way to make sure a business trip doesn’t turn into hours sitting in stuffy conference rooms.
All in all, a little extra planning is most straightforward way keep healthy habits on-point even while doing business away from home. Get into the new routine as soon as possible, fuel your body with the right eats, and work some movement into the itinerary to keep a healthy foundation everywhere you go.