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6 Top Tips for Staying Healthy on Frequent Business Trips

Take these steps, and your chances of staying healthy as a frequent business traveler increase drastically. Smart eating, exercise, and stress avoidance all play into that equation. The more strategic you are on your trips, the better for you and your health.

  1. Dress comfortably

Unless you go straight from the airport to a meeting, don’t feel like you have to dress up for travel. Doing so can harm your health, especially if you wear clothing and shoes that don’t allow your body to breathe or forces you to sit uncomfortably for long periods of time.

Instead, don’t be afraid to dress for comfort. That includes sneakers rather than dress shoes and jeans rather than slacks. As long as you have time to change into your business attire after your arrival, nobody will bat an eyelash.

  • Plan ahead to eat healthy

Fast food restaurants tempt you with comfort food—a greasy burger or chicken tenders really hit the spot during a long layover. But that’s not the healthiest way to live, even if it is satisfying.

Skip those added calories by eating a full meal before you head to the airport and packing healthy snacks. Protein bars, nuts, dried fruit, and apples make for great on-the-go food that won’t leave you feeling guilty (or lethargic, for that matter).

  • Prioritize sleep

Studies have proven again and again that sleep is one of the most critical variables in staying healthy. If you don’t get enough sleep or rest during irregular hours, your immune system will weaken, and you will become more likely to catch an illness along with several potentially devastating long-term effects.

Getting that sleep, of course, can be challenging – mainly when you fly on red-eye. Still, it makes sense to plan, keep a routine as much as possible, and commit yourself to at least some down periods while in the air. Noise-canceling headphones can help block out distractions near you and help make the most out of your downtime.

  • Make time to exercise

Technology is a wonderful thing. With a smartphone and a fitness app (like 7 Minute Workout), you can turn your surroundings—a quiet airport terminal, your hotel room, a city park—into your own personal gym. In less than 10 minutes, you can burn calories and relieve stress without disrupting your day.

For the more fitness-inclined, plan an early morning or post-work workout in the hotel fitness center, most of which are open 24 hours and fairly comprehensive.

Whatever you choose, a good sweat goes a long way in keeping you physically and spiritually healthy.

  • Listen to your body

Only you know exactly how you feel. If you are feeling groggy or sense a cold approaching, take some time to ease back into work. Strongly consider taking a half-day before or after your business trip to allow for recovery.

You could also schedule to arrive in a city one or two days ahead of schedule. This not only helps you adjust to any time-zone change but also gives you the opportunity to add a bleisure element to your trip. Studies show bleisure travelers enjoy a better work/life balance than non-bleisure travelers and tend to be more focused on the road.

  • Avoid stress factors

Finally, it makes sense to avoid stress as much as possible during your travels. The more relaxed your body and mind are, the more likely you will be to stay healthy. Thorough planning is one way to take the stress off your mind, which includes booking the trip well ahead of time and planning out your spare time.

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