Some people love business travel and some loathe it. As a 15 year sales person whose been on the road for most of that time, I tend to waffle between “gotta have it!” and “meh.” When I’m home, I get bored and anxious to get on the road again where I find I get instilled with energy, ideas and my productivity skyrockets (including my sales J). When I’m heading out for a trip, I find myself longing to be back home with my family, my dogs and of course my treasured workout schedule.
Back when I used to be involved in triathlon, I would plan my hotels and meetings around where the available workouts were. I knew all the pools, spin classes and running routes in my territory and managed to keep up a 12 – 20 hour/week training schedule. I even took my killer Quintana Roo time-trial bike with me on several occasions! Of course, that was ten years ago and I often wonder how I had the energy to do all of that and still pull a 60 hour work week peddling mutual funds in New England.
These days, being based out of Southern California and having developed a triathlon-inhibiting appreciation for fine wine and an addiction to surfing, I’m happy to just keep up an hour-a-day workout habit while on the road. Since I can’t take the waves with me, I’ve found other ways to stay organized, efficient and primed to take advantage of a good sweat on the road.
- Use Technology to Lay Out Your Trip
Being on the road is stressful enough, and there are so many elements you can’t control (delayed flights, smelly cabs, last minute meeting cancellations). It took me years to manage my stress level by applying a pragmatic view to the wild and crazy things that happen on the road for business travelers – like the time United lost my luggage on a flight to Toronto (which United had made me gate check). My meeting was at 8am the next day, no time to buy new clothes. Or the other time I paid for extra leg room and got seated next to a person who was morbidly obese and wearing a diaper. I got some free wine on that flight!
These days, as much as I can control the start times of my meeting I set them so that I have enough time to get up, have coffee and get in a workout. I use apps likeMindBodyConnect and Gymsurfing to find a workout and sign up. Then I place the workout in my calendar with the address in the location bar, which then syncs to all my devices and I can just Google Map it when the time comes. Boom – easy! Simplifies my life and reserves my energy for more important things (like my workout).
- Plan Ahead for Nutrition
Being on the road usually means a poor diet. Even if you try your hardest, it’s hard to resist gourmet meals with clients and tasty treats from hotels. When I travel by myself, I scope out the local health food markets and not only keep my T&E down, but maintain my California healthy lifestyle J I also make all my own energy bars and bring them with me for healthy, substantive snacks to tide me over before my next meal. Check out this bookfor a plethora of homemade energy bars based on popular products on the shelves. Lastly, keep up your defenses by bringing along a liquid vitamin called BUICED that is conveniently packaged for travel.
- Workout with Your Clients!
I have clients all across the country, and many times instead of doing dinner or breakfast, we go for a workout together. I have one client in Santa Monica that we go open water swimming. Several here in San Diego that I surf with, another in Austin that we meet for the 6am hot yoga each time I’m there – Soul Cycle class in NYC with another. Again, you keep your T&E down, get to know your clients on a personal level and have some fun too! An added bonus – motivation to keep your physique slim so as to look as good as possible when you show up in your lycra J
- Invest in Videos
If you don’t have time to get anywhere for your workout, or none of your clients are interested in seeing you sweaty and salty (it’s embarrassing how much I sweat when I workout), invest in some videos you can play from your computer. I’m in love with theBeachbody videos – particularly the set that goes with the 21day Fix program. They are 30 minutes, and if you do the cardio based ones you can get in a really good intense workout – perfect if you are time crunched. Other online resources like My Yoga Online give options for maintaining your yoga or Pilates practice and not having to worry about finding a studio. You just have to worry about the ick factor of the hotel room carpet.
- Stay Organized!
Plan ahead with the exact workout clothes you’ll need. Map out your schedule to accommodate getting it in and not being late for your meeting. If you’re going from west to east, get up at 4am a day or two before you go so you can adjust to the time zone and not miss a workout. Organize your suitcase so all the workout gear and shoes live on one side, and your dress clothes and toiletry items live on the other. Check out cool products like this bag. If you have everything you need, you’re more likely to keep up your workouts and not kick yourself later.
Business travel is a lot of fun, and you get to see some really neat places and make some great memories. I still remember a beautiful run along Lake Onondaga in Syracuse, getting lost at Stone Mountain in Atlanta, CrossFit with a tough instructor in Palo Alto, surfing with my business partner in Cabo, early morning beach run in Fort Lauderdale, cycling around Lake Tahoe on a Thursday, running through the streets of Buenos Aires one early Sunday morning….making money, staying fit and seeing some beautiful places…all part of the good life!