Do you travel regularly for work? I have been there. As a former management consultant, I would get on an airplane twice a week, every week. I knew the NYC terminals like the back of my hand. The barista at Starbucks was convinced that I worked at JFK airport because I was there so often. I flew coast to coast regularly and changed time zones on a weekly basis.
I came into consulting as an experienced hire. While I was very excited to start my new job, I knew it involved regular travel. A healthy lifestyle is something that I really value so I was concerned about being able to make healthy choices away from home. It definitely took some trial and error, but I learned a few hacks that helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling for work. In this post, I will share six ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling for work.
1. Pack Healthy Foods
If you fly regularly, you know that the airport doesn’t have the healthiest food options. The food options on the plane usually aren’t any better. So come prepared! Checkout my post 5 Healthy Foods to Pack When You Fly for some nutritious snack options that are travel-friendly.
If you have a long flight, consider packing a meal. I personally like to bring some sort of to-go salad with me on flights. You may be thinking that you don’t have time to make a special trip to grab a nutritious meal prior to flying, but you don’t have to! In the days before you travel, you are likely going to go grocery shopping or get some kind of meal. Plan ahead and use that opportunity to grab a healthy meal for your upcoming flight. This will help alleviate the stress of making healthy food choices when you are at the airport. One of my favorite travel hacks is using frozen grapes or another frozen fruit as an “ice pack” and an insulated bag to keep the meal cool until you are ready to consume it.
2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Flying is very dehydrating, so make sure you not only hydrate on the flight, but before your flight as well. I like to bring my reusable, Swell bottle with me everywhere that way I don’t have to purchase bottles of water. Fill it up before you board and you’ll be all set for your flight.
3. Research Healthy Restaurants
Before traveling to a new location, do your homework. A couple of days before traveling, I spend an hour researching healthy restaurants in the area. I also check for grocery store options. That way when I arrive, I know exactly where to plug into Google Maps and can avoid the stress of worrying about where to get a healthy meal. I do the same thing with exercise. I personally like taking exercise classes, so I research local studios beforehand. If they are on classpass, even better!
4. Exercise In The Morning
Work days can me unpredictable. If a workday is running longer than expected, you don’t want to stress about missing the evening workout class you had scheduled. Similarly, an unexpected team dinner or happy hour could come up. So you don’t stress about getting your daily exercise in, try exercising in the morning. Working out in the morning eliminates the stress of trying to squeeze a workout in later in the day.
5. Get Into A Routine
Often work travel can be an excuse to eat out, have an extra glass of wine, and take a week off of exercising. But if you’re traveling regularly, it can be challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The most important thing I like to do when I travel is act like I’m at home. I go grocery shopping for the week or pickup multiple meals at a time from a local restaurant. That way I have a hotel mini fridge full of healthy foods and don’t have to make individual trips to get every meal . Most hotels have mini fridges in their rooms and if not, most hotels will bring one to your room upon request. So take advantage of this and keep meals in your mini fridge so you can avoid the stress having to get every meal.
6. Eat Like You’re At Home
When traveling for work, it may be tempting to tack on a dessert (or two) to your food order. While there is nothing wrong with eating dessert every once in awhile, it may not be something that you want to add to your daily routine. Instead, try to stick to eating the way you would normally eat if you were at home.