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Frequent flying can wreak havoc on your health. As if the hectic schedules and jet lag aren’t enough, regular business travel puts you at risk for several serious health concerns. Increased stress, disrupted sleep cycles, poor nutritional choices all contribute to a less than ideal lifestyle, leaving you drained and often fumbling to let your belt out a notch – it’s clearly time to realign commitments.
Travelling derails you from your regular routine and interrupts your dietary and resting habits, but it need not cripple your productivity. Careful planning will allow you to retain your healthy habits abroad, and fire on all cylinders at all times.
Good advice for virtually any situation, good hydration is especially important when you’re on an airplane. Skip the alcohol and caffeine and up your water intake – it helps reduce jet lag, stops your REM cycle from going haywire, and also keeps your hunger hormones at bay!
Statistically, snacking accounts for nearly a quarter of our daily caloric intake so it’s vital that we have healthy nibbles around to tide us over until mealtime. Pack a couple of essentials such as protein bars, nuts, and apples to prevent any unhealthy eating at odd hours.
A colleague of mine always makes sure that the hotel she books houses a decent gym. Exercise helps with getting rid of jet lag, and of course, gives you a chance to work off the strawberry Danish you succumbed to at the breakfast buffet. Always pack exercise gear, even if you think you won’t get a chance to work out – if you do have some time left over, then you have a ready excuse to skip out on exercising.
While scheduling business meetings, try to get together over lunch rather than dinner. Lunches usually include comparatively lighter fare and smaller portions, and there usually isn’t any alcohol involved (if you’re doing it right). You can manage to avoid over-eating by choosing a salad and a sparkling water in the afternoon.
Wave the hotel Happy Hour goodbye and firmly resolve to hit the sack early and get some much-needed zzz’s. Sleep is vital to your productivity, and losing even an hour of it can reduce your productivity by 25 per cent the next day. Most hotels now have Quiet Rooms that you can take advantage of and make sure you’re well rested for the duration of your trip.
Take the road less travelled and forge an active and healthy path for your travelling companions – they’ll thank you for it too!