Health Check – Internal Auditor – Travel

travel

If you’re a regular traveller like me (platinum this, diamond that, etc.), then you know there are many fitness pitfalls when you’re on the road.  In this article, we will discuss these pitfalls and approaches I use to manage each.

Access to Good Food

While I have to give the airports credit for getting better, they are packed wall to wall with bad food.  From fast food, candies, sodas, etc., I feel like I’m walking through a minefield as far as my healthy eating goes.  I don’t eat on planes (I don’t like how bloated it makes me feel).  So, I often arrive at a connection very hungry.  That makes the minefield even more lethal.  Once I’m at the hotel, there’s the bar!

How do I deal with this?

It takes planning.  I carry food with me.  Nuts, grass-fed beef jerky, and protein powers all travel very well.  You may get some strange looks (especially with canned fish), but it is well worth it when you get somewhere and can’t find good, healthy food.

Related Post: Health Check for Internal Auditors – Sugar

Access to Exercise Facilities

The fitness center that looks so great in the picture on the hotel’s website turns out to be a closet with old, broken equipment.  Or the hotel has no equipment at all.  You know your program is going to be disrupted.

How do I deal with this?

Again, it is planning.  I go online and find fitness centers close to my hotel.  I’m currently incorporating crossfit into my program.  I’ll email the box and schedule sessions as a drop in.  Most gyms and crossfit boxes have drop in rates.  Warning, drop in rates can be quite expensive, so check ahead.

Short of that, you can workout in your room and/or walk/run around the hotel.  I know it is often hard to get motivated to do these, but when your health is a priority, and you’ve planned for it, you can do it.

Sitting

Sitting on the plane, sitting in a cab, sitting on the train, and then worse, I’m away from my adjustable desk.  I know that traveling is going to force me to sit more.

How do I deal with this?

As I noted in my sitting article, I break up my sitting sessions by walking and moving.  I have a countdown timer with intervals on my iPhone that I use to break up my sitting sessions.

Related Post: Health Check for Internal Auditors – Sitting

Poor Sleep

Jetlag, strange place (bed, sounds, etc.), longer work days, all make it difficult to get good sleep while traveling.  I’d love to tell you than it is something you get better as you go, but you can’t train yourself to need less sleep.  You need what you need.

How do I deal with this?

I do my best to schedule my travel in a way that allows me to get sleep shortly after arriving.  I don’t like to arrive and then go directly into a meeting or work.  But it does happen.  I make sure I have eye shades and ear plugs so I can manage my environment (somewhat).  And I avoid alcohol and caffeine.  It also helps to get exercise regularly in my new location, get access to natural light conditions, and adjust my eating schedule to the new location as quickly as possible.

Related Post: Health Check for Internal Auditors – Sleep

Evermore Stress

Travel is one of the most stressful things we can do to our bodies.  Delayed flights, stale air, rude co-travellers, hurry up and wait.  Not nearly as glamorous as it seems to those who don’t travel for work.  Don’t get me wrong, I do see travel as a perk, but that doesn’t mean the getting there and getting back are fun.

How do I deal with this?

Proper eating, sleep and exercise all help.  Beyond that, I meditate (using headspace.com) and I make sure to take frequent breaks during the day.  I also tend to read more fiction and biographies while on the road.

Disruption of Habits/Routines

Being away isn’t only a problem for when you are away.  It is often difficult to get back into the flow (eating well, exercising, sleeping, etc.) when you return home.  Add to that some dehydration or other general ailment that comes with travel and you’re off the rails for quite some time after you get home.

How I deal with this?

Like I’ve said in other areas, you have to have a plan.  I prioritize my return in the following order: 1) Sleep; 2) Food; 3) Exercise.  I make sure I focus on my sleep first, scheduling time to sleep and recover.  I make sure I have good food at home so I’m not tempted to go out for food (I’ve likely been eating restaurant food while I was gone and I need to get back on track).  Then I work on getting back into the gym.  I do my crossfit early in the morning, so once I’m generally back from any sleep deprivation, I get back in the box.

Summary

If you take the time to plan, you can make travel less of a drag on your health and fitness.  Make a plan and stick to it.

 

If you liked this article, please follow my on Twitter at https://twitter.com/IA_Mastery, so you’ll know when I’ve posted a new one.

 

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *