Staying fit while travelling


A large number of the corporate people we deal with are frequent travellers and time after time at Aspria we hear the same complaints:

• I constantly feel tired and lethargic in meetings

• I feel drowsy and always dehydrated coming out of planes and trains

• I am sick and tired of airport food, eating out and too much alcohol

• I can’t maintain my exercise programme, lose motivation, feel stiff and often experience lower back pain

Planes, trains and extended time on the road can give an already sedentary lifestyle a push over the edge. More often than not, cramped into seats that have become increasingly smaller over the last few years or, dare I say, we have become increasingly larger. Overly air conditioned planes leave us feeling dehydrated; come winter time, these environments are fantastic places for spreading bugs and colds.

Then there is the food. It is nigh impossible to find healthy eating options in many airports and railway stations. Eating in hotels night after night can bolster the waistline – think of those business dinners, usually accompanied with an alcoholic beverage or two, followed by a trip to the hotel bar.

Overall, we’re neglecting vital components of well-being, such as sleep, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle balance. If you have some specific weight loss or sports or exercise-related goals, then this lifestyle is not going to help at all. It leads to frustration, poor performance and lack of energy and this will not help you reach your goals, or improve productivity or energy at work – something else to consider in this highly competitive age.

When you are stuck at the airport or railway station, look for a juice bar. Load up on water, not caffeinated drinks and limit sugary snacks. Think about whether you really need that airplane food. More often than not, it’s overly processed and laden with fat and you’re only eating it because it has been put in front of you. Find raw nuts or fruit to snack on, until you can find a healthier option – this will also help you maintain a more constant energy level throughout the day. Use the stairs, not the escalators, to keep the body moving. Sounds simple, yet it is noticeable how little people do this.

Set the alarm 15 minutes early. Focus on doing some stretching to get the body moving first thing in the morning. This will help mobilize the myofascial system of the body, which will no doubt be blocked and feel tight from travelling and sitting in business meetings. Even better, have a fitness expert give you an individualized hotel-based programme – this will hold you accountable and it can be tailor-made to suit your goals and time frames.

Try to make the best choice of what is available. Opt for salads, lean meat, poultry or fish, preferably grilled or baked as opposed to fried. No need for extra salt just because it is on the table. Limit creamy sauces or ask to have them put on the side. Replace the fries with vegetables. Cut out the bread, especially white bread. And ask you yourself whether you really need that desert.

Discipline is a key ingredient and depends on how much you want to achieve your goals, feel better, and improve work productivity and energy – if you want this badly enough, then self-control and willpower are necessary. However, by making some simple changes, you will instantly feel better. Find the motivational cues that keep you on task, focus on how good you feel when you do make the right choices and keep that in mind when the going gets tough.

Aspria has an expert team of trainers and specialists that will come up with bespoke Business Fit programmes for you or your company; don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out how we can help you feel better, increase productivity and maximize potential.