Let’s face it; business travel is no cakewalk. It might sound exciting, and it is as you get to meet new people, explore new places, and hone your skill. However, it also involves hours of traveling, working round the clock, attending meetings and conferences, and interacting with new people to accomplish their business travel goals.
Consequently, long working hours during a business trip can negatively affect your well-being and health. Moreover, factors such as improper meal timings, jet lag, delayed flights, and unfamiliar environments can also contribute to stress. And if you fall sick, it can impair your job performance, and you may not be able to achieve your business travel goals.
Hence, it is imperative that you, as a business traveler, must take care of yourself during business travel.
Listed below are some of the tips on how you can achieve business travel wellness.
To learn more about business travel wellness tips, read on.
According to Forbes, 44% of business travelers are more likely to eat unhealthy food during their business trip than at home. During business travel, delayed flights, hectic meeting schedules, long hours of journeys, etc., can be a barrier to eating healthy. So, you end up eating junk foods such as pizzas, pasta, burgers, fried chips, etc., to curb hunger. However, eating these while traveling can make you sleepy, sluggish, and sometimes even nauseous.
Stocking up on healthy snacks is one of the best ways to stay healthy and ensure business travel wellness. You can carry some roasted nuts and seeds, energy or protein bars, and cereals which are great alternatives to fried food items and sweets. You can also purchase seasonal fruits on the way to the airport or order a vegetable sandwich. They are loaded with nutrients that will help you stay active throughout your business trip.
Business travel includes hectic schedules. You may sometimes skip breakfast to catch an early morning flight or attend a meeting. However, research shows that skipping breakfast regularly can cause several health problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. It also leads to increased hunger, thus, leading to consuming large portions of food the rest of the day.
A vital business travel wellness tip is to eat your breakfast daily. Breakfast is an important meal of the day. It would help if you ate a nutrient-rich breakfast such as oatmeal, fruit salads, a vegetable sandwich, wheat bread with peanut butter combined with fresh fruit juice, or protein-packed smoothies. If you do not have enough time, you can eat a bowl of cereal and drink a glass of milk. A healthy breakfast gives you the energy to carry out your daily business activities.
Business travelers often indulge in local cuisines and eat outside while traveling. Binging on all pastries, desserts, local savories, and sweetened beverages can cause carbohydrate overload. Overindulging in carbohydrates leads to bloating, mild weight gain, and digestive discomfort, which are signs of unhealthy eating.
Hence, sticking to a balanced diet during your business travel is very important. You must incorporate fruits, vegetables, high-fiber food, or meat in all your meals to help you be full for a long time. This enables you to reduce impulsive food decisions, often leading to unhealthy eating habits.
You are away from your regular gym workouts or early morning exercise routine during business travel. Unlike your regular days, you don’t get an opportunity to work out, making you feel inactive and tired. It also causes physical and mental exhaustion, and further hampers your focus on business travel activities.
A workout after long flight hours or a long day stuck in a boardroom can work wonders. Hence, you should prefer a hotel that provides gym facilities. Most hotels will have a gym with basic amenities such as a treadmill, exercise bicycle, and a few weights. You can also book hotels with swimming pools or better workout facilities. This is a great way to start your day or unwind after a long day.
Sometimes, you may be unable to book a hotel with gym facilities. When there are no gym facilities, you tend to skip your regular workout and end up staying in your room for long hours. Staying within the four corners of your room can make you anxious and restless.
You can avoid this by doing minor workouts every day. Some of them are-
Following this business travel wellness tip will help you stay active and healthy without missing out on workouts.
One of the most challenging parts of frequent business travel is time spent away from home. You are away from your loved ones for many days during your business trip. You may not even be able to communicate properly because of different time zones or hectic work schedules. There will be days when you miss your home food too. These factors can help you feel low, isolated, stressed, upset, and sometimes even frustrated, affecting business travel wellness.
Keep some free time when planning a business trip to call your friends and family. If you spend time talking to your friends, your mood will be lifted, and you won’t feel lonely or stressed. Friends and family will provide emotional support, especially when you are feeling low, which creates a sense of belongingness and improves your mental health.
Business travel often includes employees sitting for long hours in a meeting room or working continuously on their laptops. However, sitting for prolonged periods or increased screen time can cause several health complications, such as neck and back pain, strained eyes, less blood flow, sore shoulders, and stiff leg joints. According to WebMD, sitting for too long increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
To avoid such health risks, you must increase your mobility. Some of the ways in which you can increase your mobility are:
Most employees often forget to drink water while traveling because of hectic schedules. Not consuming enough water causes dehydration, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, cramps, and worsening jet lag. Also, if you are traveling via flight, the air cabins have low humidity, as air in high altitudes is completely devoid of moisture and can cause dry throat.
The Aerospace Medical Association suggests that you must drink around 8 ounces of water every hour you are in the air. To avoid dehydration, always ensure that you carry your own water bottle with you while traveling. Coconut water is a good replacement, as it is natural and loaded with electrolytes and nutrients. While it is easy to be drawn to carbonated drinks, you must completely avoid drinking them as the sugar content causes excessive hunger and binging.
During business travel, your work schedule is packed throughout the day. You must attend various meetings and conferences, meet new people, and go for lunch/dinner with clients at different times. Because of this, you may not get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can be frustrating and adversely affect your mind and body, causing symptoms such as nausea, irritable mood, forgetfulness, inability to focus, headaches, and many more.
One of the best business travel wellness tips is to get a sufficient amount of sleep. You must get at least 7-9 hours of sleep to stay active and productive. To get a night of good sleep, you must:
You must also ensure to get enough sleep the night before flight takeoff and plan your business travel itinerary to give you enough time to rest.
Business travel is unpredictable. You have to travel to various destinations with varying climatic conditions. There are high chances that you can become susceptible to various illnesses. Under such circumstances, if you don’t carry your medicines, your health condition may aggravate, and you may not be able to travel or carry out business travel activities.
Therefore, it is crucial to be prepared and carry your own medicines to ensure business travel wellness. You must carry medicines for common illnesses such as colds, coughs, fever, motion sickness, food allergies, etc. If you feel under the weather, you can immediately pop up a pill without visiting the doctor or running to a medical store. Ensure to carry your medicines in sufficient amounts, so you don’t run out of them.
Maintaining personal hygiene can be quite challenging. While traveling, you come in contact with various people and surfaces. Hence, infectious diseases can spread easily when you share common spaces like toilets, gyms, and escalators. The surfaces may not be clean, or germs are released into the air when people around you sneeze or cough.
You can avoid contracting any disease by prioritizing your personal hygiene. Here are some ways you can do this:
When you go on a business trip, you put in a lot of effort to complete your tasks and achieve your trip targets. Too much workload can sometimes affect your mental and physical health, leading to stress and burnout.
Therefore it becomes essential to include activities in your trip that relieve stress.
You must indulge in leisure activities such as swimming, sightseeing, camping, shopping, and experiencing local culture after a long and tiring day. Indulging in these activities lower stress levels, boost happiness, and promote good mental health.
Another important business travel wellness tip is incorporating bleisure travel, where you can combine business and leisure activities in a single trip.
Whether you are a road warrior or a first-time business traveler, there is no doubt that business travel can make you feel stressed out. From the time you board a flight, land at a new destination, take a cab to the hotel, get ready, and head to a business meeting, you are constantly on the go. Between all these, you should also respond to emails and get on calls with your manager or colleagues to discuss work. These factors can elevate your anxiety and affect business travel wellness.
The easiest way to overcome stress is by integrating meditation into your routine. Research has shown that meditation can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and builds resilience. When you wake up in the morning, spend at least 5-10 minutes alone meditating. If you find it difficult to meditate early morning, try meditating at different times to see what feels best for you. Meditating restores your body and mind to a calm state and prevents any effects of stress.
The thought of packing itself is enough to stress you out amidst all the preparations you should make for a business trip. You must pack all the critical office documents, files, electronic gadgets, travel documents, shoes, and clothes. You also have to think about various situations and pack accordingly.
For instance, you must carry formal attire for business meetings, casual attire for sightseeing, swimwear for swimming, and others. With so many things to pack, you may get confused, stressed, or simply forget to pack essential items.
Preparing a packing checklist is a good practice to avoid confusion and stress. One or two weeks before the trip commences, make a checklist of all the items you need to pack.
Include all the essential items you will require for the trip in the checklist, and you can tick them off while packing. Ensure the item you forgot to carry last time is included in the checklist. Preparing a checklist will help you pack right, avoid last-minute packing, and achieve business travel wellness.
During the business trip, you may face challenges such as deprived sleep, health issues, poor diet, and lack of opportunity to exercise. You are away from your regular routines, away from home and fitness clubs, because of which you may end up not working out or eating nutritious foods. This, in turn, can make you feel lazy and sluggish, affecting your travel experience and productivity.
A good business travel wellness tip is downloading wellness apps on your phone. Most wellness apps are available on both Android and iOS and are free of cost. There are various apps for what to eat and drink while traveling, stress management, water intake, yoga, dance fitness, counting steps and calories, motivation, sleep cycle, and many more. Using these apps during your business trip will ensure you follow a healthy routine while you are away from home.
During business travel, you have to attend long hours of meetings, travel to various locations, meet new people, interact with clients, and many more. Amidst all these, you often neglect your well-being and health. Following the above-mentioned business travel wellness tips will help you be healthy while traveling.
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