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Workout Wednesday: Business Trip Edition

I had the whole hotel fitness center to myself on my recent business trip to Iowa City!

Greetings from Orlando!

As you read this first Workout Wednesday installment for October 2012, I’m either prepping for or in the midst of producing another shoot. Since this marks the second consecutive week I’ve traveled for work and have another trip in another city soon following this one, I thought it was the perfect time to share the basic survival tip that keeps my health and fitness routine in check while I’m on the road. It’s all about what you toss in your suitcase.

Along with being sure I have my production tools and TSA-size-approved plastic bag of toiletries, I always take a few extra minutes to throw in the following essentials to keep hunger and unhealthy snacking in check. The key is having one for each day of the trip:

  • Almonds: Lucky for me Trader Joe’s takes the guesswork out of counting out almonds for a proper serving size by selling the “Just a Handful” snack-pack. Having the correct serving size also prevents me from buying the jumbo bag at the airport and loading up on too many calories in one snack session.
  • Fiber One bars: I’m a big fan of the Chocolate & Oats variety.
  • Gym clothes: A pair of Under Armour gym shorts, t-shirt, sports bra and a couple of extra pairs of socks take up virtually no room in a suitcase, even if it’s a carry-on. I usually travel wearing my cross trainers to travel and pack my “cute” shoes. (It’s the best way to stay comfortable during flight delays, too!)

The few snacks provide me with no excuse to reach for something unhealthy if too much time goes by between meals thanks to a long production schedule. Also, getting up early enough to make sure I eat a healthy breakfast before the work begins is also crucial to making sure I have energy and remain focused on my work.

Remember, whether you’re packing for a quick business trip or overnight weekend escape, packing a few healthy essentials can help you have fun, be fit and feel fabulous – no matter where the road takes you!

Taking Fitness on the Road

Don't forget the workout wear!

The start of this new work week marks one that will include my first business trip of 2012. As anyone who travels for work knows, there’s no way I’d classify this as “luxurious” getaway. I’ll fly to Dallas Tuesday afternoon, pick up a rental car at the airport, drive to the hotel, eat dinner, prep for the shoot we’re producing for SC Johnson and then try to get some sleep before Wednesday morning’s early wake up call for a drive to a suburb called Flower Mound. (What in the world did we do before GPS?)

Tonight, as I pack my bag, there are a couple of things I’ll be sure not to leave behind: the notes for my shoot and my workout wear. While working out is obviously part of my routine during a normal week when I’m grounded here in New York City, getting some exercise is sometimes even more therapeutic when I’m on a business trip.  Breaking a sweat helps shake off the stiffness from sitting on an airplane. It also helps circulate that stale airplane air out of the lungs.

Chances are the gym at my hotel won’t have all the equipment I’m surrounded by at New York Sports Clubs. However, I’m pretty confident there will be an elliptical machine, treadmill or recumbent bike for some cardio and at least a handful of free weights or some kind of weight machine set up. If I’m lucky, there may even be a stability ball tucked in a corner. If you do get stuck in a hotel that doesn’t have even a tiny fitness center, here are some exercises you can do in your room that require no equipment at all:

As far as taking my healthy eating habits on the road, my rule of thumb is I simply do my best. Luckily, more airports are starting to offer healthier quick-grab items like salads and fruit for you to take on the flight or eat while you’re waiting for your connection.

Here are a couple of additional healthy-eating tips for my fellow business travelers:

  • Pack healthy snacks. Even on overnight trips, I keep raw almonds and a couple of Fiber One bars in my bag. If I can’t eat for a while because I’m wrapped up in the project, or if the food options aren’t optimal, at least I have a satisfying snack to hold me over for a bit.
  • Monitor portions. If meals are brought in for meetings or you’re going out for lunch or dinner (or both!), watch your portion sizes and perhaps choose to have a cocktail, but skip dessert; or skip an appetizer and a drink but indulge in something sweet after your meal.

The bottom line is there’s no reason to turn traveling for work into an excuse not to take care of yourself. No one cares if you break a sweat in a wrinkled t-shirt. So roll up those workout clothes and toss them into your overnight bag along with a couple of healthy snacks. With a little planning, your next business trip doesn’t have to take you on an unwanted detour from your journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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