What is a food fitness traveler

This is how you stay fit and healthy on business trips

According to a 2018 study by the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, those who travel a lot have bad cards: Irregular sleep patterns, stress and unhealthy eating increase the risk of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. In addition, frequent travelers have more headaches, are more irritable and are even more prone to depression.

It takes willpower to get out of the trap of rush and stress. With a little know-how and the implementation of little tricks, however, it is quite possible to make business trips more stress-free and healthier.

Eating - fitness - sleep: these are your magic words

It is of course no secret that a balanced diet, exercise and adequate sleep keep you healthy. Nevertheless, it is very difficult for many people to heed this. For example, the number of heart attacks in Germany is increasing despite education (Deutsche Herzstiftung 2018). Especially in stressful situations, it is usually particularly difficult to stick to the good intentions.

However, if you observe a few important tips and tricks and really take them to heart, you can prevent many health risks and also do something for your health during your business trip!

1. Eat healthy in spite of the lack of food

How often have you resolved to eat healthier while on business trips? But when time is of the essence, the baker on the corner with his wheat bread and sweet cuts is too tempting - a quick roll and off to the next appointment. Despite the difficult conditions, you should not fall into the fast food trap.

Unhealthy eating harms our figure, but even worse, our vitality and wellbeing, and ultimately our health. Basically, you are doing yourself something good with a sugar-free, low-fat diet.

Especially when it comes to breakfast, you are the most autonomous when it comes to choosing food on business trips. This can look different at joint business lunches. Therefore, choose foods that are healthy and keep you full for a long time at the breakfast table so that you don't have to desperately reach into the cookie jar in the next meeting. Muesli with fresh fruit, yoghurt or wholemeal bread with egg should be preferred to wheat rolls with bacon, ham and cheese.

If you are invited to a restaurant for lunch or dinner, you can also choose from salads, lean meat or fish. Try to avoid or at least minimize the sandwiches, cookies or other snacks offered in between. Because there are usually too many calories, too much sugar and unhealthy fats that put a strain on your body. Healthy fats are essential for the body, so use mainly vegetable fats such as avocado and nuts.

Instead, take an apple, nuts, or yogurt with you. Once a healthy offer is completely lacking, you will not starve to death if you skip a meal. Always take a pack of nuts or a granola bar with you in case of an emergency.

The choice of drink is easy to implement on business trips. Who doesn’t know that, you get yourself a cup of coffee in the morning and a cappuccino in between, maybe an espresso at the customer’s home and if you get lazy in the afternoon, the whole thing starts all over again. Drink a lot of water instead of juices, spritzers or soft drinks and as much as possible. Do not use energy drinks, you would prefer to use natural ingredients such as black or green tea. The teein in tea has a longer effect than caffeine in coffee, does not puff and also does not damage the enamel of your teeth with acid. But be careful, too much coffee and tea make your teeth yellow

The choice is yours, but to reduce stress and sleep well, avoid regular alcohol consumption and caffeinated drinks in the evening.

2. Choose your accommodation in terms of sports facilities

Do you like to swim or do you like to ride your racing bike in your free time? Perfect! When choosing a hotel, your own health should be important to you. Many standard hotels have a swimming pool or gym. Plan your appointments so that you have some time to get your circulation going. Take a swim in the pool or get on a fitness bike. If there is no sports offer, you can also go running or for a walk or use the app on your smartphone in the hotel room to train to your favorite music.

Especially when you sit a lot, whether while driving or at a business meeting, it is particularly important to move around in between. Get a fitness tracker or a cheap fitness bracelet and set goals. For example, you could set a daily goal of 8,000 steps on weekdays.

Small things add up: take the stairs instead of the elevator, go to your appointments on foot. If you have some free time, rent a bike to explore the local area or to commute around town.

3. Get enough sleep

After a long day of appointments that probably required your full concentration or a late dinner with customers and business partners, it is not easy to find peace and quiet and get the sleep that recharges your inner batteries. If you get to the hotel early enough, it can help to use the wellness area, if available, and to relax with a sauna session. Alternatively, a warm bubble bath or shower is beneficial to simply unwind.

After a busy day, avoid answering e-mails and using your smartphone to organize your next working day. It is better to be inspired by an audio book, meditate via the app or listen to the playlist that has not been called up for a long time.

Try to create your own routine that works for you, even on business trips. Business travelers who travel a lot know in no time what they need to feel at home and relax in the hotel. A lot can be inquired about in the hotel. You can often borrow bathrobes and slippers from hotels, or ask for a room with a bathtub.

If you find it difficult to sleep after a stressful day, sleeping masks and earplugs often help to block out light sources and disturbing background noise. Or try a meditation app to help you fall asleep.

If you take these three health points to heart, you will make your business trips less stressful and much healthier!

What can your employer do for your health on business trips?

Not only you, but the company you work for should take care of your health as well. Because your employer has a duty of care towards you and must ensure both your safety and your health while traveling.

What measures can be taken in advance to ensure a smooth and pleasant stay?

In addition to the amenities in the respective accommodation, such as the fitness center or the healthy buffet, the employer should also keep an eye on the possibilities of medical care on site and clarify any necessary steps for an emergency.

Often there are already contacts in the target country who can provide information about customs and the current situation in the country. If you use this, you will have all the information you need at first hand.

Of course, it is also important to check your own fitness to travel, because those who travel with a weakened immune system usually return sick. Do not forget any vaccinations that may be necessary and a well-stocked first-aid kit.

Last but not least, it is advisable to take a look at the website of the Federal Foreign Office, which provides regular information on travel and security warnings.

You can read about what measures you should take if you do get sick despite all precautionary measures in our article Getting sick on business trips.

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