Pre-baby, I traveled constantly for work. There were times where I’d be on the road as much as two weeks a month. Since my son was born and I went back to work, while not away as much, I still do travel at least once a month – mostly to D.C., where I used to live and where most of my clients are.
Even though I don’t have to juggle fitness with child rearing when I travel, I’m usually working crazy hours. This, combined with the general exhaustion of air travel, presents a unique set of challenges. That said, it is still completely doable to fit in some fitness to break up the monotony of meetings, airports and hotels.
- Use time changes to your advantage – Since I live in Central time, though work Eastern time hours, I have to get up before anyone else in the world to work out in the morning. When I’m the East Coast, I’m able to wake up at my normal time, get a great workout in and still make it to the office on time and alert for the day. Getting it in first thing is essential so I can work late, grab dinner with friends and not come up with an excuse to skip.
- Multitask exercise and sight seeing – Sight seeing during work travel is always a luxury, but can happen. A few years back, I was in San Diego for about 24 hours for work. Not letting the opportunity pass me by, I laced up and ran through UC San Diego to the ocean. It was the only hour of free time I had during the trip, but I was able to pack in gorgeous sights and running. If you aren’t a runner, a nice walk or outdoor boot camp can always do the trick.
- Stay in the room – Sure, you can slog it out in the hotel gym, but there’s a ton you can do it your hotel room. Usually in the mornings, if I’m not running, I pull up some Jillian Michaels on my iPad, using full water bottles as weights. There are also some great apps that cater to folks with limited time and equipment (Nike Training Center tops my list).
- Do mini workouts – One of my favorite mottos is 10 minutes is better than no minutes. There are work trips where I just don’t have the time or energy to get a longer workout in. When that happens I try to fit in smaller bursts of activity throughout the day. This will usually manifest as a short HIIT workout in the morning, a short walk during lunch and some ab work/planks before bed.
If you’re like me, which is extremely routine-oriented. Work travel can definitely upset this balance. Fortunately, you can use it as an opportunity to try new things, see the town and ultimately stay sane throughout all the stress.