With 2014 right around the corner, here are some tips for achieving your fitness goals even when you’re on the road.
With the New Year right around the corner, many people are likely thinking about a resolution or two: maybe staying organized, a better work-life balance or one of the most popular, getting healthy! Focusing on a healthier lifestyle can be challenging anytime, especially in the super-size-it world we live in. However, staying healthy is even more challenging when you travel a lot.
Whether you are traveling for sales, project execution, or another reason, finding time to keep fit should always be a goal while you’re on the road. Unfortunately when traveling, oftentimes the day is long, and the last thing on your mind is any type of physical exercise. After the work day ends, the immediate agenda is often dinner, call the family, check email and then off to bed to do it all again tomorrow.
As a veteran in the material handling industry, I have had the pleasure of traveling around the world for many projects, but no matter where I am, I do my best to include exercise in my daily routine. Here are some tips for staying healthy while you’re on the road in 2014.
1. Getting started
If you’re a novice at exercising, no worries my friend: A simple walk is all it takes. If possible, take advantage of the treadmill in the hotel gym, or better yet, take a walk around the hotel to explore the area you are in. Don’t worry about speed at first. Start by walking for 20 to 25 minutes a day and work up from there.
2. Make it a habit
Consider this – the best time to get some physical activity is before breakfast or before dinner. To maintain consistency, pick the time that works best for your schedule and then try to stick with that same time every day to help pattern your activity. Don’t worry if you miss a day, just make sure to get back at it the next. Really work hard to make this a daily routine. You will feel rewarded and good about yourself once you have done 2 to 3 times over consecutive days.
3. Set goals
Once you’ve built a steady habit of daily exercise, begin challenging yourself by walking an additional 5 minutes. Continue to challenge yourself by adding time to your walk or even breaking into a jog. If you’re in the weight room, add a few more reps or some extra weight. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can improve your fitness level if you make a habit of working out. I also recommend logging your walking route by using a tool such as MapMyRun. There are many great tools and apps for tracking your activities and your diet, and they are a great way to track your progress and stay accountable.
4. Keep it exciting
Now that you are exercising, the next challenge is finding ways to keep it exciting. Doing the same thing every day can lead to boredom, which can derail your fitness goals. If you have focused on walking or jogging thus far, try incorporating some body weight exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, or jumping jacks. If you’re up for a bigger challenge, start training for a 5k or 10k. One way I keep exercising fun is to find a partner, whether it’s a colleague who’s traveling with you or a friend at home. You can also try swimming, biking, or other activities when possible.
The benefits of staying healthy on the road
The health benefits associated with exercising are tremendous: You will be more alert, have an increased metabolism, a higher energy level, and overall just feel better! After 3 to 4 weeks of looking back over your exercise logs and enjoying a healthier, happier you, you’ll have all the motivation you need to continue your fitness habit.
If you travel a lot for work, finding the time and motivation to exercise can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Follow these tips to create a habit of exercising, and you’ll be more confident and much healthier in 2014! Plus, everyone benefits – you, your employer and your customers!