Vacation travel can add a few pounds to the waistline. Regular business travel can wreak havoc. Client dinners, anyone? I’ve been a road warrior for years and I’m as fit as ever. Despite the odds, you can be too. To succeed, you must know how to get access to gyms across the country, navigate client events, and utilize certain tools of the pros. Let me show you how.
You probably belong to a gym at home, right? Did you know that many gyms participate in the IHRSA Passport Program? This program gives members of participating health clubs access to a worldwide network of over 3,000 clubs when traveling. In addition, as a member of a participating club, you automatically receive (at least) a 50% discount on the entry fee. Check out the IHRSA site for more info and a directory of participating club locations.
If you absolutely must work out in the hotel gym, check out this article on how to have an effective hotel gym workout.
Ben Franklin once said, “if you fail to plan, you have planned to fail.” In other words, if you’re already sitting in the restaurant, staring at a menu for the first time, you blew it! Look up restaurant menus before you travel. Identify protein-based dishes and avoid carbs. Preparation is also key. Chose grilled or baked over sautéed and fried.
If you are in a big city, or a city near the ocean, seafood is always a good call. Vegetarian dishes are typically another good choice. However, be wary of the what’s included with your greens. Is the chef filling out the dish with grains or sugar based dressing? Carbs come in many shapes and sizes.
The best course of action is to call ahead and ask specific menu questions. This way, you know exactly what to order before you arrive. This will save you the time when it counts. You want to be able to relax and entertain.
“If you’re already sitting in the restaurant staring at a menu for the first time, you blew it!”
Finally, identify 3-4 spots in the area that will impress your clients that also have menu items you can customize. Be proactive with restaurant recommendations and get to know the manager at ones you frequent. If you have a super picky menu request, do yourself a favor and make it in private. One strategy is to excuse yourself for the bathroom and tell the waiter away from the table. Or, as you get to know the manager, impress your guests and order, “my usual.”
Sitting on a plane leads to kinks. So does sleeping on a crappy hotel mattress. I roll them out with this foam roller water bottle that will also keep you hydrated.
Company sponsored food is almost always unhealthy. Skip the meeting room snack or catered lunch for something more nutritious. I throw a few of these spicy chicken sriracha bars in my briefcase for easy access. Mix and match with nuts for a meal in a pinch.
Finally, bring supplements! A multivitamin fills in any vitamin and minerals gaps in your diet. Also, a good whey protein helps you recover from exercise and build muscle. Look for an isolate that is easy to digest and blends in your foam roller water bottle. You don’t want to carry a milk carton around or have embarrassing gas in front of clients. I pack up two servings of protein powder & daily multivitamins in these babies.
The key to being fit on the road is to re-create (to the greatest extent possible) your home environment. With some planning and a few dual-purpose tools, you can conquer the road. You now know how to bring your gym with you, handle client dinners, and utilize some basic tools for travel success!