Lying around your hotel room practically lifeless is OK for a couple days when you're on vacation, but business travelers can't afford to be sedentary every time they're away from home. Add health and wellness to your itinerary with these tips for perpetual travelers.
Running or biking is a great way to both explore a new city and get some exercise. Many cities (Cleveland, Minneapolis, Seattle and Chicago, to name a few) have networks of urban paths and trails. If you don’t know where to go, chances are somebody already mapped out a route on EveryTrail (iPhone & Android), an app with more than 400,000 trips you can follow via GPS. And instead of hailing a cab to a business meeting, consider borrowing a bike. New York, Chicago, Boston, Columbus and Washington, D.C. are just a few cities that now sport bike shares.
If you’re a gym rat, stay at a hotel with a fitness center like Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, or break a sweat without leaving your room. Leg squats, lunges, push-ups, jumping jacks, crunches and wall climbs are just a few basic exercises that can be done in the privacy of your suite (and you can do them all in under a half hour). Search YouTube for personal trainers (Penny Hoff is a popular one) who offer tutorials on the areas you want to target. Breaking a sweat in your hotel room is ideal — a clean, private shower afterward is yours for the taking, plus there are no witnesses to your animalistic, uncontrollable grunting.
Airport and airplane meals often have the nutritional value of a tire, so it's best to opt out. Eat before or after your flight, or pack healthy options to snack on — think sunflower seeds or trail mix. If you must buy a snack from the airport, scan its barcode with Fooducate (iPhone & Android) to learn its real nutritional value. If it doesn't make the grade, find a healthy alternative. Fruit works.
As for dining out, not all your options need to be deep fried. Use Food Tripping (iPhone & Android), a GPS-based app, to find healthy eateries, juice joints, farmer's markets, artisanal bakeries, microbreweries, organic coffee spots and more. Who knows? You might even be able to use the app to impress your business colleagues with the locally-sourced meal of their dreams.
And obviously, don’t skip breakfast if you want enough energy to stay awake through that boring business meeting. Make the most important meal of the day easy by booking a stay at a hotel that includes a hot breakfast (Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott offers scrambled eggs, sausage, fresh fruit and more).
Staying fit isn’t easy, especially when you're faced with long hours sitting on planes and in office chairs. But with a little effort, it is possible to make staying healthy your business.
Libby Zay is a Baltimore-based traveler and writer.