The stress of travel can affect your immune system, so don’t let a case of the sniffles damper your big business deals. Business travel, in particular, wears on your body because you are whisked away from one destination to the next, with little time to rest. In order to keep yourself in tip-top condition during business trips, here are five tips for staying healthy on the road:
Watch what you eat
An on-the-go diet often consists of room service, fast food and airline snacks that can damage your short and long term health. Prepared meals, even in restaurants, are high in fat and sodium. Over an extended period, a sedentary travel lifestyle and an unhealthy diet can lead to weight gain or heart disease. You may miss necessary vitamins for maintaining your immune system. If you must eat out, opt for healthier options like salads or lean meats with whole grains. Make sure to choose foods high in antioxidants. Packed with vitamins C and E, these so-called superfoods include oranges, broccoli, nuts, carrots and papaya.
Exercise when you can
If you travel by car, train or plane, it’s likely you sit a lot, but stretching and stopping to walk around can help. In addition to keeping you active, occasional arm and leg exercises can help prevent any circulatory problems that arise from long stagnant periods. Some exercises include raising your knees to your chest, arching your back and rotating your ankles. Most hotels have gyms — a great place to engage in vigorous exercise.
Keep the germs away
Unfortunately, bugs and germs like to travel, too, but you can keep these pests away with a few simple preventative measures. First and foremost, wash your hands frequently, especially right before you eat. Most germs enter through your mouth and nose. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer around, just in case you have trouble finding a sink. You should also make sure to keep your commonly-used gadgets fairly clean. Wipe down surfaces like your phone, keyboard or tablet.
It may be uncomfortable to sleep on a cramped seat, but rest is one of the best ways to stay fit. The physical expenditure of traveling can take its toll on your body, and your immune system doesn’t work as well when you’re tired. In addition to unpleasant traveling conditions, jet lag is often a culprit for exhaustion. Bring some melatonin along to help you transition between time zones and ensure a full night’s sleep. Listen to audio sleeping meditations or nature sounds. Also consider an eye mask and ear plugs.
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is absolutely key to staying healthy. Flying on an airplane can dehydrate you, and with the bustle of business travel, it is easy to forget to stop and drink a cup of water. You should typically drink about eight glasses of water a day, but it’s advisable to drink more while traveling. To err on the side of safety, buy bottled water or carry around purification tablets to sterilize the water. Be careful what you drink. Soda, alcohol and coffee can dehydrate you even more.