The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that Americans make more than 405 million business trips each year. Whether these business trips are 250 miles from home, which is most common, or they are 1,000 miles or more from home, which accounts for about 7 percent of the trips, it’s important that business travelers do all they can to remain healthy. The last thing that employers need is for those they send on trips to come back home sick, creating a loss of productivity in the days that follow.
“It’s common for business travelers to come home feeling sick, stressed, or having gained weight during their trips,” explains Jayne McAllister, of Jayne McAllister Travel Wellness. “That just adds to the cost of the business trip and results in less work being done. The good news is that much of this can actually be avoided.”
Here are some tips that McAllister offers that can help keep travelers healthier:
- Watch the food. It’s easy to grab things as you are walking through the airport, but they may be options that are loaded with fat and calories. Watch the snacks, opting for healthy choices even if you have to carry some fruit and nuts with you. Also, depending on where you go there may be some places where it’s safer to avoid raw foods, street vendor foods, and to also stick to factory bottled drinks.
- Keep exercising. Maintaining an exercise program prior to your travel will help you do better while traveling, too. During your traveling it is important that you still keep exercising. Look into the hotel gym, pool, nearby gym, or even consider going for a walk or jog around the area where you are staying.
- Stay hydrated. Be sure to get enough water during travel. Your best bet is to take a bottle of water on the plane with you, but purchase it after you have already made it through the security gate. Even better, purchase a reusable bottle with a built-in filter that you can use while traveling.
- Clear your mind. Business travel can be a cause for a lot of stress. Do something to help reduce the stress. In addition to the exercise, other good options include meditating, journaling, taking a walk, or reading.
- Mind the germs. Frequent hand washing is going to be your best option for fighting the germs. They are most commonly found on the plane tray tables, in the bathroom, and on the hotel room remote control. Consider taking a couple of antibacterial wipes to clean those things off before using them.
- Sleep tight. Getting proper rest is essential when it comes to stress reduction and helping to keep your immune system strong. Seek out comfortable accommodations and ask for extra linens if they are needed.
- Plan ahead. Those who spend a good portion of their time traveling for business should plan ahead to ensure they remain healthy. They can scope out where they will stay, exercise, and even make a list of restaurants in the area offering healthy meal options.
McAllister provides corporate wellness assistance to those companies with business travelers who spend 30 percent of their time, or more, on the road. She specializes in such training issues as weight loss for travelers, healthy eating while traveling, ergonomics for the traveler, functional exercise, jet lag recovery and avoidance, sleep quality, and nutritional cleanses. She has also created Dine Out Lose Weight, a 21-day guide for dropping weight without setting foot in the kitchen. For more information on her services, visit the site at: www.jaynemcallister.com.