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Top Tips for Healthy Business Travel – a guest blog by Sally Symonds author of “50 Steps to Lose 50kg . . . And Keep It Off”

Work travel is an inescapable part of many of our lives.  Whilst it has it rewards, there can also be some negative side effects.  At the last sphinxx Ascend development day in Brisbane, travelling for work was described as something that caused people to “over-work, over-eat, under-sleep and under-exercise”.  Sadly, for all too many of us, this is true.  Here are a few simple strategies that we can all employ to help ensure that we both live well, and work well, while we are away.

  1. Choose a hotel with a gym or heated pool, or one that’s near scenic walking / running tracks.  Try to maintain your usual routine by making whatever you do at home as easy as possible to do while you are away.  Remember to pack your workout gear as well, although some hotels provide treadmills in the actual rooms themselves so you can exercise in your pyjamas if you want to!  There are definitely no excuses then.
  2. Adapt your training—take the chance to try something different while you are away.  If you normally work out with a personal trainer, consider booking a session with a local PT on your trip, especially one who has access to equipment that you wouldn’t normally be able to use—for example specialised equipment such as kettlebells or trx. Exposing your body to new methods of exercise is one of the best ways to really maximise the effects of your workout because your body can’t rely on its “muscle memory” to do the movements.  It’s a great way to work your mind as well.  If you book and pay for an exercise session, you’re also much more likely to actually partake in it as well.
  3. If you are travelling for a conference and are provided with a list of several different accommodation options, consider selecting the one that’s the furthest distance from the conference venue.  That way, you can be assured of getting an extra long walk in every day.
  4. Schedule exercise time in your overall trip itinerary.  Your body needs it, but your mind can also use it, either to take a rest from all the events that are occurring while you are away, or to plan for your next move in negotiations!
  5. Remember that free drinks aren’t free of calories: keep an eye on how many you consume and how generous they are.   Note also that the “mini” part of mini bar doesn’t refer to its effect on your waist.
  6. Test hotel pillows and check blanket requirements well before it’s time to go to bed, and request any changes if necessary.  That way, you don’t have to wait for housekeeping to deliver new pillows prior to going to sleep, which means potentially missing out on that all-important shut-eye.  Sleep comes in waves . . . you need to catch one while it’s there to be caught.
  7. When dining out, don’t be afraid to ask for what you really want (such as no oils, extra vegetables and sauces on the side). When ordering room service, ask the staff not to include any little extras that may tempt you, such as warm bread rolls or after dinner mints.

While the primary focus of your trip may be business, you shouldn’t feel that you have to sacrifice your life at the same time.  A healthy you means a more productive you, and a more productive you gives you a greater chance of climbing the corporate ladder without raising too much of a sweat in the process!

About the author | Sally Symonds is the author of “50 Steps to Lose 50kg . . . And Keep It Off” and the director of her own Healthy Life Mentoring business which specializes in helping people lose weight and attain a work/life balance in time-efficient ways. Sally offers an online healthy life club, individual mentoring sessions and workplace transformations.  See for further information.

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