22 Easy Ways to be a Healthy Road Warrior

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Business travel can be hard on the body. Adopt some of these simple tips to feel, sleep, and perform better while on the road – and after you get home.

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22 Easy Ways to be a Healthy Road Warrior

  1. 1. 22 Easy Ways to be a Healthy by Jen Waak / Keyboard Athletes Road Warrior
  2. 2. • If you need your creature comforts, pack a big bag and plan the time and budget to check it. ! • If the idea of checking bags stresses you out, go light and make use of the hotel laundry service. Bring What You Need The key is to bring whatever you need to be comfortable — travel is stressful enough.
  3. 3. Choose Extended Stay Hotels • Onsite laundry • In-room kitchenette/ microwave/fridge • Bigger rooms • No pastry-filled continental breakfast You’ll eat better, save valuable time, and stretch your travel dollars further. Pro Tip: Book a hotel near a grocery store to eliminate any excuses.
  4. 4. Plan Your Workouts • What does the hotel “fitness center” look like? • Does the hotel have a pool? • Are there running trails nearby? • Is there enough space in your room for an in-room bodyweight workout? ! P.S. Don’t forget to pack appropriate workout clothes. Even if you think you don’t have time, you never know when your schedule may free up Planning is half the battle; 10 minutes is better than nothing.
  5. 5. Manage Airplane Turbulence Close your Eyes Closing your eyes removes the visual system from the picture, which will help alleviate motion sickness. Breathe Deeply Breathing deeply will reduce anxiety and, frankly, give you something else to focus on. Hate the “bounce” as much as I do? Two tips:
  6. 6. Bring a Water Bottle Pro Tip: Fill your bottle AFTER you get through TSA. Yes, I know you know that, but I’m constantly astonished by how many people make that mistake. Planes and hotels are both notoriously dehydrating. By carrying a water bottle with you not only will you be doing something good for the environment, but also your body. Carry it with you. Keep it full.
  7. 7. Get Plenty of Sleep Work and social demands mean that business travel is frequently exhausting. But, the cognitive benefits of a solid night’s sleep can make the difference between a successful business trip and an unsuccessful one. Know what you need at home to wake feeling refreshed and adjust your travel schedule similarly. 7-9 hours is the recommended magic number
  8. 8. Pack Snacks Travel-Friendly Options • Apples • Oranges • Hardboiled eggs • Bell pepper slices • Crackers and peanut butter • Mixed nuts • Trail mix • Protein bars Be ready for travel delays and poor airport / airplane food by bringing your own
  9. 9. Have a Positive Attitude • Being cranky won’t change the outcome — or can make things worse • You catch more flies – and first class upgrades – with honey than vinegar • Everyone is doing their best Staying relaxed and calm reduces your anxiety, your stress levels, and your blood pressure — and does the same to those around you.
  10. 10. Breathe Deeply Whether it’s because you hate to fly, are having a turbulent flight, there is an unruly or loud child in the seat behind you, or you are now 3 hours delayed, flying can be stressful. ! Deep breaths will rebalance the oxygen / carbon dioxide levels in your blood, dampening down cortisol and the other stress hormones. ! And, if you happen to get headaches from flying, it may help that as well. Reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, induce calm
  11. 11. Skip the Redeye Most of us lose far more time being “awake” in a sleep- deprived state than if we just flew during daytime hours and used that flight time to get work done. Great idea in theory, lousy idea in practice. We arrive dehydrated, sleep-deprived, and grumpy.
  12. 12. If You MUST Redeye • Get a window seat and put a jacket or pillow against the side of the plane. • Consider earplugs and an eye mask. • Bring a blanket or other cover-up. Tips to make the most of a tough situation: • Do as much of your pre-bed ritual as possible to signal the body that it’s bedtime. • Don’t drink a lot of fluids prior to the flight. (This one is a bit of a tricky balancing act — enough to stay hydrated, little enough so you sleep.)
  13. 13. Go Off Menu • Corn tortillas for flour • Veggies for fries • Gluten-free bread for regular • Baked vs fried Pro Tip: Many restaurants now have separate gluten-free menus or can provide an ingredient list upon request. Don’t assume how “nice” the restaurant determines their ability to help — the worst that happens is they say no. Some substitution ideas to get you started: • Cream sauce or dressing on the side • Lettuce wrap for burgers and sandwiches
  14. 14. Banish the Bedside Alarm The light emitted from a bright clock can be enough to suppress melatonin production, the hormone that is largely responsible for helping you drift off to sleep. ! Get it out of your line of sight. Unplug, turn it over, or put it under the nightstand
  15. 15. Use a Travel Humidifier Helps with sore throats, stuffiness, and dry eyes from travel. Pro Tip: You can pick up a reasonably-priced, ultra-portable travel humidifier at your favorite online shopping site. Hotels have a high level of that “dry, forced air” feeling that all large buildings are subject to. ! The problem is that when we travel we don’t get our normal end-of-day break from the forced air that we do at home.
  16. 16. Travel in Comfy Shoes Pro Tip: If you really don’t have a choice, then stay hydrated and keep your legs and feet moving. Ditch the dress shoes! ! Your feet swell during a flight, and even the most comfortable dress shoe quickly becomes too tight in that situation.
  17. 17. Block out the Noise White noise app suggestions: • Simply Noise • White Noise • Sleepy Sounds • Music Therapy for Sound Sleep • White Noise Ambience A white noise app or earplugs can help You will drown out the low-level noises around you while still being able to hear the alarm in the morning.
  18. 18. Drink Moderately When we drink during travel we are more likely to suffer ill effects — be it a case of bad judgment or a more severe hangover the next day. Moderation is your friend. Pro Tip: Forget the “drink to sleep better” myth. Studies show that one drink will help you sleep. Any more that that disrupts the sleep cycle. Travel and drinking both stress the body
  19. 19. Sleep: Cool & Dark Room Dark Room A dark room signals the body it’s time to sleep and enhances melatonin production. (Melatonin is the hormone that helps you drift off to sleep.) Cool Room “The thermal environment is one of the most important factors that can affect human sleep.” 60-67 degrees is ideal for sleep. The two most important sleep habits
  20. 20. Stay Connected I’m talking about friends and family here, not the interwebs. ! After a long and difficult day on the road, there isn’t much better than a video chat with your favorite someone to relax you, remind you of what is important, and show someone you care.
  21. 21. Stick to What You Know • Keep the same sleep schedule • Do the same workouts • Eat the same kinds of foods • Don’t break in new shoes • Use the same tools and technology • Stay at the same hotel chain If you are expected to perform your best, try to:
  22. 22. Take Time to Recharge Some ideas to recharge so you show up as your best self: • Go for a walk • Call a friend • Work out • Sit in a coffee shop • Write or journal • Watch your favorite show/movie Know what you need and make time for it
  23. 23. Create a Commute • Stay at a hotel that isn’t the conference hotel • Park further away • Go for a walk before heading to your room • Walk to the conference via the scenic route Build in a few minutes of movement at the beginning and end of the day to stretch the legs and give the brain a chance to transition.
  24. 24. Want more like this? Get the Time & Energy Action Guide as an instant download! Sign Me Up! About the Author Jen is the founder of Keyboard Athletes and a human performance coach whose passion is helping people reclaim lost time and energy to perform at the top of their game and do what they love. She is a Results Certified Coach, Z-Health Master Practitioner, and Precision Nutrition coach with over two decades of experience as a coach, consultant, and mentor. Author of the Keyboard Athletes Guide to Pain Relief & Prevention, Jen lives, works, and trains in Seattle, WA.
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