You already know that exercise is good for you, but it’s especially great when you’re coping with the packed schedule and exhaustion that can come along with business trips. A little endorphin boost can make all the difference in fighting off jet lag, raising your energy, and keeping your attitude perky when that afternoon meeting runs way longer than you expect it to. Here are a few simple ways to squeeze in more exercise on even the busiest of work trips.
Choose an active #bleisure weekend.
If you plan to extend your trip into the weekend for a little #bleisure, think about choosing a fitness-focused activity. Find an outdoorsy getaway near the city you’re working in, and treat yourself to a hiking or biking weekend out in nature. You’ll get your cardio in and you’ll get some seriously Instagrammable scenic shots. It’s a win-win.
Stretch, stretch, and stretch some more.
If you’re too busy for any full-on workout sessions, you can still find a few minutes for a good stretch. Stretching can ward off aches from cramped plane seats and keep your muscles feeling active so that you won’t miss a beat when you dive back into your routine at home.
Make use of hotel pools.
That gorgeous hotel pool is for more than just lounging next to. See if you can take a dip and swim some laps. If the pool is too small for swimming much of a distance, even some simple underwater leg lifts can do the trick. (Yes, you’ll feel like you’re in an awkward water aerobics class. No, nobody else will notice. Promise.)
Research before you land.
We’re talking a very simple ten-minute Google session on your flight, nothing complicated. Look up where you can work out in your destination, and then take a look at when you can squeeze it into your schedule. Then jot your workout onto your calendar. Just having those basic details figured out in advance means that the battle is half won.
Network while you sweat.
PSA: this tip is definitely hit or miss depending on your industry. Plenty of us in more buttoned-up fields would rather crawl into a hole than get red-faced and sweaty next to a straight-laced business contact. That said, if you work in a casual industry where this wouldn’t be inappropriate (PR pros and start-up founders of the world, we’re looking at you), grabbing a workout with a work contact is a great way to multi-task. Chances are, there’s a contact you really want to talk shop with who you only get to see on business trips. Invite them to the hip fitness class of the moment or on a run. Between reps or over drinks afterward, you’ll fit in a great networking session.
Make a YouTube playlist.
Next time you’re sitting on the couch watching Seinfeld reruns, pull out your laptop and start exploring the wide world of ~Fitness YouTube~. Browse around for bite-sized workout videos that catch your interest. (This includes trendy exercises like barre and Zumba, which are surprisingly abundant on YouTube for free.) Make yourself a playlist of your favorites. Congratulations, you’ve just created your own digital personal trainer for the next time you’re on the road and have exactly 20 minutes to burn some calories in your hotel room.
Channel your inner mall walker.
Next time you’re delayed at the airport, take a cue from those retirees who power walk through the mall in your hometown. Challenge yourself to see just how many steps you can take in the terminal, and press play on your favorite podcast to keep you company while you walk.
The most important thing to remember when exercising on the road is that all you can do is your best. You might not be able to spend as much time on fitness as you would at home, and that’s perfectly fine. No matter how busy you are, a few minutes of exercise is better than none, so give yourself some credit for any sweat you get!