Simon Anderson, CitySuites’ resident personal trainer, shares his top tips for travellers on how to stay fit and healthy whilst working away from home
Point 1 – You’re out of your familiar environment…
At home you have built up a routine with everything you require at your disposal. You have your Nutri-bullet sitting pride of place in the kitchen, the gym classes down the road on the way to work, which you attend regularly, your fridge and cupboard are stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables.
When travelling with business, it becomes very easy to let that routine slip given that all of the above are no longer at your fingertips.
What to do: Plan ahead…
Know where you’re going and what’s on offer around there. In big cities like London and Manchester there will more than likely be a number of things on offer that will allow you to keep some form of your routine. For physical activity the rise of the flexible gym passes, such as Magnapass, MoveGB and Pay As You Gym, mean that whatever city you’re in you can get access to a class. If you’re lucky enough, you may even have a gym where you are staying so you can at least maintain some level of fitness while on the road.
For traveller nutrition, again look ahead. Are there any healthy restaurants in the area? Look at the menus and work out what the healthiest thing on the menu is for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In Manchester – Kettle Bell Kitchen takes the prize. Cross-Fitters flock to this popular health bar for some chicken, rice and steamed veg to make sure they’re hitting their macros.
This is difficult on a budget however, which is where being able to prepare your own food in the place you’re staying is really useful. Hotels simply don’t offer this facility so more often than not you’ll go downstairs and utilise their restaurant for breakfast and dinner. Cooked breakfast every morning, steak and chips for dinner.
All very nice but extremely calorie dense and full of bad fats, which is the enemy of most nutrition plans. This is again where CitySuites is fantastic for those looking to keep up their routine. The kitchen area provides you with everything you need to prepare fresh and healthy meals, a real benefit to those both on a budget and a strict nutrition plan.
Point 2 – Resisting temptation…
Going out with work colleagues who may be travelling with you is another factor to consider. By nature we are social creatures and business travellers can get quite lonely, so we often like going out for dinner and drinks with those we are working with. A friend of mine who often travels with work asked me for advice on this, complaining that she wants to be good when travelling with work and probably would be if she wasn’t exposed to the temptations of restaurant food and the exquisite wine list!
The phrases ‘Shall we have one more?’ and ‘Are you getting a dessert?’ are often far too tempting to resist in most cases, especially when you’re having a good time and you feel this is a reward for your efforts during the day.
So what can you do?
You could not to go out with them, but who would really choose that over the company of your work mates. An indulgent meal out is fine once in a while – it only becomes an issue when it is sustained for a long period of time. You could suggest an alternative, healthy social activity – there’s a great app called Meet-Up that has a huge number of groups and clubs that you can join based on your location. Laughing yoga followed by a healthy meal may be a great way to blow off some steam after a hard days work.
The main point for travellers is to plan ahead. See what’s available that mimics your already great routine and stick to it as much as possible. Don’t beat yourself up for not sticking to it because that could send you too far the other way and just accept the trip as a write off which it doesn’t have to be even if you do indulge a little, which is kind of the perk of business travel. Accept that it’s difficult and do your best to work around it with what’s on offer.
Simon Anderson is CitySuites’ resident personal trainer