How to Stay Healthy on your Business Trip

We met after countless rain checks and re-adjustments of our calendars, eight months later. He was apologetic and the look on his face had fatigue written all over it. He had gained several kilos and his otherwise bright skin seemed sallow with zit marks. He used to smoke once in a while, however in the 15 minutes span we spent since our arrival in the café, he was already on his fourth cigarette. We ordered our drinks and settled into a conversation. After a few minutes, I couldn’t help blurting out, “What’s happened to you? Are you, okay?” His reply was pithy, “It’s the darned travel, Farz!” 

The backstory – he had been living in and out of suitcases for 2 years! He was away 23 days of the month and it had taken its toll. Setting up a new venture is not easy, I understand. I could see it reflected in the dull and tired person I saw slouched before me. Fitting in fitness while travelling on business can be quite challenging and hard to sustain. Studies show that business travel leads to higher health risks due to inactivity, changing time zones, chaotic sleep patterns, eating out and work-related stress.

There are a few ways in which one can strive to live a healthy lifestyle despite clocking thousands of air miles and the demands that go along with it. 

Plan your calendar of meetings to fit in a 15 minutes exercise schedule

This could be either before or after your meeting when you are at the hotel. It could be some light exercises like crunches, lunges, high jumps, a walk nearby or within the hotel itself, too. If possible, try to book a hotel with an in-house fitness facility.

Hydrate yourself

Make sure you are consuming water every 20mins. Set a timer, if need be. Don’t be shy to carry a water bottle like an accessory, everywhere you go. Trust me, your body will thank you for it.

Carry protein bars and a pack of dry fruits, in plenty

These are great for the gaps between meals or when you get those hunger pangs or satiate your desire to binge on snacks. Stock your room with your favourite fruits. Bananas and apples can be found in any grocery store across the world. Staying hungry for long hours can have the acids eat away your insides. Love yourself enough to keep yourself well-fed.


Log in to YouTube and pick any instrumental music that soothes you. It could be jazz, a bhajan or any chakra meditation. Ten minutes is all you need. Plug in your earphones and channel some inner peace, anytime – when you wake up in the morning or during the car ride to the meeting. You’ll walk into a meeting refreshed, clear-headed and revitalised.

More veggies, less meat

Choose healthier meal options. Consciously, opt for salads, fibre, local fish, soups and lighter meals. Skip heavy sides like fries or potatoes and those breads that leave you feeling bloated.

Practice “hara hachi bu”

It’s a fantastic Japanese concept where you do not overeat or eat enough not to be too full. You eat at 80% of your appetite. This keeps you light and nimble in the mind and on the body.

Limit alcohol intake

Lowering alcohol consumption will allow you to sleep better. You’ll be up and about, fresh as a daisy instead of being hungover or groggy in the morning. Another trick is nursing your drink, longer or diluting it.

Carry magnesium

Magnesium powder is a natural laxative and taking 2 teaspoons in water before retiring for the day is a sensible way to keep things normal while you travel. Your digestive system will thank you for it.

Choose a vibrant, hip-shaking alarm tune

This is a great pick-me-up to get you out of bed instead of the lazy temptation to hit the snooze button. You’ll dance away any blues that assail you in the wee hours and fuel your day with vibrant energy.

Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

Rest is extremely important so, do not compromise on sleep. Take those forty winks wherever and whenever you can. Your body and mind will bless you for it.

Stay connected with your loved ones, every day

Calling home and talking to your loved ones creates cheer and a sense of belonging even though you are far away. It will help ground those vacillating moods and feelings of loneliness. Communicate, laugh, share stories and be a part of their life.

Create a routine

Sustaining a routine when you are travelling is imperative for the alignment of your mind, body and soul. It keeps you focussed and centred. How you eat accounts for 80% of how you look and feel. 

So, even if you’re unable to squeeze in an exercise schedule. Do the best you can and implement these strategies to stay healthy on the road. 

Every bit you do will count. Make travel, a healthy lifestyle.

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