Sport and travel: a winning combination

Our top tips for mixing business with sporting pleasure during any business trip.

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Complicated journeys, stressful presentations and long meetings: business travel often translates to seemingly endless, exhausting days. We all know that exercise can provide the perfect antidote to all that stress and pressure.
But how do you find the time to make use of the local facilities — or even track them down in the first place?

The benefits of exercise when you're away on business

We're all familiar with the general benefits of exercise. But when it comes to business travel, you'll find that some more specific advantages are on offer.
Aside from the relaxing effects, exercise can also help to offset those long, indulgent business lunches and dinners — especially those enjoyed late in the day.
We know that exercise boosts our motivation and mental health, but it also presents a fun and unique way to discover your surrounding area, seeing the place in a different light. Jogging along Barcelona's beach or setting a comfortable pace through New York's Central Park would give anyone an energy boost!  

Organisation is key

Fitting exercise around your commitments:
The benefits are unquestionable, but finding the time for exercise is not always so straightforward. If you're working on site for a few days, you'll almost certainly find a little room in your schedule if you're organised. Establishing an early-morning exercise routine will likely mean that your daily meetings run to schedule, plus you'll feel more than ready for them! Make use of a diary: when you're away from home, you'll need extra motivation to get up and get moving.

The best time to exercise:
Jetlag can cause you to wake up earlier when you've travelled west, and requires a little extra recovery time when you head east. Rather than tossing and turning if you can't sleep, make the most of this time by getting your heart rate up. Early-morning exercise will invigorate you for the day ahead, and evening exercise will help to relieve the stress of the day. If you don't have early meetings, stock up on dried fruit, get hydrated and lace up those trainers. Don't eat large, sugary breakfasts before exercising: blood sugar peaks ahead of exercise are to be avoided.

Packing your sports gear:
When you're packing your suitcase, tuck a pair of trainers and some suitable sportswear in among all those professional ensembles. Pack carefully and they shouldn't take up too much room. 

Which exercise — and where?

You may have little time to exercise, but there are plenty of creative ways to get moving. I

Indoor exercise:

- Many hotels have a gym and/or swimming pool or fitness centre on site. You might even strike gold with a on-site personal trainer. If your hotel has any or all of these things, you're onto a winner. Hit the gym in the morning, and the swimming pool in the evening (not forgetting a blissful chillout in the sauna and spa). This will help promote a good night’s sleep. Just 15 minutes of exercise in the morning is enough to invigorate your mind and body and get you prepped for a day of negotiations! If your hotel doesn't deliver on the fitness facility front, you can still check off your exercising needs in your hotel room.
- A workout is a set of simple fitness exercises which can be done in your hotel room. A 30-minute workout is considered to be effective and there are plenty of full-body workouts that don't require any equipment.
- Practising yoga helps to combat jetlag and relieve stress. - If you're keen to use a gym but your hotel can't help, some chains offer day or week passes. You might even be able to get your hands on a free day pass.

Outdoor exercise
Depending on the country you're in and the season, early mornings and evenings are great times to get exercising outside.
The possibilities are endless if you enjoy running:
- Explore narrow streets, beaches, parks etc. There's something very special about discovering cities before and after the influx of tourists. Enlist the help of your smartphone's GPS to make sure you can always find your way back to the hotel. Openrunner software can help you plan routes and courses in locations all over the world.
- Hiring a bike or a set of roller skates is another option. A number of cities also offer outdoor activities: yoga classes, Pilates sessions, meditation etc.

Once you discover the benefits of business-travel exercise, we guarantee you'll be hooked. Reward all your professional hard work with an injection of balance, serenity and motivation. 

Published by Julie on 08/12/2017 Photo credit: © vgajic

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