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- For those who are constantly on the road for work, staying healthy can feel near impossible.
- We spoke with experts and frequent travelers who have managed to stay healthy despite year-round traveling.
- Here are 14 realistic ways to stay healthy when you’re constantly on the road for work.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com’s homepage for more stories.
It’s hard enough for most people to stay healthy when they’re home. For those who are constantly on the road for work, it can feel near-impossible.
It’s far from impossible, however.
Staying physically and mentally fit doesn’t have to be an insurmountable task if you can break down your to-dos into small, manageable bits.
What exactly are these bits? We spoke with experts and frequent travelers who have managed to stay healthy despite year-round traveling, and put together a cheat sheet filled with their best advice.
Here are their 14 best ways to stay healthy when you’re constantly on the road for work or travel.
Try water infusions
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Flatten your belly on the road by sipping on water infusions throughout the day.
“The extra flavor will keep you sipping while the combination of water and potassium from the fruit, herb, and/or vegetable infusion will help to flush bloating culprits like salt and help restore hydration.”
They said that when you’re properly hydrated, you won’t make the common mistake of confusing thirst for hunger and you won’t overeat.
“Plus, the extra fluid in your stomach can help keep you feeling full,” they said.
Do on-the-road ab exercises to fight constipation
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While estimates vary, traveler’s constipation is thought to affect as many as 40% of travelers.
“Do this digestion exercise to help prevent falling prey to traveler’s constipation,” the Nutrition Twins said. “It will make your stomach flatter by helping to flush waste and toxins from the body by encouraging elimination of stool through the intestines,” they said.
“Suck in your stomach as far as you can, then stick it out as far as you can. Meanwhile, breathe in when sucking in, and breathe out when pushing your stomach out. This small exercise helps blood flow to the stomach, aids in digestion, and exercises your abdominal muscles.”
Pre-book your dinner plans
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Invest just a few minutes searching for and booking a restaurant before your trip, and you’re more likely to find something that fits your dietary goals, Margaux Lushing, the founder of Well + Away, a company that aims to help travelers find healthy spots in new cities, told Business Insider.
“Without planning in advance, dinner becomes a game-time decision, making it easier for coworkers or friends to pull you along somewhere that can compromise your healthy lifestyle,” she said.
Use resistance bands for travel-friendly workouts
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“I always travel with a few different resistance bands since they don’t take up any space in my bag and you can get a pretty good workout with them,” Paul McGowan, founder of Study Hotels, told Business Insider. “You can also use them right in your hotel room so you can work out whenever your schedule allows.”
Invest in on-demand fitness apps
“I have a couple of go-to fitness apps that I use when I’m traveling,” McGowan said. “Obe Fitness is an amazing website and app that has over 1,000 on-demand classes that are led by great instructors so you can turn your hotel room into a gym and the price is less than $30 a month.”
Take a bath the first night
Mental resets are important, and a bath can often do the trick.
“I do my best to ensure that I’m staying in a room with a bathtub, so on my first night I can return home on the early side and luxuriate in a long bath,” Lushing said. “I bring a little sampling of bath salts and oils from home in TSA-approved containers and use them to turn my bath and bathroom into a mini spa. Afterward, I’ll do a 10-minute meditation and go to sleep early.”
Get a good night’s sleep every night
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Some people are able to get along with limited hours of shut-eye while they’re traveling, but most need a solid seven to eight hours to perform their best, especially when traveling for work.
“I learned about transdermal melatonin and hemp patches from an editor friend and now swear by The Nite Nite patch,” Lushing said. “I press it on when I get into bed and am out like a light within 20.”
Provide your hotel with feedback
The lack of healthy options in minibars and via in-room dining is why Lushing created Well + Away VitalKits, which include healthy snacks.
“But until we’re available everywhere, speak up and let your hotel know that you’d like to see more healthy options available,” Lushing said.
“Request a green smoothie or tofu scramble on the breakfast menu, ask for your minibar to include clean protein bars or cold-pressed green juice. Be vocal and the options will come. The easier it becomes to access healthy, mindful food and fitness, the easier it is to be a healthy traveler.”
Stick with a routine
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Traveling can be stressful and draining.
“The best thing to do is to stay in a routine you can easily follow everyday,” Michael Kuang, CEO of Syphon Fitness, told Business Insider.
“Wake up and go to bed at the same time, try to eat around the same time, set up specific hours for work and rest when possible. This will help provide some familiarity to something as sporadic as traveling.”
Get your legs elevated
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Elevating your legs can help with blood pressure, stress, and mental exhaustion, Kuang said.
“All you need is a towel to lay on and a wall or even a chair to put your legs up on. Spend at least 10 to 15 minutes in this position with your eyes closed,” he said. “The only thing you should focus on is breathing fully. You can do this daily and you’ll notice pretty quickly how much better you’ll start to feel and this helps regulate sleep as well.”
Spend time outside
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Just get out in nature, Kuang said.
“If you’re driving, allow some time at a rest stop to walk around,” Kuang said. “Fresh air and sunlight can help boost your mood and energy level. If you travel by plane, try to do the same once you’ve checked into your hotel.”
Rely on healthy food delivery services
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“I’m constantly on the road working at tattoo shows and there isn’t much time to eat while I’m sitting in a chair and tattooing for six, eight, or 10 hours at a stretch,” James Vaughn, a tattoo artist, told Business Insider.
“Even when there is time, hot dogs, pizza, and candy are usually what’s available, and at midnight, forget it, nothing is open.”
After seeing his weight balloon, Vaughn went on the keto diet and lost 60 pounds in four months.
“The problem is that it’s hard to shop, cook, prepare food, and travel at the same time so I rely on meal services like Healthy Meals Supreme whenever I travel. They deliver freshly-prepared, customized meals to my hotel when I arrive, wherever I’m attending a tattoo show or convention. I put them in the refrigerator in my hotel room and I’m good to go for the entire weekend. I don’t have to think about what I am going to eat for my next meal and I don’t have to bother shopping and cooking. It’s one less thing to worry about.”
Pack a few tea bags in your luggage
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Carry green, black, or oolong tea bags with you.
“The bags are light and portable and most rest stops, coffee shops, and hotel rooms have a coffee pot where you can get hot water,” the Nutrition Twins said. “These teas contain the amino acid theanine, which brings on a mental calmness yet alertness which will help to ease travel anxiety and prevent overeating due to emotions. You’ll also be alert for your work meetings.”
Choose an Airbnb over a hotel
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Staying healthy while on the road is a struggle because we don’t have access to our typical healthy resources, but that can be mitigated if you opt for Airbnb instead of a hotel.
“I’m much more likely to stay in and make a simple meal in my Airbnb kitchens than I am in a tiny hotel room,” Nicole Centeno, founder and CEO of Splendid Spoon, a smoothie and soup delivery service, told Business Insider. “Plus, there’s none of the temptation of room service.”