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7 Tips for Busy Executives to Stay Fit While Travelling

Because it's scientifically proven that a healthy waistline improves a company's bottom line.

man in airport
man in airport

US travellers are taking over 462 million business trips per year, with that number projected to rise to over 499 million business trips by 2022. We all know that staying fit and travelling don’t usually go hand-in-hand since we’re breaking routine, but we also do know that physical fitness, stamina, and resilience are a MUST to perform at optimal levels. So how can the busy executive keep in top form physically (and consequently, mentally) while jet-setting?

  1. Compound Exercises – Full-body resistance workouts that work multiple muscle groups at once are an efficient way to burn more in a short time span. Think squat & press, deadlift, bench press and rows. This style of workout also allows for fewer trips to the gym in a week since you’re working different areas of the body in one go.
  2. Bring a Fit Kit – Travelling with workout gear doesn’t to be bulky. Packing some resistance bands, a jump rope, and gliders take up minimal suitcase space and offer cardio and strength training options for the busy exec who needs to save space for suits in their luggage.
  3. HIIT – High-intensity interval training can be completed in as little as 20 minutes (think Tabata training doing an intense move like burpees with 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off – repeat eight times). This style of movement jacks your heart rate up with brief bursts at 100% effort with short recovery time – we’re talking just 10 seconds or less. Bonus: after a HIIT session your body continues to burn calories at an increased rate meaning that airport food gets burned off faster.
  4. Take a Walking Break – Constantly being in go, go, go mode doesn’t do any favours, and is a vanity optic that ‘looks good’ to imply how busy we are. According to Brendon Burchard, high performs move their body every 55 minutes to reset both mentally and physically. A walk around the office (or even better, outside around the block) supports busy execs in reframing, refocusing, and performing at a higher capacity.
  5. Incorporate Walking Meetings – Ever watch a show in a hospital, like Grey’s Anatomy? Notice that in almost every episode there’s a shot where the doctor is walking with their team following and taking notes? Getting the team up and moving interrupts the pattern of the body essentially falling asleep at a desk or conference table – the average working spends two more hours every day sitting than they do sleeping. Leaving the chair behind makes us even more efficient.
  6. Pre-Flight Workouts – Even when armed with your Trusted Traveller Global Entry pass, chances are you’ll still be waiting for at least 30 minutes before hopping onto your flight. O’Hare, Pearson, and DFW are ahead of the curve with gyms inside the terminal, but for those without access to a facility, it’s easy to fit in simple moves like calf raises, wall sits and dips while waiting to board your flight.
  7. Do Something Every Day, Even If It’s Just 10 Minutes – While a full hour of movement is optimal, some remains better than none. With an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to fitness, ‘nothing’ wins way too often. Popping in some push-ups, burpees, and squats right after waking up and doing some stretching before bed will do the body good.

The truth is that companies with fitness-focused leaders perform better financially. The Economist reports that companies in the S&P 1500 index with CEOs that have completed a marathon are worth 5% more than those who didn’t. And of course the leaders of the company set the tone for its employees – by demonstrating their own commitment to health and fitness, employees are more likely to follow suit to ‘impress the boss’. By putting an emphasis on health and wellbeing at work, fewer employees report sickness and injury and in turn reduces insurance claims. For Union Pacific Railroad, this resulted in a 10% decrease in healthcare costs, to the tune of $53.6 million saved. Staying fit isn’t just good for the waistline, it also shows on a company’s bottom line.

About the Author

Ethan Halfhide, founder of Panaceafit, is an online personal trainer based in Newport News dedicated to providing the best fitness service for driven professionals to help them achieve their fitness goals.

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