I know what you're thinking, is this guy serious! Business travel is for eating at fancy restaurants on the company tab and drinking at the airport in the morning because you can pretend your from a different country. "Sie sprechen Deusch?"
But if you're a frequent traveler like me, you soon realise, all that good living creates a bit too much bass and not enough treble if you know what I mean. I love my food and drink, so have learned to love my running and swimming in equal measures. That's why at 40ish I keep my belt size the same when I was 20ish. No magic bullet, just a habit of working out. So without further ado, here are my top 5 workout tips for frequent travelers.
Andy's Top 5 Workout Tips for the Frequent Traveller
1) TAKE YOUR GYM CLOTHES!
Umm der. Sure it might be obvious, but I have been away many times with people who said they wanted to run with me, then don't bring their running gear! Like they can put on their work skirts and pumps and burn up a lap of Bondi. There seems to be a silly competition to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for packing the worlds smallest carry on suitcase with my friends, but why? Does it matter if you have to check on a bag and take 10minutes extra at the airport? You get to take a bag so use it! Put some sneakers and shorts in there and your half way to going for a walk or run!
The bonus is that you get to see new places you can't go in a cab. Whenever I go to a new city I like to run it so I can see the sites whilst I get some exercise. I recently toured London on foot and it was ace! I ran through Hyde Park and happened upon Kensington Palace during the change of the guards - awesome!
Now some people will still be determined to pack light so I have some other options for you so keep reading...
2) PACK YOUR SWIMMERS
If you are a swimmer this will be easy. They are small to pack, great for the hotel spa and sauna, plus you can do a few laps of the pool too. Great solution! But wait there is more - if you still don't want to pack your bulky running shoes, you can easily get away with a run or walk on the beach in just your swimmers. Providing A) you are travelling near the beach and B) you are confident enough in your body to run in tight lycra.
Even if you are a definite no to A and B, there are more options!
3) EXERCISE IN THE ROOM
The best way to stay in shape is to work on your largest muscle groups. Your bum, legs, chest, back and arms are all large sources of muscle to work with.
My routine if I don't have a gym, pool or can't run - or simply have not much time is as follows:
20x push ups, 20x sit ups, 20x dips, 20x squats, stretch - repeat 3 times
It's not going to make you look give you arms like Arni, but it will give you a fast and surprisingly effective workout. It also removes some of the guilt when you try that second desert.
Brilliant! I knew Andy had some awesome tips for us, I hear you say with tongue firmly in cheek. Yes I know this is an obvious one, but really how often do you do it? It's easy to grab a cab to the restaurant or event, it's even a little scary walking as you might get lost or God forbid it could rain!
From my experience of travelling around the world for many years, some of the best experiences I have had was when I was lost. That little cafe that most people wouldn't find, asking people for directions and learning of a new place only the locals know or meeting new people just because you are out and about. Of course be safe, pack a map, charge your phone and have data to use maps and look up the internet, bring an umbrella, water and your hotel name written in the local language. But then explore, walk the streets and do what the locals do. I guarantee you will come home with a story like this one from Dubai.
5) STAY A LITTLE LONGER
I am fascinated by people who travel to exotic destinations for work and regale me with stories of how they went from the airport to the hotel, the conference and back to the airport. Not seeing one sight or looking up to smell the roses. Of course they are the most important people in the universe and the country will simply not function without them for one more day. I, on the other hand, realised that people survived quite well without me, most of the time my staff do even better without me! So I learn't to take a day, even half a day to explore where I was and explore. Go for that yoga class, walk on the beach, bike ride on the river, surfing lesson or hike to the top of a mountain - simply because I could.
Life is meant to be lived and you will win no prizes for being the most boring traveller of the year and ensuring your email inbox is kept low at all times. Enjoy your travel and you will probably find it makes you a more interesting person when you return to the office. Your boss might even like you a little more if you have an interesting story to tell!
Thanks for reading and I hope you found these tips a little bit useful. Keep your heath high as you only get one body so you might as well love it. It's my birthday this week (February 5th so I will be posting my health status report - I'm a little nervous but fingers crossed!)
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