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If you frequently travel for business, you know the many health hazards that stand in your way.
Whether you are staring down a scrumptious seven-course meal in culinary hotspots such as Las Vegas or gazing longingly out your plane window as the passenger in front of you reclines into your aching knees, there are plenty of physical and mental obstacles you must hurdle during business trips.
"Traveling is already stressful on your body because you are sitting for long periods of time, adjusting to altitude changes and changing your eating schedule," said travel wellness expert Jayne McAllister of Jayne McAllister Travel Wellness. "It is even more so for business travelers, who are preparing for meetings or rushing from place to place."
Fortunately for us business travelers, McAllister recently unveiled five ways to preserve your health and wellness during long trips, whether you are taking a road trip or hopping on a plane. Here's a look at what she served up.
Stay healthy, my friends.
As business travelers rush from place to place, sometimes choosing a restaurant is as simple as finding the closest one. Unfortunately, that can lead travelers to eating at one of the countless fast food restaurants that make their business on being convenient.
However, McAllister encourages travelers to research the local restaurants at your destination ahead of time so you can bookmark more healthy alternatives close by.
No more Fish Fillets at McDonald's (what, I'm the only one who loves those things?). Find your healthy haven and feel better after your meal as a result.
Of course, it's not just about eating better during breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Snack time can be mighty dangerous, considering unhealthy items such as chips and candy are readily available from airports to road stops.
In fact, according to McAllister, casually (and mindlessly) snacking can lead to overeating by as much as 30 percent. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what that can do to your body.
To combat unhealthy snacking, McAllister recommends stocking up on water, fruit and savory granola to enjoy when your belly begins to rumble. As you may have already realized, it's also much cheaper than buying food at the airport.
This is pretty basic stuff, but there's a reason why wellness experts continue to stress it: because many of us forget this basic stuff.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy and alert for that next business meeting. While a steady diet of coffee and soda is commonplace among business travelers, it's not an ideal way to keep yourself moving. In fact, coffee and soda can put strain on the kidneys and the pancreas, which can lead to a variety of ailments, as McAllister notes (the kidneys and pancreas are those essential things in your body that you forgot about, by the way).
When it comes to air travel, it's even more important to have a bottle of water handy. Humidity on an airplane can sink to levels as low as 2 percent.
Great Foods for Better Performance
Business travelers are all about performance.
But, contrary to popular opinion, you need more than Rocky-esque confidence and work ethic to nail that PowerPoint presentation. You need to eat the right food, too.
While consuming too much fat is a recipe for disaster, you do indeed need to include some fats in your diet. Good fats include avocados, nuts and oily fish, according to McAllister.
You'll also want to include fiber and protein in your meals. Fruits, vegetables and beans are good sources of fiber. Beans are also good protein sources, as well as meat, fish, poultry and eggs.
McAllister recommends snacking on guacamole, salsa and beans if available at airports. At dinner, munching on a veggie omelet will do the trick.
A Healthy Mindset Leads to Healthier Eating
Even some of the most health-conscious travelers slip up and stray a bit from their healthy eating regimen. If you are just starting to eat healthy, it's unrealistic to expect yourself to automatically switch from ice cream to an all-organic lifestyle.
In that respect, it's important that you don't get down on yourself if you have moments of unhealthy eating.
As McAllister put it, "If you beat yourself up because you fell off the wagon, you're likely to throw in the towel and create stress around your efforts to eat right."
The mind is the most important tool in creating a healthier lifestyle-don't damage it with negative thoughts and singlehandedly cause a mental breakdown. Be patient and "stay cool, calm and collected." Steadily improving is key, and you can't do that if you take two steps back every time you have a lapse. After all, this is supposed to be good for you; it's not supposed to do more harm than good.
"The last thing a business traveler needs is more stress," McAllister said.
Stay positive and continue to persevere. Your body-and your company-will thank you for it in the long run.
Born and raised in Santa Rosa, California. Graduated from San Diego State with a B.A. in journalism. Worked for Bleacher...
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