If I asked, would you be able to tell me when the last time was you took 10 minutes out of your day and spent it without distractions doing something you really enjoyed? How about exercise or any kind of physical activity that wasn’t related to your business or job?
According to Public Health England 41% of the adults aged 40 to 60 in England does less than 10 minutes of continuous brisk walking per MONTH, that’s over 6.3 million people.
I get it: you have a business to run or a job role that comes with high expectations, a lot of overtime and potentially regular work trips. It’s challenging to find time for the gym when you’re working 10+ hours every day, might sleep in hotels and generally feel exhausted all the time.
I have been there, even if in a different way. Trying to run a fitness business while juggling family and friends and trying to keep up with my own workouts have been shown to be too much sometimes and I experienced burnout myself a few times before I established a the following ground rules regardless where I am. They are not only for times when you're travelling but for every day.
Workout gear is essential
Wherever I go, no matter for how long – 2 days or weeks – I always pack at least two sets of workout clothes and at least a pair of running shoes. Then there’s no excuse. It also stets your mind-set before leaving home to commit to exercise.
Travelling aside if you know you have a gym at the office or will be working near one you can easily access, just pack your gear in the morning so you can have a cheeky workout in your lunchbreak or after your last meeting.
Use what you’ve got
There is always something that you can do when you’re determined to do something. You know you’ll be in and out of meetings all day and evening and there is no chance you can sneak out for a gym session? Find other ways to ensure you get in at least 15 minutes of exercise per day.
Do you like running? Wake up half an hour earlier and start your morning on a high by discovering the area on foot. If that’s not your thing, then go back to the basics and do press-ups, squats, sit-ups, lunges and any other bodyweight exercise to get your blood flowing.
Do you have equipment that’s easy to pack and don’t weigh much like a skipping rope, resistance bands or foam rollers? Make sure you take them with you and use them. Dynamic stretches in the morning paired with some foam rolling can also set your energies for the day. Whatever works for you, just do something.
Get decent amount of sleep
Now, I know this is extremely hard when you’re on the go, especially when travelling overseas. For this very reason it’s very important to have a regular sleep schedule that allows 7-8 hours per night and you stick to it religiously. This way, on the odd occasions when your travel plans mess with your sleep your body will be able to cope with it better. Make sure you only differ when there is no other option.
If you struggle to fall asleep, try to get rid of the distractions in your room, use blackout curtains, eliminate all electronics about an hour before you’d like to fall asleep and read a book or do a boring task that will help you.
Book the hotel with the gym
Swimming pool will do too, or both even better if you stay longer. If you plan ahead what you’re going to do about your fitness while on the trip, it’s more likely that you will workout.
Depending on your business needs, location and budget at most bigger towns and cities you’ll find a hotel with some sort of fitness facility. If you get lucky they may have a Spa and you can indulge in a massage after a long day and a workout.
Plan your meals
I appreciate this is much easier when you’re at home, have ingredients, cooking appliances and mountains of Tupperware available, however a few of my coaching clients report they still find it demanding to plan for every meal of the week, especially that sometimes plans change last minute.
So, instead of prepping food for the whole week in advance you could use your work schedule to see where you could have prepped meals from home and where you need to find another solution. Look up the area you are going to be for the day/week and check what restaurants are available. Many of them will have their menu on their website allowing you to decide in advance if their food suits your nutrition goals.
Alternatively, you can rely on groceries or fresh produce from the local market. Stacking up on healthy snacks in your bag will stop you from reaching for the “fast” and convenient solution when hungry.
That’s right. With such a hectic schedule you can’t risk changing everything at once as the side-effects may be shocking in the first few weeks and might disrupt your work life and result in failure. Instead, set small goals for yourself to achieve daily, weekly, etc., like adding in an extra 10 min brisk walk once a week or eating out one less time than usual, etc.
Consistency over perfection will always win. If you have further questions on the topic, feel free to message me.
My name is Calumn, founder of CD Fitness Coaching. You’ll find me in and around the gym and helping like minded people get the results they deserve. I enjoy everything from keeping fit, yoga, snowboarding, coffee and making people happy. If you would like to be a part of the bigger community join my Facebook group, Healthy Living With CD Fitness Coaching is a must.