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The Frequent Traveler's Guide to Staying Healthy

Maintain Your Diet and Fitness Routine away from Home
  -- By Ellen G. Goldman, Health and Wellness Coach
Fitting in fitness, eating well and having the time to relax and rejuvenate can be an overwhelming quest for anyone—and if you add business travel to the mix, it may even feel impossible. 

However, if traveling for business is part of your routine, it is imperative that you do everything possible to adjust your health habits when on the road.  A recent study conducted by researchers at Columbia University reviewed the data on 13,000 people who were part of a corporate wellness program. Researchers found that traveling for business was linked to an increase in health risks such as obesity, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels. What's more, the more nights a worker spent on the road, the greater his or her risk became.

Traveling alone isn't necessarily linked to these health risks. But the long periods of inactivity (including downtime at the airport and extended days without a trip to the gym), decreased sleep (whether due to difficulty sleeping in a different environment, late nights or changes in time zones), increased stress, and dining out on fattening foods are the real problem.  But you are not doomed to gain weight or become unhealthy because you travel for work. With a little creativity, you can still take care of yourself while you're away from home—no matter how often you may travel.  But it takes a firm commitment to self-care and some proactive planning.

Here are some ideas that work well for me and many of my professional clients who frequently travel. 
 
Staying healthy while traveling may be challenging, but it is possible.  A task well worth it, because doing so will benefit both you and your business!
 
Sources
American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. "Frequent Business Travel Linked to Increased Health Risk, accessed April 2011. www.acoem.org.
 
How Do You Help Clients if They Need to Travel Extensively and Can't Train as Often with You?  IDEA Fitness Journal, April 2005.
 
Weede, Tom. 2007. The Entrepreneur Diet. Canada: Entrepreneur Media, Inc.