Travel fitness for the busy executive

If you have to travel a lot for work, be sure to tell your secretary to book you a hotel with a gym and book a trainer for a one-hour meeting.

It is hard to stay fit when traveling each week. Between airline food, cramped airplane seats, hotels without gyms and time changes, the home-based fitness glow is dulled. Here are some tips for travel fitness for executives on the go.

First, an instruction to your secretary or assistant: Only book hotels with good gyms! They can check this out by looking at the photos on the hotel’s website. Most important, book the hotel gym’s trainer into your schedule for a one-hour meeting. Give this the priority of any other important meeting. In a career that requires a lot of travel, missing workouts on the road is the single most destructive obstacle to your fitness program. Regular training is much harder to avoid when the appointment is prebooked and paid for. The workout can be a gym circuit, a Pilates session, a swim or running with a partner. Be as creative as possible in the selection of trainers. Suddenly, being on the road becomes a great way to vary your fitness regimen.

Consume water. Water is lost on long flights, and in fitful sleep. Brain cells work poorly when dehydrated. So if you want to think well, sleep well and avoid gaining weight, drink plain, noncarbonated water all day long. Noncarbonated, because when you lift the glass of water, try to finish it before putting it down. This is harder to do with a carbonated beverage. Increased water intake will lower caloric intake, wash out the body, and make you feel good. When we’re hydrated, everything works better.

Stand up frequently on the airplane and at meetings. Meetings without chairs have been shown to be more efficient and clearly more energy consuming. Walk, talk and stretch whenever possible. Take whomever you are meeting out for a walk, not for a drink or coffee. You will be surprised by the positive reception to this idea and pleased with the flow of conversation. If you must sit, sit forward on the leading edge of the chair: stomach in, pelvis in neutral, shoulders square.

And never open the hotel’s mini bar. Nothing in there is good for you.

Dr. Kevin R. Stone is an orthopedic surgeon at The Stone Clinic and chairman of the Stone Research Foundation in San Francisco.

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