Long And Short Of It

Take It Easy

Staying relaxed while on the road is easier said than done. But it's essential because high stress levels can deplete your energy, compromise your immune system and significantly lower your quality of life, says Krs Edstrom, author of Healthy, Wealthy and Wise (Simon & Schuster).

"Stress is very depleting," warns Edstrom. "When you're stressed while traveling, you're not performing at optimum levels."

To learn to relax, or at least keep stress to a minimum (after all, who can remain calm when someone behind you keeps kicking your airplane seat?), try a simple breathing technique called the "complete breath." First, exhale all the air out of your lungs for a count of eight. Next, inhale for a count of eight to 12, then slowly exhale again. This practice can stabilize your breathing pattern and help put you in a more peaceful state, says Edstrom.

Exercise is also a key stress-buster. You can do isometric exercises (squeezing and releasing tense muscles such as fingers and shoulders) almost anywhere. If you work out regularly, stick to it during your travels; Edstrom suggests exercising in the morning to get focused for the day. If you don't feel like exercising, at least do a moderate version of your usual workout. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water to increase your energy and keep you mentally sharp.

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This article was originally published in the November 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Long And Short Of It.

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