Entrepreneurs can often feel like they spend every waking moment devoted to the health of their businesses -- usually at the expense of their own well-being. But leaders need to change that mindset and incorporate more healthful routines if they want to remain the heart of a growing, viable business in the long run.
As I have built my GYMGUYZ franchise of in-home personal-training services, I’ve pulled dozens of all-nighters and travelled across the country to grow my business. Obviously, my days are as stressful as they are for other driven entrepreneurs, but finding time to exercise helps me balance my day and manage my stress. In turn, that helps me concentrate and run my business better.
When you work on yourself and have personal goals in addition to business goals, you can truly give your best self to the brand you are building.
The task was hard enough during GYMGUYZ’s startup phase, and it gets even harder the more I have to spend long stretches on the road. Schlepping to city after city makes keeping up an exercise routine incredibly difficult, but with a little extra planning, corporate travelers can incorporate their wellness plans into their business plans.
Here is how I prepare in order to stay healthy while traveling:
1. Pack for any contingency.
Workout clothes are an essential part of your travel kit if you want to stay healthy on the road, but you should also save room for a few other fitness aids. I always pack resistance bands, which are versatile enough to work out several muscle groups but compact enough to fit in a checked suitcase or carry-on bag.
When I’m traveling to a new city and don’t know where I might find the food I rely on to stay healthy, I make sure to also pack my vitamins and supplements, as well as a few protein shakes.
2. Pick the right hotel.
Always look to book a hotel with a fitness center, even if it is a small gym with only a few machines. A few times in my career, I’ve had to book a hotel without a gym and ran to the nearest fitness center 35 minutes away so I could get my workout in. That might sound extreme to a lot of business travelers, but if there is a gym around the block from the hotel, see how much it costs to get a one-day guest pass or drop in on a spin class.
3. Get creative.
If a gym isn’t readily available where you are traveling, you can use the resistance bands you packed to work out your core, arms and legs. Rather than use the elevator, you can find the hotel’s stairwell and run up and down a few floors for a cardio workout. You also can use the hotel room’s wi-fi and pull up some exercise videos on YouTube on your laptop.
If you’re looking for a set of calisthenics exercises to do in your room, I suggest:
- Three sets of 15 pushups
- In between pushup sets, do 60 seconds of cardio such as mountain climbers or running in place
- Three sets of 15 squats
- In between squat sets, do another 60 seconds of cardio such as jumping jacks
- Three sets of tricep dips, holding on to either a chair or the edge of the bed
4. Get enough sleep.
Obviously, travel schedules often don’t allow for a full eight hours of sleep, but it is important to make sure your quality of sleep is as high as possible, even if the quantity can’t be. Close every curtain and shade to make the room as dark as possible, make use of your smartphone’s “Do Not Disturb” function, and put your laptop and phone out of reach so that you’re not tempted to waste time on them all hours of the night.
Related: Sleep Better When Traveling