5 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Business

Sustaining healthy habits away from home can be a challenge. These 5 ways to stay healthy while traveling will help you plan ahead for your next work trip.

While I’d like to say that I travel for pleasure on relaxing vacations, the truth is I travel most frequently for business – at least once a month, sometimes more. Maintaining health habits is easy when you’re at home – you have your daily routine, reliable healthy meals in the fridge and a gym at your finger tips. Staying healthy while traveling on the other hand is much more complicated.  A busy work schedule in an unfamiliar city can lead you off course the moment you step off the plane.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Business

This post is brought to you by StarKist in partnership with Influence Central. All views and opinions are my own. 

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about maintaining my own healthy habits when I travel for work. When schedules get hectic, I have to remind myself to prioritize my own health first so that I can do my best work on the trip. Eating healthy, exercising and maintaining personal wellness while attending meetings, keeping up with emails, and trying to explore an exciting new city can seem daunting. But with a few simple tips, you too can stay healthy while traveling on your next business adventure!


5 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Business


1. Plan Ahead


Pack Your Carry-On: Spend extra time packing your carry-on bag before your trip to ensure you have everything you need to start your trip off on the right foot. Pack shelf stable healthy snacks (don’t forget reuseable plastic cutlery!) and a water bottle to stay energized and hydrated; take a sleep mask, neck pillow and scarf or shawl to help you get some ZZZs on the plane; bring headphones for music or white noise to help you relax and an extra battery to charge your smart phone on-the-go.


Do Your Research: Call the hotel ahead of time to find out if they have a fitness center or nearby running trails. Request early check-in if you plan to be there before the late afternoon and request a mini fridge if possible for any perishable healthy snacks. Take point on restaurant reservations – review menus before you leave and choose places with healthy options.


Stock Your Fridge: Make sure you have healthy food stocked in your kitchen for when you return. Nothing leads to unhealthy takeout faster than returning home famished after a long day of travel. Make sure you have everything you need for a healthy meal, like this Mediterranean Tuna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash made with StarKist Selects E.V.O.O. Yellowfin Tuna with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, when you return.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling

During my recent trip to FNCE (Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo) I had the chance to meet the StarKist team to get some of my tough questions answered about tuna and mercury. Did you know that commercial fish – the kind found in grocery stores and restaurants – generally contain larger amounts of the antioxidant selenium than mercury? Not only is selenium important for the brain, heart, and immune system, but emerging research shows that selenium actually binds to mercury, neutralizing its effects.



2. Prioritize Yourself


Get Some Rest: Late night client dinners, early morning meetings, and potential time zone changes can leave you lacking some serious sleep on business trips. Whether you need to excuse yourself early from the cocktail party or push back on a breakfast meeting, make it a priority to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night so you can recharge.


Boost Your Immune System: Consider packing multivitamins, probiotics or vitamin C to give your immune system a little extra boost each day and avoid burning out. The last thing you need on your trip is to get sick from airplane or hotel germs.


Find Time to Decompress: Reduce your stress level when traveling for work by finding time to relax. Hit the gym, soak in the bath, take a walk outside to enjoy the city’s scenery, or order something healthy from the room service menu.


Share on Social: Hold yourself accountable by posting your meals and activities on social media. If everyone is watching, you’ll be more conscious about making healthy choices throughout the trip.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Business  5 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Business


3. Make Time to Move


Plan for Exercise: Find the hotel fitness center the moment you check in so you can plan your workouts accordingly. Or get out and explore your destination on foot. Ask the hotel concierge for running trail recommendations or make plans to walk instead of ride to meetings and events throughout your trip.


Keep Your Mouth Busy: At networking events and cocktail parties, mingle instead of munch. Eat a healthy dinner before you go and plan to work the room instead of hanging out by the food. Bring your business cards and network – you’ll be so busy talking, you won’t have time to eat or drink any unhealthy options being served!


4. Stay Hydrated


Always Have Water: Have a water bottle on hand at all times. I bring an empty water bottle to the airport and fill it up on the other side of security. Long flights and salty snacks can leave you dehydrated, so be prepared.


Be Careful with Caffeine: Maintain your typical caffeine habits when traveling for business – avoid skipping out on your morning coffee, but also be careful not to overdo it. I travel with the thermos that I use every day at home. If I have an early flight, I can fill it up with coffee at the airport before I get on the plane. And throughout my trip, I can brew hotel room coffee and take it with me to my morning meetings – saving time (more sleep for me!) instead of waiting in long coffee shop lines.


Avoid Alcohol: While avoiding alcohol all together on a business trip can seem impossible, be strategic with your consumption. Enjoy a glass of sparkling water with lime in between drinks to keep yourself hydrated. And drink plenty of water before bed to ensure you wake up feeling fresh the next morning!

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5. Snack Smartly


Look for High-Protein: Pack heart-healthy snacks that are high in protein and healthy fat to keep you feeling satisfied throughout your busy days. Avoid high-carb, sugary treats that can send your blood sugar on a rollercoaster – leaving you to feel energized one minute and exhausted the next. With a whopping 13+ grams of protein and less than 100 calories, StarKist Tuna and Salmon pouches fit the bill to keep you fueled.


Shelf Stable Selections: Travel schedules can be unpredictable, so look for shelf-stable snacks that don’t require refrigeration. Toss them in your carry on or briefcase for a quick on-the-go fix. Not sure what to take? Try nuts, a granola bar or a single-serve pouch of StarKist Tuna Creations new BOLD Rice & Beans in Hot Sauce!


Think Portable & Convenient: Choose snacks that are easy to eat on the go – no complicated preparation or kitchen appliances required. StarKist Tuna Creations single-serve pouches are a perfect example – no can opener or draining needed. If you travel with plastic cutlery like I do, you’re good to go. Otherwise swing by the airport food court for a fork and tear, eat and go!


What are your best tips for staying healthy when traveling?  


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