John has started to travel extensively again, something he has not done, to this degree, in several years. Whether you are a huge traveler or just have to deal with large chunks of your life, out of your control, there are things you can do to keep your mind, body and spirit on track. So, some tips from the road that you can adapt to everyday life by saying, how can I simplify complicated tasks……………….
Stock up on healthy food before you leave, either for a business trip or just a crazy day at work. We like KIND bars. No they are not perfect in their ingredients BUT you can get them anywhere and they consistently show up on top 10 best nutrition bar lists-also, yup, almonds. They don’t spoil or splatter like fruit and they are a great source of nutrition. They really do fill you up if you eat them slowly, one at a time during a break or while waiting to board the plane.
When packing, pack your workout gear first. This reminds you that the most important things you are bringing are not your fancy shoes but your fitness gear and that you need to use it! John does just fine with sneakers, two pairs of dry shorts and two shirts, that he hand washes in his room and lets dry during the day. Add socks for the week and of course, fitness bands, and you have everything you need. Not traveling, where do you keep your sneakers for your lunchtime walk? Not the walk you hope to squeeze in, the walk you WILL take, every day. Another thing to consider, if traveling to a big city, is seeking out organic grocery stores and making that more important to your hotel choice than where your meetings are. For example when John stays in NYC he stays, whenever possible, at a hotel that is a block from a great, organic market. He gets breakfast and dinner there and since this hotel has a small kitchen, he can cook and eat food, he knows is good. A nice by product of this approach is although next to a great market, he is further from the office he typically works from, so longer walks in the morning and evening without planning it. We always talk about accidental exercise and this is a perfect example. Translating this to a normal workday would be to make your food the night before and bring it in a small cooler. You can cook several organic chicken breasts on the weekend and use them throughout the week along with organic fruits and vegetables. A real KEY is to eat outside of work. Get out of your cubicle, or lunch room. Remember lunch is a two part event, eating and walking, BOTH are needed.
This next one is really huge. If you travel more than once a month via airline, get a known traveler number. It costs $85, takes about 15 minutes at any one of the thousands of locations around that do the paperwork and gets you pre-check 100% of the time. This alone cuts the hassle factor of getting through security by about 1152%! Many of us do research or work on the plane, don’t do this. Get a quality set of noise cancelling headphones (John swears by Monster’s iSport ear buds). Listen to music, audio books (John is presently enjoying one on mindfulness) just chill….. Get up early or absolutely block a chunk of your evening for a dedicated workout and spiritual time. These last two things will never happen organically. You must commit to them and hard schedule them at the same priority level as the most important meeting or event of your week. Yes, when not traveling the same discipline and commitment to body, mind and spirit is essential! I could argue, maybe more important.