I will tell you about healthy business travel tips, because business travel is usually associated with non-stop coffee, obligatory evening drinks, skipped meals and extended dinner feasts.

If you have done any business travel, I am sure you can relate.  I am usually surprised when outsiders think this travelling lifestyle is glamorous. Sure, many of us have some good memories from business travel, but after a few trips it begins to wear you down physically and mentally.  The stress of travel, time away from your family and a disrupted routine may leave you tired, feeling bloated and sometimes even sick!

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Business travel results in an increase in body mass index, higher blood pressure and lower self-rated health.

The researchers attribute this to "several negative health behaviors" among frequent travelers like excess alcohol and food consumption, work-related stress and limited physical activity.

How to Stay Healthy on the Flight !!

I recommend performing the below movements to keep your blood moving while in-flight:

  • Ankle rotations: Lift your feet off the floor and draw a circle with your toes, trying to get a full range of motion through your ankle. Repeat in the opposite direction.
  • Foot lifts: Alternate keeping your toes on the floor and lifting your heels with keeping your heels on the floor and lifting your toes.
  • Knee lifts: Sitting straight up, keep your knee bent and lift your thigh so that you are flexing at the hip. Alternate legs.
  • Toe curls: Curl your toes and release. Also you can try pressing your toes down against the floor or just wiggling them inside your shoes.

As for nutrition on the flight, let’s keep it simple: turn down the complimentary salted nuts and crackers and turn to your healthy snacks instead. Decline the soda and juice and go with water.

Luckily, with a bit of intention and planning, you can stay healthy during business travel.  Everyone knows they should get regular exercise while travelling, but here are some additional tips that will keep you in top form:

Drink much water.  Drinking much water is important everyday, but especially so during travel.  Several factors conspire to dehydrate you during business travel: too much coffee and alcohol, extremely dry airplane and hotel air, irregular schedule and worries about water quality in other countries.  Make an effort to drink water throughout the day – it can help your energy and stress levels, keep your skin looking fresh, moderate your appetite and keep your nose and throat moisturized (which can boost your resistance to catching colds).  If you are worried about water quality, drink bottled water and think of the cost as an investment in your health!

Related article to read: How to Find International Health Insurance

Eat a healthy breakfast.  I am usually not in control of my schedule while travelling, so it is hard to know when, or what, I will eat next.  But one thing I should control is my breakfast.  Make sure to eat some protein, and avoid sugar.  Too much sugar at breakfast will make you feel energized at first, but you will become tired and hungry when the sugar rush wears off. Instead, protein can give you steady energy and help you feel full for longer.  Good breakfast choices should include eggs on whole grain toast or plain yogurt with fruit.  And although it sounds healthy, avoid orange juice which is a big dose of sugar in the morning!

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Take a comfort from home.  This one is unique for every traveler,  but it works.   Bring a small comfort from home with you on your travels to make your new environment familiar. Personally, I usually carry some sachets of herbal tea and my mini yoga mat.  You can bring your iPod loaded with music and videos, your favorite sleep socks, a photo or a hot water bottle.  It is up to you.  What makes you feel at home?

Lavender essential oil.  A small bottle of lavender essential oil is in each one of my travel bags, including my zippered bag of liquids for the airplane!  While most essential oils need to be diluted, lavender essential oil could be used neat – simply apply one drop directly to the skin.  Lavender is calming and stress-reducing, but is also antiseptic.  Use one drop of the oil on your temples to help you sleep, to relax during the day or to reduce anxiety on plane flights.  For an evening treat, soak a washcloth in warm water, add 2 drops essential oil, and place on your clean face to open the pores and relax you.  You can also add it to a bath or on the floor of the shower.  An added bonus is that one drop of lavender oil on a spot or blemish will help it clear up overnight!

Get some fresh air every day.  Staying in meeting rooms all the time is a recipe for fatigue.  Go outside every day, and if you can take a walk or run, even better!  If you are travelling across time zones, try to get some morning sunshine to help reset your internal clock.  When travelling in Europe, you can often combine a 'coffee meeting' with outdoor time at a café. However you do it, time outside helps to clear your mind and refresh you for the day ahead.