Are travel plans interfering with your health habits? If you spend the majority of your workweek shuttling from city to city, your regular routine and self-care practices can quickly get thrown off course. Long commutes, corporate dinners filled with fattening foods, and a scattered sleep schedule can take a toll on your energy and productivity levels, as well as your overall well-being.

It may seem hard to believe that only a few days away can have a big impact. But by the end of your executive excursion, your body is likely experiencing fatigue, bloat, and even digestion distress. And once you’re back home, it can be difficult to discontinue these bad behaviors.

When you’re on the go, it can be hard to prioritize your health. Try these simple hacks for dodging the fat traps and tension triggers associated with corporate trips.

Diet-demolishing dinners. After a long day of meetings, your associates may want to gather at a restaurant and let loose. But this is prime time for packing on pounds because these dinners tend to include diet-demolishing dishes and alcohol for easing social anxiety. And because these outings are expensed, it can be tempting to tack on extras.

Corporate dinners can also lead to peer pressure. If someone notices that you haven’t ordered a second drink, you may get called out or considered “not fun.” As a result, you may feel obligated to sip and snack as a sign of caloric camaraderie.

Here are two ways to cope:

  • Opt for healthier appetizers: Try to limit foods that are beer battered, deep fried, or drenched in sauces. Instead, order such lean proteins as shrimp cocktails, hummus and veggies, or steamed dumplings.
  • Snack slowly: By the time you sit down for supper, you’re likely ravenous. While your gut is telling you to gulp down all the grub in sight, take a breather between bites. By giving your brain and belly a chance to align with one another, you’re less likely to binge.

Walk when you can. It’s tempting to take a taxi, but because most companies make a point of conveniently booking hotels near the events their employees are attending, this is a good opportunity to get in some steps.

Much of your day will likely be spent sedentary, so walking to and from meetings is a great opportunity to boost circulation and loosen the joints that tend to tighten from prolonged sitting, such as the hips and knees.

And if you have any extra downtime between meetings or a day off, consider becoming a tourist. Not only will you enjoy the sights and sounds of a new city, you’ll recharge your weary mind and feel as if you sneaked in a mini vacation, too!

The hotel hustle. Next time you’re packing your suitcase, save room for your sneakers and a fast fitness routine that can be completed from your room or the hotel’s gym. Start your morning right with this 10-minute cardio session:

Back to life

  • Begin in a tabletop position, with shoulders aligned above wrists and hips over knees.
  • Take a deep breath and elevate your right arm toward the sky. As you do so, allow your gaze to follow your hand so your chest opens and lungs expand. Hold for two counts, then lower back to the starting position. Practice 10 times, then repeat with the opposite arm.
Ashley, pictured here in 2018, demonstrates an exercise for a tight back.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Ashley, pictured here in 2018, demonstrates an exercise for a tight back.

A packed plank

  • Start in a high plank position, then lower your body into a push-up, keeping your elbows tucked close to your ribs.
  • Push through your palms to lift your body back into a high plank.
  • Now, pull your right knee up toward your right elbow, squeezing your oblique muscles. Repeat on the left side. That’s one rep. Repeat this sequence eight times.
Ashley, pictured here in 2018, demonstrates a core exercise.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Ashley, pictured here in 2018, demonstrates a core exercise.

The pulse pounder

  • Take a moment to rest your wrists, then resume a high plank position.
  • From here, jump your feet forward so they land lightly on either side of your hands. Keep your body weight in your heels, toes forward-facing and feet parallel.
  • Push through your heels to stand and then shift your weight to the balls of your feet and explosively jump up. That’s one rep. Repeat this sequence 10 times.
Ashley, pictured here in 2018, demonstrates a full-body exercise.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Ashley, pictured here in 2018, demonstrates a full-body exercise.

Lean, mean lunging machine

  • Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Take a step back with your right foot, lowering your body into a lunge. Keep your front knee over your ankle and back knee under your hip.
  • Push through your left heel and use your arms for momentum to jump up. Land gently on your left foot then drop your right leg back into a lunge. Practice eight times on the left leg, then switch sides.
Ashley, pictured here in 2018, demonstrates a lunge exercise.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Ashley, pictured here in 2018, demonstrates a lunge exercise.

Don’t let travel trip up your healthy habits.

Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more about her virtual training program, go to ashleyblakefitness.com.