Project Body Smart | How This Business Traveler Stays Fit on the Road


How This Business Traveler Stays Fit on the Road

People are living longer than ever before. They’re also working longer, too, with many maintaining jobs after 50 that keep them traveling on a regular basis.
That can make fitness extra-challenging for active adults still enjoying their demanding careers. Steady business travel can mean long days; restless nights; little incentive to exercise; and eating heavy meals in restaurants or lousy ones at conferences. In short, it can be a quick route to weight gain and other unhealthy outcomes.

Tim Johnson learned that first-hand in his 40s, when his sales job started taking him away for three days a week and he quickly packed on 40 pounds.

“The clients want to go to the best restaurants, and you don’t want to be ‘the salad guy,’” explains Tim, who flies for business three days a week, almost every week of the year. “You have to be focused and know when to say no. People ask me how I stay so slim at my age and traveling so much. You just have to be committed to it.”

You also have to learn which hotels have good gyms. Some advertise “exercise facilities” that end up being a closet with an old treadmill. But many business hotels know that corporate travelers demand a place to work out while they’re away from home, and you can find those gyms pretty easily, Tim has learned.

When you’re stuck somewhere without much to offer, ask the front desk if the hotel has an agreement with a local gym, or just if there’s one nearby.

Weather permitting, inquire about a local walking trail, even in an urban environment. It’s a great way to get your steps but also to explore the city.

Tim has picked up tons of tips over the years. He’s 55 now and stays at a trim 185 pounds on his 6’1” frame. The physical vitality of exercise is key to his success as a happy road warrior. He advises:

  • Use a trainer, at least when you’re starting, and ask for workouts to take with you and perform alone.
  • Watch YouTube videos with dumbbell workouts, since barbells are rare in hotel gyms.
  • Schedule the day and time of your exercise while traveling so it doesn’t get away from you.
  • Keep workouts short and focused. You can get in the epic, full-body sessions at home.
  • Pack water and healthy snacks in your carry-on bag.
  • Avoid the hotel bar, but find a healthy way to relax.
  • Avoid hotel chains, so that each city feels special. Book with a website that will let you accumulate points across brands.
  • Explore each location’s museums, sporting venues, and other landmarks. It’s good for your mood and energy levels.

Tim speaks onstage frequently, and in his business, appearances are important. Working people over 50 know the subtle ways ageism can come into play.

“It’s important that I don’t look like an old man,” he says. “I need to be energetic, motivated, motivational, and excited about my projects.”

>What about you? Are you still a frequent business traveler? Do you need some help keeping a healthy lifestyle while away? We’re here to help. Come see us today.

Gordon Palmer, Certified Personal Trainer and Functional Aging Specialist at Global Fitness & Racquet Centre, Kelowna BC Canada

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