I love to workout. I am one of those annoying people who talks about it, takes pictures doing it, and of course, broadcasts my workout accomplishment of the day on various social media channels. I also travel a ton for my job – mainly to tradeshows and conferences. I find ways to work out on the road. People think I am just magically motivated to fly to some exotic location and workout. Truth is, it doesn’t work like that. I often have to trick myself into doing it.
Yes, I’m exhausted after spending 10 hours in an exhibit hall and would rather network, eat free food, drink free drinks or sleep during down time. Oh, and let’s not forget that despite being away, business is still going on back home that needs my attention.
I hear things from people who claim they want to work out while traveling all the time like “I can’t. I don’t have time. I have jet lag. My day is too full. I ate too much, or I drank too much (yes, people use this as an excuse not to exercise – counterintuitive I know).”
News flash. If you want to work out on work travel, you can. Here is a few of my tricks to trick yourself.
Find a partner, AKA sucker
Some of my most favorite workout moments have been on business trips – with other colleagues, employees and attendees. I’ve run through Rome with a colleague, ran through Nice and visited some awesome, and not-so-awesome workout rooms. Find the crazy exercise fanatic in the group, or someone who is willing to sacrifice themselves to you, and tag along with whatever they’re up to. I’ve brought employees to work out and watched them puke. (Yes, really) (Go SoapBoxers Go)!
Pre-plan your workout time
Check out the agenda in advance and plan your workout time into your schedule each day. Even if it is just 30 minutes, that is ok. If you wait until you get there to find time, I can almost guarantee you won’t. I plan my time slot for each day along with what I am actually going to do. I plan a workout for each day, knowing that I may miss one. If you are only there one day, don’t use this tip. 30 minutes actually accounts for only 2% of your day. Really? 2%. C’mon, you can do it.
Network in the gym.
So I will admit I hate talking to people when I work out. But… people who work out, tend to have an affinity for others who work out. Even if you don’t recognize someone as being a fellow conference attendee, you may notice when you see them later. They may turn out to be your next biggest client. There’s no telling where opportunity may strike. A great networking moment is just as likely to happen in the gym as it is anywhere else.
Or, you can get super bold and dye your hair platinum-whitish-grayish and people will recognize you – that’s what I did. Or you could just wear branded gear in the gym (branded with YOUR company, not Nike). Also, you might just avoid one of those awkward elevator moments with another attendee gets on the elevator and there is a weird silence. It is way better to have a “hey, I saw you in the gym today” moment.
Accountability from Afar
If you have a trainer or just a friend who’s into fitness, have them text you a workout AND agree to text them back once you are done. Or post it all over social media if that is how you roll. If you don’t have any fitness friends (or friends at all) you can find 10 million “hotel room” workouts online. I am guessing you know how to google. In case you “don’t have time to google” here are a few links.
I am obviously feeling extra thoughtful today.
And just because I love you all so much, here is my “I am too cheap to buy hotel water and drink a gallon a day” tip.
Fill up your water bottle in the hotel gym because it’s free.
Most of the gyms are open 24 hours. The water is free. And cold. And paying $6 for a small bottle of Evian is pure insanity. Free water is an unadvertised perk of that hotel occupancy fee you see on your bill – or at least it is as far as I am concerned.
Have your own tips for staying fit while traveling for business? Tweet me, @jax_rosales