Man checking his smartwatch on a frosty morning while out for a run

Staying fit and healthy on a business trip. Mission impossible?

Long hours, jet-lag and client schmoozing over decadent lunches. Business travel has never been the best recipe for fitness and health. Throw in a global pandemic and all bets for a healthy trip are off. Or are they?

We’ve put together ten easy-to-follow COVID-proof health and fitness tips.

1. Been there. Done That. Repeat.

Unless you’ve cut yourself off from the world completely for the past year, you probably know by now that you should wear a mask, wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and remember to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It’s also best practice to keep your distance from others, and to keep some extra distance if those others are coughing profusely. If you feel unwell yourself – by all means: stay home!

Now, for a little COVID travel info you might not know yet. Planes with their nifty HEPA filters are incredibly safe. But, if you want an added layer of security, grab the window seat.  No, we don’t want you to open the window for fresh air. Infection specialists suggest a window seat, away from passenger foot traffic, is the best seat during COVID times.


2. Drink up!

The air in planes, in air-conditioned meeting rooms and in hotel rooms  is notoriously dry. So, before you get a scratchy throat and itchy eyes, drink plenty of water. If you’re not really a ‘still water’ person or you just don’t like the taste, try adding lemon or lime to make it a little more interesting. Herbal teas are another great choice. Trust us: your body will thank you for it.


3. No! Alcohol doesn’t count as hydration.

We’re sorry to say but indulging in piña coladas by the pool or enjoying a liquid lunch is not the best way to hydrate. In fact, it will even dehydrate you. And if you have one too many, you might just start behaving in ways you will regret.

So, better leave the alcohol to sanitise your hands, and enjoy a refreshing lime and soda to drink. If you just can’t resist a glass of wine, alternate your wine with soft drinks.


4. Did you say cupcake? We say protein bar!

On a business trip, it can be hard to resist the calorie-laden snacks and junk food. Just think about that mid-meeting cupcake or grab-and-go breakfast croissant. Dodge the calorie bullet and keep your cravings at bay by bringing your own healthy snacks. Pack energy or protein bars and dried fruits and nuts in your bag. And stock the minibar with yoghurt and fresh fruit. It will give you a healthier alternative to morning croissants and day-time chocolates.


5. Off to a good start!

Your mum was right: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It increases your concentration and kick-starts your metabolism. But make sure it’s a healthy one so you start the day fully alert, brimming with energy and raring to go.

If you don’t like our suggestion of filling your minibar with fruit, be sure to choose the healthier options on the breakfast menu. Replace that full English with porridge and fresh fruits and choose tea over a full-fat latte.


6. I can walk 500 miles…

If your journey to your meeting or conference is a short one, why not walk it? No need to sit in close proximity to a taxi driver. Instead get some fresh air and exercise and enjoy the sights at your destination. When killing time at the airport, have a wander around the terminal rather than sitting in a café. Meeting on the 7th floor? Take the stairs; you can do it!


7. Get your beauty sleep

Improve your concentration levels and your memory by making sure you get a good night’s sleep. First, set your phone to silent and move it away from your bed so you aren’t woken up by emails in the middle of the night. Then, close the curtains and turn off the lights and any electronic devices, and you’ll soon drift off into a peaceful slumber. The age-old ‘early to bed, early to rise’ mantra is key, so learn when to call it a night; you’ll thank yourself for it when you awake rested and refreshed in the morning.


8. Dress for success… and workouts.

Let’s get real. Any excuse will do if you’re trying to convince yourself that you don’t need to exercise. “I don’t have time.”  “I need to work.”  “I don’t have the right clothes.” Enough with the excuses. Pack your trainers, sports bra and jogging bottoms in your suitcase. Even better, bring some fitness aids with you, such as a resistance band or a step counter, giving you the added impetus to get exercising.


9. No gym? No excuse!

With COVID protocols in place, it’s very well possible the hotel gym is closed. That’s no excuse . You can still do 10 minutes of sit-ups and squats in your room before breakfast. You can even use that resistance band you brought with you.


10. Now for the serious stuff: let’s get that jab!

If available to you, getting your COVID-19 vaccine will be your best form of protection. Make sure you also keep other essential vaccinations up-to-date to help you stay healthy and prevent your immune system from being compromised.

Want more tips? Download our TravelFit guide