I’m sure few will disagree that business travel can be incredibly draining, both mentally and physically. Boondoggles are generally a thing of the past, and these days it’s about packing as many meetings and accomplishments into as short amount of time as possible in efforts to get back to the latest fire at the office, move on to the next client demands, or simply to return home to expectations and events on the personal-front. Take it from a diamond and gold frequent business flyer, respectively – my husband and I get it.
These pressures and constraints present an even-greater need to prioritize and apply wellness techniques during your travels. To that end, did you know that 70% of the cells that make up your immune system lie in your gut? Meanwhile, your gut is directly connected to your brain via the vagus nerve influencing your mood and mental performance – notable while traveling to that big, important presentation or meeting. And, I know you’re already aware of the onslaught of germs that reside in planes, trains, and (rented) automobiles during travel, so what does that suggest you should do to arm your body and mind in those situations? Prioritizing proper nutrition and other health and wellness boosters should most certainly be included on your travel itinerary, that much I know is true.
So where will you get your greatest bang for the buck in terms of wellness-boosting and stress-reducing efforts in an already-constrained travel schedule, airport nutrition desert, tight carry-on luggage situation, and potentially unfamiliar destination? I’ve got you…
Here are some “Well-Intended” travel suggestions:
What should you pack?
- Less-toxic and microbiome-disrupting body, toothpaste and beauty products (for both men and women) like:
- An empty, non-plastic refillable water container to stay hydrated like this.
- A BPA-free travel container to bring your immunity-boosting vitamins.
- Bags of brain-boosting organic, raw and unsalted nuts to snack on while traveling. Of the pre-packaged choices out there, this seems like a pretty good choice though homemade packs are best.
- An avocado (with travel-safe utensils) and/or fresh fruit that doesn’t require refrigeration or preparation
- Packs of quality almond butter like this. You’ll have to put them in with your travel-size liquids and gels for screening.
- A pack of non-toxic wipes like this. And, please think twice about using other disinfecting wipes given their harmful chemicals – read on about that here.
- Perhaps travel-size essential oils for calming or immunity-defense needs.
- A quality travel-size hand lotion like this from frequently washing your hands to avoid germs.
- Athletic gear to keep moving during your travels. My husband actually loves Lululemon’s travel and commute clothes which look professional for work but still have the comfort and flexibility to keep up some level of fitness on the go without adding more bulk to his carry-on (women have plenty of choices on this front too).
- A travel-size analog alarm clock so you can keep that mobile phone away from your head at night.
What should you limit or avoid food-wise while traveling to keep immunity at its best and inflammation down? (Which frankly is a good idea all the time.)
- Processed meat and red meat – especially what isn’t organic, grass-fed and pasture raised…so good luck finding that on the road. Read more here and here.
- Dairy (milk, cheese)
- Refined sugar and refined grains (which is different from whole grains). Read more here.
- Artificial sweeteners. Read more here.
- Alcohol. Read more here.
- Vegetable oils – especially the yellow ones
What should you do while traveling?
- Movement & Breathing:
- Get your 10,000 steps a day
- Sit comfortably in a chair or put a towel down on the hotel room floor (ewww) and do a guided meditation to engage your parasympathetic nervous system and calm your stress hormones – this may also enable a better night’s sleep in a strange bed
- Similarly, do a restorative yoga series by memory (Do you know a sun salutation?) Or just do even 20 minutes via app guidance like One Peloton
- Read or listen to positive audiobooks and podcasts while in-transit
- Use the commute time to do some journaling or stream-of-consciousness writing as suggested in a book called, “The Artist’s Way”
- Stay well-hydrated
- Eat clean – I’m yet to find an airport where I can’t find something to get me by (Here’s an old post of mine on clean eating guidelines.)
- Skip the booze – a S.Pellegrino with lime is equally as sophisticated as wine at a business dinner, I assure you
There you have it! Tailor as it feels comfortable for you and enjoy the journey!
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Danielle is Founder of The Well-Intended® and an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach that specializes in Executive Wellness. As a former long-time Senior Executive in the Marketing and Advertising Industry, she’s passionate about improving employees’ quality of life through improved mental and physical well-being and knows first-hand how great an impact it can have both personally and professionally. If you’d like to learn more about how The Well-Intended can help your organization – be it an inspirational speech, engaging workshop, or one-on-one leadership coaching – please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: iStock.com/Eugeneonline
Disclaimer: “The Well-Intended”, and its associated blog and social media pages are owned and operated by The Well-Intended LLC and does not provide medical advice. The Well-Intended’s author is not a physician or licensed medical expert. The content provided shares perspective on a personal wellness journey and healthy lifestyle approach practiced by its owner in order to achieve their own health and happiness. Please consult your physician for advice and/or guidance regarding specific concerns with your own health, vitamins, supplements, fitness plan and/or anything else health- or wellness-related.