trolley dance bent 1Getting ready for a trip takes a lot of preparation and too often exercise becomes the last priority. Smart travels begin with training, not for a marathon, while many trips may feel like that, but with regular, cardio exercise. It can be as simple as walking briskly for half an hour daily during the week before leaving, keeping up your Yoga or Pilates classes, or extended workouts at your gym. Bathing your body with fresh oxygen, while releasing toxins from muscles and organs, will help you stay healthy, safer and mentally ready to endure the natural stresses that come with travel.

Exercise is more important the longer the trip. Say you’re getting ready for a cross-country flight of 5 hours or more. Our bodies weren’t designed to hold up well being stationery for that long. We evolved, if you will, to stretch, lean, reach, climb, run – basically to keep moving and smart travel incorporates that. It’s one reason long distance flight is so stressful.

Stress can cut away at your productivity, enjoyment and lower your immunity. When your system has been flushed with the endorphins released during a strong workout, you feel better and also release stress. You may experience a “runners high”, which can extend into long hours of being sedentary. Lactic acid buildup in muscles, which can cause aches and pain, will have been released. Twists and stretches help as well – before leaving, while traveling and certainly when you arrive. It’s a big reason I designed Drivetime Yoga and Flytime Yoga with an ergonomic consultant and physical therapist.

Many avoid travel at all costs, not wanting the hassles and stress. Knowing what works for you is key. When your work demands that you are away from home for lengths of time; if you travel during peak periods or in crowded places; or you’ve invested in a long vacation, it’s important to take care of yourself and that includes exercise.

The business trip:

I’m getting ready to attend an industry conference at the height of flu and cold season. Several members of my immediate family are already dealing with congestion and fatigue. I’ve been watching my diet – keeping sugars and caffeine to a minimum, as they can further tax an overwrought system. Even with all the packing and prep, regularly using my elliptical and Yoga mat has been essential. Sleep is another priority as a tired body is more susceptible to infection. So far so good – I simply refuse and can’t afford to get sick!

Along with all that, I’ve been drinking immune boosting teas that include Echinacea, taking lots of Vitamin C and eating more green vegetables and fruit. Once at the event there won’t be as many options to eat as well as I’d like – at least not easily. Those I find will certainly l be more expensive. I also pack several baggies of cut veggies, dates and nuts for quick energy boosting snacks. Carrying a refillable water bottle and my own insulated cup for coffee and tea, will help me stay hydrated, regular and less stressed.

Being indoors, with recycled air for hours and days, with hundreds of people drawn from around the continent, means exposure to lots of new bacteria and viruses.  Smart travel begins with doing all I can to make sure I stay in top form, having a more fun, productive and profitable trip.

How do you travel smart?