When you hear about people who frequently travel for work it’s easy to think it’s all glamour, all the time: four and five-star hotels, airport lounges, exciting cities, gourmet meals, high-powered meetings.
Thing is, when you’re actually travelling on business, the reality can be somewhat less alluring. You’re exhausted, busy and stressed, most of the time. Often, you’re in two or three cities in a 24-hour period, spending long, dreary days in a conference room. The closest you’re getting to the sights? An upward glance at the skyline from the back of your taxicab at dusk.
Even when your schedule is unpredictable, it’s crucial to maintain a routine and (attempt a) healthy lifestyle when you’re travelling. Which means not living off packs of Doritos, beer and chocolate bars.
It also means that your exercise regimen when travelling should include more than running across an airport terminal to avoid missing a flight.
“A helpful way to understand how to switch off from ‘work mode’ when travelling is to look at how your brain and autonomic nervous system work,” explains fitness guru and personal trainer Matt Roberts.
“Your brain function can be broken down into one of two categories: sympathetic activity (often called ‘fight or flight’ activity) and parasympathetic activity (often called ‘rest and digest’ activity).
“When we’re in ‘work mode’ most of us tend to be too ‘sympathetic’ Chronic sympathetic activity means we produce stress hormones like cortisol which, over a prolonged period of time, can be detrimental to health. To address this, we therefore need to make the time to engage in activities that promote a more parasympathetic state – essentially things that get us out of ‘work mode’.”
Here are the exercises and activities you should be doing to clear your head and shake off that ‘work-mode’ mindset.