Traveling across the globe has many obvious perks. You get to experience foreign environments, try different foods, meet new people, and learn about other cultures. Its especially enjoyable when you get to do all of this as part of your job. Traveling for work is enviable to those who don’t get the opportunity. However, recent studies show that there are a significant amount of adverse side effects that come from frequent business travel.
Scott Cohen, deputy director of research of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey, published a paper called: A Darker Side of Hypermobility. Cohen collected data from the past 15 years of major studies regarding constant travel. Some of his findings revealed that those who are “hypermobile” are at risk of a range of negative physiological, psychological, emotional, and social effects.
Effects of Frequent Business Travel
Frequent flying can lead to chronic jet lag. This in turn can cause a disruption in the gene expression that influences aging and the immune system. The risk of heart attack or stroke is higher in those who suffer from chronic jet lag.
Weakened Immune System
Constant travel means more frequent and more lengthy exposure to germs. Especially during flights when you’re breathing in the recirculated air within the cabin. Jet lag and the stress that comes with travel can also affect the body’s ability to fight off potentially harmful germs.
Business travel usually means less time to focus on eating well. It is more difficult to grocery shop, or cook homemade meals while on the go. So many people resort to eating out or take advantage of hotel buffets. Unsurprisingly this only magnifies the health risk of constant travelers because their bodies aren’t getting necessary nutrients.
Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling
It may seem like a no-brainer to stay hydrated during travel. After all, hydration is important all the time, not matter if you’re on a plane. However, it is very easy to forget how necessary water is. Especially if your day is jam packed with meetings, and conferences. Drinking water is probably the last thing on your mind. An easy way to remind yourself to stay hydrated is to carry a water bottle with you. If it’s empty you will notice and remember to fill it up. If you always have it with you then it will be hard to ignore.
It might be difficult to avoid alcohol during business trips. A lot of time you’ll take clients to dinner where it’s expected to order a drink. While one glass of wine won’t do much damage, it is important to stay conservative in your alcohol consumption during travel. Alcohol is a depressant and it will dehydrate you which will contribute to exhaustion and stress.
Take advantage of hotel gyms as much as possible when you travel. Even twenty or thirty minutes on the treadmill will go along way when it comes to keeping your body happy and healthy.
Stick to a Diet
Eric Ruiz of the Observer, wrote an article about the tips he follows to stay healthy during business travel. He said that no matter where he is, he follows a similar diet of protein and veggies. He said this helps to reduce time and stress spent on deciding meals. It also allows him to stay within a pretty healthy diet and avoid eating anything that could make him sick.
Our team members at Number8 often get the opportunity to travel across the world for work. We recognize the importance in taking care of our health during these trips, and we follow all of the above tips to ensure we are always functioning at 100 percent. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page here!