The Health Drawbacks of Business Travel

As I mentioned previously, I travel a lot for work, and currently I find myself living in a hotel in Mexico City. As someone who is conscious of both mental and physical health, this situation has its drawbacks.

However, in addition to sharing the negatives to this situation, I’ll be sharing some solutions I have discovered, or at least ways to make it easier and more wholesome!

1. I have limited gym facilities.

Whilst I made every effort to get a hotel with a gym, unfortunately the definition of “gym” is somewhat lax: the fitness facilites in my hotel consist of a single treadmill and cross trainer in a small, poorly-ventilated and mosquito-filled room. But nonetheless, I’m down there at least 4 days a week.

The solution: I practice yoga in my room on a daily basis, and run outside when I can. In fact, by the time you’re reading this, I’ll be doing my weekly Sunday 6-miler and stretching those legs!

2. I do not have a kitchen.

This is the biggest source of frustration for me, as I absolutely love to cook: I find cooking healthily on a budget to be a fun challenge and get a lot of enjoyment out of it. I also love to cook for friends, and make an occasion out of dinner.

sad1
Me, without kitchen.

The solution: I do the best I can, with what I have. I still do a weekly supermarket shop for snacks and foods I can prepare at the office. For instance, I make porridge every morning in the office microwave, and store greek yogurts and cottage cheese in the fridge. No-one’s complained so far!

3. Most of my food is takeout

Leading on from the previous point: I buy most of my food from restaurants or takeaway places. It sucks, but thankfully it is covered by my expenses allowance, so that’s one less thing to worry about.

The solution: I have luckily discovered three salad chains near my hotel and office, where I can always be sure to get a protein and veg-filled salad. Delivery sites like Sin Delantal and Hello Food have also proved invaluable. I have been known on multiple occasions to order my food from the eliptical, always trying to time its arrival perfectly for the end of my workout!

4. I am on the go most of the time. 

This statement is less true now that the company has a local office in the city, but previously my days involved three or four meetings, all of 2-3 hours each, and all across the city, with hours spent in taxis and little time to stop and eat.

The solution: I always carry snacks. I pre-buy them, and always have three or four in my handbag. That’s why it’s so heavy! When I’m caught out, I can usually find dried fruit & nuts, natural yogurt or even a banana at a local shop. But sometimes, you just have to suck it up and have a cookie for breakfast. Sigh…

cookie1

5. Living in a hotel can drive you crazy.

I am currently in week 5 of my current hotel stay, and it’s getting unpleasant. Whilst it’s great to have clean sheets and towels everyday, it also gets incredibly lonely.

crazy

The solution: I keep busy during the evenings, with workouts and yoga. I watch Youtube videos and listen to podcasts to banish the deafening silence. And most importantly, I use this ’empty time’ to get in touch with friends and family via Whatsapp, Facebook or email. Sure, they won’t get it straight away due to the time difference (6 hours!), but there’s nothing I love more right now than waking up to 20 messages on Whatsapp and an email from my mum!

So as you can see, all is not lost when living in a hotel, or even when life gets really busy. I hope you, business traveller or not, got something useful from this. I’ll be back soon for more!

Lots of love,

Pippa

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