Business Travel Exercise Hack
By: Justin Guido
Exercise plays huge role in work productivity. When you’re in a consistent routine, you can optimize your natural energy, creativity and focus. As we grow more and more busy, many people tend to overlook (or forget) how these benefits translate to your professional life, especially when we’re on the road. In my view, there’s clearly a domino effect in play…
Let’s start with natural energy, a vital component of a productive work life. Despite the fact that it ‘costs’ us energy, regular exercise increases energy levels and reduces feelings of fatigue. Natural and sustained energy… Isn’t that what all of us really want? It changes the game when applied to work. It’s very hard to stay motivated and productive in your job when your energy is depleted. And, travel makes it all the more difficult.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about replacing external energy sources with internal ones. For example, I’m trying to let exercise replace caffeine. (With more natural energy, you have less dependence on caffeine and other stimulants, which provide a “quick fix” followed by an eventual crash.) This is often the daytime vise of choice for steady work travelers. And, when we lessen our dependence on it, the research says we’ll experience better sleep and sleep quality. Do you see a pattern here? Double whammy!
Getting quality sleep is crucial to brain health/function, memory and concentration – this factors into our success on the road. By exercising, you’re changing the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills. Researchers have found that regular aerobic exercise boosts the size of the hippocampus (the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning). Other direct benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.
If that weren’t enough, how about simply feeling happier? Exercise fights depression, anxiety and stress (all mood traits that are maximized by travel). It helps our body produce more endorphins – which helps us be more creative and less distracted with external factors and challenges in our lives.
While it may be more challenging for some than others, if you can take a planned and conscientious approach to exercise in your regular routine, even when you’re on the road, you’ll experience more natural energy, creativity and focus… and your work life will thank you!