March 2006 Newsletter
Making the Most of Your Trip
Dear Fellow Business
I recently returned from yet another trip to the west coast, where I
stayed for what felt like the 100th time at the same hotel. The good
thing about staying at the same place time and again is that you can
fall into a good routine. In this month’s newsletter, I recount how I
came up with my healthy routine; you can adapt these ideas to get the
most out of your next trip and avoid the perils of falling into a bad
To Your Health,
Customer Service, Healthy Travel
Network and Chief
Fall into a Good Routine
Falling into a good routine is just as easy as falling into a bad one!
As is often the case when traveling, you arrive too late and tired to
eat a proper meal. Hopefully, you preloaded your briefcase with healthy
snacks but if you didn’t or if you’re just craving something different,
give microwave popcorn a try. I discovered it on my last trip and found
that a typical bag is only 180 calories and has 3 grams of fiber. You
can find popcorn in the vending machine or sundries store, and if your
room doesn’t have a microwave, usually you can find one in a common
area of the hotel.
Pair your popcorn with a protein bar for a more balanced meal. The fat
and protein in the bar will help you fill satiated so you aren’t
grabbing candy at midnight.
Your mother was right—breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Many studies have shown that successful dieters consistently eat a
healthy breakfast. After much searching for healthy and appetizing
items on generally lame hotel breakfast buffets, I finally found a few
items that get my day off to a good start.
Skip the carbohydrate and sugar laden bagels, donuts, and Danishes, and
look for protein rich foods that have some fat. Yes, fat! Your body
needs it to function properly, and it will help you fill full so that
you aren’t snacking by 10am. If the eggs look appealing (and real), I
try a small helping of them with a slice of whole wheat toast and some
fruit. If the eggs are simply too horrible, I opt for whole wheat toast
with peanut butter (also great when you are late for your meeting).
Note that while cream cheese does contain protein, it doesn’t contain
nearly as much as peanut butter. And while peanut butter does
contain more fat, the ratio of fat to protein is more balanced in
peanut butter than in cream cheese.
Don’t forget to
add some fruit for fiber and vitamins.
The hotel that I keep getting stuck at is near San Francisco bay. For
about the first half dozen visits, I kept trying to enjoy the beautiful
San Francisco weather by walking or running by the Bay, which I knew
was flanked by wonderful trails. However I kept failing to find my way
over to it on foot. The staff at the hotel wasn’t particularly helpful.
I am not sure what flash of insight I finally gained, but I stopped in
at the hotel next door to see if they could help. Behold! The desk
clerk produced a wonderful walking map of the area, allowing me to
finally enjoy the Bay.
If at first you don’t succeed, ask someone at a more expensive hotel.
The fitness center, while in existence, of course leaves a lot to be
desired at my “budget” hotel. In fairly short order, I concocted yet
another hotel room workout to fit my time constraints and
accommodations. This particular one consisted of 3 sets of 20 reps each
:: One-legged squats—Stand
about 2 feet in front of a stable chair or low table. Extend one leg
behind you, toes resting on the chair/table. Squat down as you normally
would, but of course you are on one leg only. Repeat on the other side.
Remember not to let the knee of your forward foot extend pas your
ankle, so adjust your positioning accordingly if needed.
:: Decline push-ups—Start
in push-up position, but with both feet on a low table, step, or even a
couple of phone books. Do push-ups as usual.
:: Plank abdominal
hold—Start in a plank position, on your elbows. (Same as the
starting point for a push-up, but you are on your elbows instead of
hands.) Hold in this static position for 60 seconds. For an added
challenge, try holding on one foot only and alternate to the other foot
after 30 seconds.
Wishing you safe
travels on your next trip and hoping you fall into a good routine and
avoid the bad ones!