Tag Archives: roadwarrior

How to Keep Fit While on the Road

road-trip-exercise-art

Are you a road warrior and struggle to keep up your fitness routine while en route?  Do you tell yourself “I just don’t have the time.”? Or “My hotel doesn’t have a gym so I can’t work out.”?

Well, it’s time you stop lying and making excuses to yourself.  The truth is you CAN make time for exercise and you CAN do a full workout without access to a gym.  The same goes for eating healthy on the road, as some of you might recall from my previous article on “How to Eat Healthy on the Road”.  It’s all possible.  You just have commit to it.   In this post, I will provide some helpful hints on how you can make time to keep fit and work out even if you do not have access to traditional exercise equipment.

HOW TO MAKE TIME TO EXERCISE:

  1. Wake Up Earlier in the Morning

Assuming you don’t have to hit the road really early (and by really early, I mean before 6am), in my opinion, this is the best time to work out.  Working out in the morning has several benefits including but not limited to:

  • Waking you up!
  • Increasing your energy level and metabolism throughout the day.
  • Give you a great excuse to have a full, healthy breakfast before you hit the road. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don’t skimp!
  • Forcing you to go to bed earlier which will reduce the amount of snacking and alcohol consumption you may otherwise do in the evenings.
  1. Fit in Workouts in Between Meetings

When you’re in and out of sales calls all day long, you spend the majority of your day sitting, be it in the car or a client’s office. If you have the time in between meetings, the best thing you can do is go for a walk! I say walk, not jog because you’ll be dressed in business attire and won’t want to break a sweat before that next meeting.

WHERE can you walk?

If it is nice outside, take a stroll in a park, side street or sidewalk in town.

If the weather is poor or too cold, find a shopping mall and take a long brisk walk (without stopping to shop of course!).

If you have more time (>1h), try to squeeze in one of my “Car Workouts” in this article.

  1. After Work: Skip the Snack and Workout Instead

This is another great option which you can do as soon as you get settled into your hotel and before you eat dinner.  Some benefits include:

  • Relieving stress from a hard day on the road
  • Curbing your appetite. Skip that sugary snack or drink upon your arrival to your hotel room, work out instead. Then afterwards so you can load up on a healthy, high protein dinner with lots of veggies.  This may also curb your temptation to snack late at night.
  • Providing that last burst of energy to get you through those daily reports and emails after dinner.
  • Improved sleep (as long as you exercise at least 3 hours before going to bed).

So now that you’ve figured out WHEN you can exercise, WHAT are you going to do for exercise and HOW?

HOW TO PLAN A WORKOUT IN ANY ENVIRONMENT

When you arrive at your hotel, take a few minutes to check out what facilities are available to you.  Typically you will either have access to a

  1. Full gym, equipped with cardio machines and weights
  2. Partial gym, equipped with cardio equipment only OR
  3. No gym

If you’re lucky, you will have access to a fully equipped gym and will be able to do your usual or scheduled workout routine.  Unfortunately, most hotels do not offer this, so you will likely have to do a bit of work to plan your workout.

When you visit the fitness facility in your hotel, bring a small piece of paper and a pen with you (or the notepad in your phone) and make an inventory of the equipment. Next to each piece of equipment make note of the different exercises that you can do.  If you have been working out regularly in the days prior, simply continue with your regular scheduled exercise regimen. On the other hand, if you have been off for a few days, try to do a full body workout and/or work out as many muscle groups as possible. When you’re ready to do your workout, take your note with you to the gym to keep you on track.

In the event that you don’t have access to any weights or exercise equipment, I would recommend trying one of the following workouts I’ve developed with the assistance of my personal trainer.

Tip: If you have access to a treadmill, try to squeeze in some cardio after your workout as this will reduce the amount of lactic acid (a compound that causes muscle cramping) in your bloodstream.

No treadmill? No problem! If you can get outside to walk or jog, great!  If not, most hotels have stairs so try going up and down a few flights to get your cardio in!

The Hotel Room Workout:

womanworkingoutinhotel-room1

Below is a list of suggestions for various exercises that you can do to target certain muscle groups.  All of these exercises can be done in a basic hotel room with no equipment:

Legs: Squats, Lunges, Step-ups (using a table or chair in your room)

Abs: Put a sheet or towel on the floor. Use the base of the bed frame or air conditioner to position your feet under to keep stable and crunch, crunch, crunch away! There are so many ab exercises you can do.  Try a plank position as well.

Chest: Push-ups (on the floor or against a desk, table or bed)

Triceps: Triceps dips on any window ledge, counter or solid surface.

The Car Workout:

guy pullups insidecar

I will forewarn you that you must not be too shy or embarrass easily to do this one.  This workout is great if you have time between appointments and/or you find yourself “homeless” at some point in your travels. By “homeless” I’m referring to the time in between when you have to check out of a hotel and can check into your next hotel. I have categorized each exercise by target muscle groups.

What you will need:

  • Weights (optional): If you’re travelling in your own car, take them from home. If you’re away from home and have a rental, try buying some containers of cat litter that have a handle. They are heavy, cheap and could be used to assist you with traction in the event your vehicle gets stuck in snow, ice or mud. If you don’t have those, try the move in the image above (pull-ups using the coat hanger handles in the back seat of your car)
  • Running Shoes
  • Water

Warm-up: Try a 5 minute walk, jog (on the spot, around the car) or jumping jacks

Triceps: Open your trunk and face away from the car.  Do triceps dips on the lip of the trunk (making sure to keep the palms of your hands placed firmly on the lip of the trunk and fingers facing forward).

Chest: Push-ups either against the open car trunk lip or on the ground

Legs: Squats, Lunges (stationary or walking lunges around the vehicle), Step-ups onto the open trunk lip (only if you have good balance!)

Abs: Sitting on the open lip of the trunk and your hands placed firmly on both sides, fully extend your legs, hold them in place for as long as you can, then contract your legs and repeat.

Biceps: Bicep curls using the containers of cat litter OR if you’re really ambitious, inside your car position yourself in the middle of your car and do pull-ups using the coat hangers in your rear seats like in the above image which will work your chest as well.

Think you’re going to look ridiculous doing those things? All I’m going to say is “Suck it Up Princess! And Just Do it!”

People do Tai Chi in the park all the time. Do they look stupid?..

Ahem…no comment

I digress.

If you find yourself struggling with devising an exercise routine or keeping motivated while you’re on the road, and don’t have a personal trainer to assist you, you should look into companies such as Business Travel Life, which is founded by fitness enthusiast, consultant and former road warrior Kristina Portillo.  Business Travel Life can provide you with workouts customized to meet your unique fitness goals while accommodating your travel schedule.  They will even provide personal training via video conferencing which you can do from the comfort of your hotel room. It is an excellent service that I would highly recommend if you are the type of person that needs that extra “push” to stick to your fitness goals.

If you enjoyed these tips, you may aIso be interested in a guidebook I am currently working on, “A Road Warriors Guide to Eating Healthy and Keeping Fit on the Road” which I hope to have available in print within the next year.  Be sure to subscribe to my blog be notified when it becomes available, as well as for new travel and sales tips which are posted every Thursday.

In the meantime my fellow road warriors, “Keep fit and have fun!”.

TSW

p.s. I hope at least one person got that reference!

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Excuses I’ve Used to Try and Get Out of Traffic Tickets

Some are good, some are bad but most are just plain stupid!

A beautiful young woman sitting in the drivers seat of her car, holds up her hands and shrugs with hopelessness as a police officer stands outside her vehicle writing her a moving violation ticket.

If you drive a vehicle, surely you must have gotten at least one traffic ticket in your life.  If you’re a road warrior like me, you’ve most likely have had more than your fair share.  The odds are against us. After all, we make a living on the road and when we aren’t in meetings or in the office,  we are most likely to be driving around rushing to our next meeting , driving in unfamiliar areas and scrambling to find parking.  It’s only inevitable that we have slip-ups from time to time.

Traffic laws are in place for a reason.  Aside from the obvious safety risks of breaking those laws, if you have too many speeding or traffic tickets, you will end up paying an arm and a leg for insurance. If you’re really bad, you may even risk losing your driver’s license.  If you make a career out of being a road warrior and you lose your license, your career is over, unless you happen to be wealthy enough to hire a private driver!

I really make an honest effort to drive within the speed limit and park legally but sometimes, I slip up and make mistakes. Nobody is perfect and I am certainly no exception.  I’d like to make note that these excuses I have used to try and get out of traffic tickets are for entertainment purposes only. I do not condone or promote breaking any laws.

Below is a list of some of the best and worst excuses I’ve used to try and get out of traffic tickets.

My Most Successful Attempts:

BEST EXCUSE “I spilled hot coffee on my left leg.”

coffee-pants

Charge: Speeding 92km/hr in 50km/hr zone

Circumstance: He caught me right where the speed limit dropped from 80km/hr to 50km/hr.  I realized I didn’t slow down in time.  I was also studying withdrawal reflexes in my neuroscience class at the time and it suddenly dawned on me that I’d “spill” hot coffee on my left leg which would make me withdraw that leg and extend my right leg (on the gas pedal) as a reflex.  I was only a few minutes from a coffee shop, so it could have legitimately happened.  Not that I tend to stereotype, but I was certain that most police officers would have at least once spilled hot coffee on their lap and could sympathize.

Verdict: No ticket.  BUT I must point out that this  happened a few year years ago and I wouldn’t recommend using this excuse these days because you may end up with a careless driving charge!

BEST ATTEMPT: Officer: “How Fast Were You Going? TSW: “15km Over The Speed Limit” *wink wink*

80kmh sign

Charge: Speeding 117 in 80km/hr zone

Circumstance: I was driving home on a country road that I normally take home. I finished work early on a sunny Friday afternoon and was simply not paying attention to my speedometer.  When the officer asked me how fast I thought I was going, I realized what he probably clocked me at but I smiled and said “95km/hour?”.

Verdict: Reduced Ticket for 95km/hr in 80km/hr zone (no demerits). I’m confident this excuse only worked because my driving record for the past 6 years was completely clean, so I thought I had a chance.

WEAK ATTEMPT “I’m from Ontario (in Quebec)”

xcusssme licenseplate

Charge: Driving the wrong way on a one way street…twice.

Circumstance: I was in Quebec, the French only speaking province in Canada.  I couldn’t figure out how to get out of this network of streets except to turn around and go the wrong way.  I pleaded ignorance. He even caught me doing it a second time!

Verdict: No charge. Pfewf!

RISKY ATTEMPT: “But I Signaled (when I passed you and cut you off on the highway)” *BIG SMILE*

Turn_signals_5

Charge: Speeding 131km/hr in a 100km/hr zone

Circumstance: Passing an unmarked police cruiser on the highway and cut him off.  I had nothing to say except smile and say “I signaled!”

Verdict: Reduced to 115km/hr (no demerits). That was pure luck!

My Least Successful Attempts:

DISHONEST ATTEMPT: “Somebody Was Following Me”

carfollowing

Charge: Speeding 72km/h in a 50km/hr zone

Circumstance: I was driving faster but slammed on my brakes when I saw the police car. He was obviously aware of this.

Verdict: Guilty as charged.  The police officer screamed at me saying “What are you trying to do? Kill some kids??” I dind’t realize it was a school zone.  Bad, bad me!

DUMB BLONDE ATTEMPT:That’s the distance from my destination? I thought it was my speed. Oh, and can I borrow your flashlight officer?”

gps

Charge: Speeding 131km/hr in 100km/hr zone (4 demerits)

Circumstance: I was driving from Toronto to Montreal at night which is normally about a 6 hour drive.  There is a particular stretch near the town of Cornwall which is notorious for its speed traps. After I passed this town, I stopped paying attention to my speed and was focusing on how soon I’d be at my destination.  I must have been going about 135 km/hr when I realized I drove past a police cruiser (black SUV) parked in the middle of the dark highway.  He pulled out behind me but didn’t put his sirens on right away.  But eventually he caught up to me.  When he approached my vehicle and asked me how fast I was going, I said “My GPS says 115km/hr, oh wait, shoot that’s the distance from my destination!” I explained I was tired after working all day and it was late at night. He then questioned what time I left Toronto and wasn’t pleased with my answer. When he asked me for my insurance documents I couldn’t see in the dark with the flashing lights behind me, so I had to ask him to borrow his flashlight. When I handed over my documents, it turned out he was from the same town as me, so that was a nice coincidence.  When he asked what I did for a living, that  didn’t go over well.  Apparently telling the police you’re in sales, isn’t going to get you very far!

Verdict: Guilty on a lesser charge: 123km/hr in 100km/hr (3 demerits)

ANOTHER DUMB BLONDE ATTEMPT: “I didnd’t know what “RES” did but it made my car speed up just as I passed you!”

cruise-control-honda-the-car-expert

Charge: Speeding 137km/hr in 80km/hr zone (If I did this now I would have lost my license on the spot!)

Circumstance: New car. New button. Apparently it was set really high? This was my first speeding ticket.

Verdict: Guilty on a lesser charge: 117km/hr in a 100km/hr zone.  I took this one to court and had it reduced to 95km/hr (no demerits). This only happened because it was my very first ticket.

LAME ATTEMPT: “I was just going with the flow of traffic.”

carsfast

Charge: Speeding 65km/hr in 50km/hr zone (no demerits)

Circumstance: This cop pulled 10 of us over at the same time.  He just waved us into a driveway and gave us all a ticket. When I asked to see the radar gun, he started to yell at me for not pulling over immediately and threatened to give me ticket for evading a police officer. I told him he pulled over too many of us and there was nowhere else to park. I wasn’t going to park in somebody’s driveway or in front of a fire hydrant, so I parked a little further away.

Verdict: Guilty.  He obviously had a quota to meet that day and since the ticket wasn’t even for demerits, I didn’t bother fighting it.

I CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO MAKE UP AN EXCUSE ATTEMPT: “I don’t know”

Talking-to-Police-Officer

Charge: Speeding

Circumstance: I’m ticked off that I got pulled over and don’t have the patience to bother making up an excuse.

Verdict: Variable ranging from being let off entirely to getting slapped with the full charge.

STUPID ATTEMPT THAT NEVER WORKS: “I’m late for work.”

man-pointing-at-watch-3-25-11

Charge: Speeding (don’t recall)

Circumstance: Obvious.

Verdict: Guilty every time! That’s a LOUSY excuse!

 

 

So there you go folks. Those are some of the excuses I’ve used over the years. I never said they were successful! Fortunately (and thanks to my good behavior), I haven’t had any run ins with the traffic police in a few years now.

Let the take home message be to drive safe my friends and follow the speed limit so you can stay on the road and sell, sell, sell!

Cheers,

TSW

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Tips for Eating Healthy on the Road

foodbalance

Most people know what it means to eat healthy just as most people and understand the experience of working on the road. Unfortunately however, these are most often seen as mutually exclusive behaviors.

If you know what it takes to eat healthy and you know what it is like living on the road, why is it so difficult to do both simultaneously?

Usually when I tell people that I work on the road for extended periods of time, the first thing they say is “You are so lucky! You get to eat out at nice restaurants all of the time and eat whatever you want.”, as if it is some sort of vacation at an all-inclusive resort. New sales representatives are often of this mindset as well, especially because most sales people have an expense account.

For those of you following me on social media, you may be aware that I am currently doing a 3 week business trip covering Western Canada.  This means that I am travelling by plane, by car and staying at hotels every night.  Most days, I am even changing hotels every day which makes it even more difficult to eat healthy.

After you’ve been in sales for a while, eating out gets old and you get to the point where you’d do just about anything for a nice home cooked meal.   About 8 years into my sales career, I had gained approximately 40 pounds and I decided that enough was enough.  I started working with a personal trainer and developed a system to keep fit and eat healthy on the road.

Besides weight gain, why should you bother eating healthy on the road? Eating healthy is not only great for your overall long term health, but on the short term it can provide a well needed energy boost and ramp up your immune system. 

How do I plan to eat healthy on the road?

  1. Stay at Suite Hotels

This is my best kept secret! Why? Because suite hotels:

  • Are the same price if not cheaper than a standard hotel room at a major chain
  • They have full kitchens which are equipped with everything you need to prepare almost any meal that you can in the comfort of your own home.
  • Sometimes suite hotels even have in-suite laundry which can allow you to dramatically reduce the amount of luggage you are carrying
  1. Shop at the Grocery Store

Treat your suite hotel as your home-away-from-home. Go shopping as if you were planning to make your meals and lunches for the week at home.  This will not only save you (or your employer) money but it will surely save you some inches on your waistline and maybe add years to your lifespan.  Below are some examples of meals I commonly prepare in my hotel room:

Breakfast:

Breakfast

  • Protein Shake (milk, protein powder) & Bananna OR
  • Oatmeal, Mixed Berries (frozen if I have access to a freezer for a few days, fresh if not) & Greek Yogurt.

 

 

 

Lunch:

Sandwich using whole wheat or multigrain bread:

  • Chicken/Turkey with tomato, lettuce, onion, pepper low-fat cream cheese (the veggies I will also buy to prepare a salad for dinner and will make at the same time)
  • Tuna, low-fat cream cheese or 1% cottage cheese

**TIP: TO KEEP THESE COOL, PACK A FREEZER PACK AND A LUNCH SAC SO THEY WILL NOT SPOIL

Snacks:

  • Boiled egg
  • Fruit or veggies
  • Protein bar
  • Low fat cheese (Swiss) or cottage cheese
  • Can of tuna

Dinner:

dinner

  • Mixed greens salad (appetizer)
  • Roasted chicken with smashed potatoes and steamed or broiled veggies
  • Chicken Fajitas (chicken, peppers, onions, cheese, whole wheat tortilla) with a side of veggies

 

 

  1. Must-Have Items:

These items can either be bought at your location or you could pack them and bring them with you on your journey:

  • Lunch bag
  • Ice packs
  • Ziplock Bags: These are great for storing snacks, sorting single serving sizes of protein powder, oatmeal etc.
  • Reusable grocery bag: It is good to have at least one large reusable grocery bag for transporting your foods. For me, if I have 1 suitcase, 1 briefcase, 1 purse, 1 lunch bag and 1 large grocery bag, I can usually make it to and from my hotel room in a single trip.
  • Coffee Filters: Aside from the obvious use, these can also be used to store washed fruit in your lunch bag to prevent it from getting dirty, to keep your fresh berries fresh by putting it at the bottom of the container or soaking up excess water in a bowl when you prepare a salad.
  • Olive Oil/Balsamic Vinegar: These can be used on a variety of foods ranging from salad dressings to cooking meats (marinade, frying, etc.)

You might be thinking, “Travelling Saleswoman you are in sales! You can’t avoid eating out all of the time?”

And yes, you are correct.  Certainly I must make time to entertain clients and occasionally take them out for a meal! Most of the time however, I prepare my own meals and snacks.

When I tell people that I have been on the road (away from home) for over 1 week and never ate out at a restaurant or had takeout even once, their minds are blown!  When I tell them that I cook in my prepare all of my own meals in my hotel room, they usually look at me as if I am speaking a foreign language.

I am currently working on a guidebook for professionals who spend a lot of time on the road in which I will be providing very detailed tips on how to stay fit and eat healthy.  This book will contain my typical shopping list, recipes, how I find the best suite hotels and much more.

In the meantime, if you would like any general tips or some of my hotel cooking recipes, please email me at TheTravellingSaleswoman@gmail.com and I will be happy to share.

Safe Travels,

TSW

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