Any time someone leaves for a trip, diet and exercise routines tend to take a backseat.
Convenience becomes the top priority for food choices, and local gyms might as well be on the dark side of the moon with how inconvenient they feel.
Before you know it, all the snacks you’ve been dutifully avoiding become a regular part of your diet, and you’ve completely fallen out of your exercise routine.
For most people, trips like this only last a few weeks, and then it’s back to your regularly scheduled meal plans. But what happens when these trips are your norm?
For traveling professionals, it becomes incredibly easy to create new unhealthy habits and much harder to break them. Soon, the pounds start adding up, and you could enter a vicious and unhealthy cycle that’ll have you looking and feeling less than your best.
Luckily, by committing to a few simple principles in your daily routine, you will be able to stay fit and get through your day with loads of natural energy.
Keep it Simple
Unless you’re in the process of crafting a perfect body that looks like it was carved in stone by Michaelangelo himself, there’s a good chance you don’t really need the bells and whistles of a fitness center.
Staying fit is an entirely separate discipline from bodybuilding and can be done anywhere, anytime.
You’d be amazed just how much progress you can make with a daily routine of pushups, squats, and short jogs. You don’t need to overcomplicate with muscle targeting or compound exercises — just do the basics, do them regularly, and your body will thank you for it later.
As the saying goes: the best workout plan is the one you can stick to.
If you’ve been overindulging and not exercising for months or even years, don’t try to jump on a 30-minute HIIT routine every single day.
High-intensity interval training is great (more on that later), but you’ll need to slowly build in difficulty over the course of several months. That way, the shock to your system doesn’t leave you struggling to get out of bed and questioning all of your life decisions.
Water, Water, and More Water
Everybody knows how harmful sodas and sugary drinks are to our bodies, yet that knowledge rarely stops people from indulging almost daily.
Outside of whatever caffeinated beverage you use to get through the workday, water should be the only thing on the menu.
The average 12oz soda contains about 150 calories, which takes about 35 minutes of running to fully burn off. That’s likely more than your entire workout routine when you’re starting out. All for ONE SODA!
If you’re a soda drinker and you make the switch to water, you’ll be cutting out anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 calories a month, equivalent to 17.5 hours of jogging. Then, by just adding a light workout routine on top of that, you can make up some serious ground in the war on your waistline.
Workout Earlier Rather Than Later
If we make the healthy decision to exercise in the morning, we’re more likely to make healthier decisions during the day.
A 2018 study of 2,680 college students showed that people who worked out for at least 30 minutes went on to make healthier choices in their days. The subjects ate less fried food and less red meat, despite never being asked to change their diets.
But that’s just ONE of the many benefits of working out in the morning. Here are some more.
It’s been shown that early morning exercises lead to the release of neurotransmitters that promote clarity and an improved attention span.
There are also psychological benefits that you’ll reap throughout the day as a result of accomplishing a difficult task, so you can expect to be in a much better mood as well as more focused.
Increased Weight Loss
Working out early in the morning can help put your body in a state of ketosis throughout the whole day. When you work out in the morning, preferably before breakfast, your body will need to take energy from fat stores rather than carbohydrates, stimulating weight loss.
Improved Sleep Quality
Morning exercises have been associated with deeper sleep cycles and up to 75% more regenerative sleep than those who exercise at night. This is likely due to the better hormone regulation that comes with morning and mid-day exercising.
Nighttime workouts, while convenient for some, cause spikes in your heart rate and increase endorphins. These can mess with your sleep cycle, which may cause its own set of health issues.
Prioritize High-Intensity, Low-Duration Exercises
If you’ve been trending in the right direction with your diet and fitness for a while, it might be time to start ramping things up.
Studies have shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises can be as much as 45x more effective than moderate exercises, such as casual jogging.
Jogging is an incredibly therapeutic exercise and can help you transition from a sedentary to an active lifestyle, but if you’re looking to maximize your workout and minimize the duration, then HIIT might be for you.
HIIT exercises are things like burpees, mountain climbers, high knees, and lunge jumps (and many others) that combine aspects of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
The average high-intensity routine only lasts about 20 minutes, toggling between one minute of exercise and one minute of rest.
You can either incorporate a few of these exercises into a larger routine or make HIIT the entire routine. They are quick and effective, and they can be done anywhere. In essence, it’s the perfect workout solution for traveling medical professionals.
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