There’s an air of old-world glamour about business travel: a jauntily-perched fedora, martini in hand, being ushered from jet to curb by a team of well-heeled assistants. The reality of today’s work travel, however, is decidedly more grim. In fact, research shows that frequent business trips cause the body to age more quickly and increase your risk of stroke or heart attack. Combine that with the unhealthy lifestyle options faced by many travellers–lack of access to quality foods, fewer opportunities for exercise, and disruptions in sleep patterns–and it is perhaps no surprise that frequent business travellers are 92% more likely to suffer from obesity.
But business travel doesn’t have to break you. With the increase of healthy options available on the road, there’s no reason travelling well and eating well can’t go hand in hand. Westin Hotels & Resorts, in particular, have developed menus that are designed to offer healthier choices when travelling. From foods that minimise the effects of jet lag, to breakfast choices that ensure you won’t slump mid-meeting, right through to what to eat to encourage a good night’s sleep, we’ve curated an array of simple, conscious choices that will help you develop healthy habits, maintain a stress-free routine, and guarantee you’ll be at the top of your game for those vital meetings and client presentations.
No Lagging Behind
- Caffeine can help you get past a slump, but try not to rely too heavily on the buzz: experts suggest sticking to fewer than three cups of coffee or tea a day while traveling, and avoiding caffeine after noon the day you arrive. And try to enjoy at least one of those cold brews outdoors: exposure to natural light is one of the best ways to reset your body’s circadian rhythms.
- When adjusting your internal clock, portion control is key. Eating smaller meals throughout the day triggers crucial, natural energy boosts–and will ensure you don’t fade in the middle of that important business dinner.
- While it can be tempting to reach for fast food options while jetting from the tarmac to the office, do your best to refrain: processed foods can limit your body’s ability to produce serotonin, the calming hormone you need for relaxation and sleep. Instead, stick to healthy fats and whole grains for sustained energy. One good on-the-go option? Try a wrap with lean meats, roasted vegetables, and avocado or hummus.
Find Your Focus
- Staring down a long day of meetings? Steer clear of the sticky, rich waffles and bubbling sausages at the breakfast buffet. Smaller, protein-rich breakfast options such as Greek yogurt with nuts and seeds, or eggs with avocado and whole-wheat toast provide whole grains and healthy fats, all proven to boost blood flow to the brain. Perfect for helping you focus as that 30-minute catch-up call rolls into hour three…
- Packed travel schedules often leave little time for leisurely lunches. A juice or smoothie is a great way to pack a big nutritional punch when you’re short on time: look for one that’s high in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, beets, and spinach. Antioxidants reduce inflammation associated with travel, helping to ease those plane-cramped muscles, and aiding in clarity and concentration. Even more efficient? Choosing a hotel with in-house options that cater to health-conscious travellers. Westin’s partnership with The Juicery offers a range of grab-and-go vitamin-packed juices and smoothies for an easy way to simplify your schedule while fulfilling all your nutritional needs.
- A good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success while travelling, but it’s not always easy to adjust to a new schedule and unfamiliar bed. The reduced oxygen in airplane cabins creates an environment that is 3x drier than the Sahara Desert, and the resulting dehydration can wreak havoc on sleep. Beyond guzzling your H20, try a night time snack of thirst-quenching fruit like cantaloupe, apple, or pear to help rehydrate on a cellular level.
- Your grandmother was onto something: a mug of herbal tea before bed is a great way to wind down. Look for blends that include lavender, chamomile, or ginger–all proven to reduce stress, induce calm, and soothe digestion, leading to deeper and more restful sleep.
- You might be used to thinking of breakfast cereals as a good option for, well, breakfast, but don’t overlook the potential of a bowl of muesli as a pre-bed treat: oats are loaded with melatonin, while almonds are packed with tryptophan and magnesium to naturally steady your heart rate. Top your bowl off with skimmed milk for the ultimate in super food synergy: the calcium helps your body convert tryptophan into sleep-inducing melatonin. Enjoy these options in the peace and quiet of your hotel room with Westin’s Sleep Well menu, a curated selection of sleep-enhancing superfoods–the perfect way to have your snack and sleep well, too.
Discover more ways Westin Hotels & Resorts can enhance your business trip here.
This article was written for Westin Hotels & Resorts by Quartz Creative and not by the Quartz editorial staff.