I love swimming, biking, and running — preferably in the same hour! In many ways, triathlons are very analogous to running a successful company, as I said in an interview with D Magazine.
People ask me all the time how I’m able to train for triathlons while running a successful company, raising four kids, constantly traveling all over the world, and dealing with all of the other hustle and bustle of life. So, to answer these questions, here are some tips on how to fit in workouts and stay fit and healthy while traveling and dealing with a busy schedule.
Always Pack Workout Gear
My travel schedule is grueling. I’m often in three cities in a single week for business meetings or to speak at different events. It can be hard to be consistent with a workout schedule. This is why, no matter where I go or what I do, I always have my workout gear with me. My running shoes are the first thing I put in my suitcase!
If you have your gear, then throwing it on and jetting out the hotel door to workout is so much easier. In addition to my running shoes and clothes, I always bring a swimsuit (I especially love ocean swims when I can get them), as well as my Garmin fitness tracker. Keeping a record of my daily activities provides that extra level of motivation to get me going.
Don’t Forget Healthy Snacks
Traveling can wreak havoc on your diet and nutrition. Plus, eating poorly can negatively affect the quality of your workouts and also hurt your immune system when you need it the most. So, make sure to always have some kind of healthy snack to prevent yourself from making bad choices. Plus, it will help keep your body fueled and ready to workout.
My personal snacks of choice while on the road are protein bars, along with plenty of water and electrolytes. Eating properly and staying hydrated also helps prevent the worst effects of exhaustion and jet lag, which can further weaken your immune system and prevent you from being at your best.
Have a Buddy
I prefer to travel with people who also love to bike, swim, and run, so we can help keep each other motivated and moving while traveling. Knowing that other people are relying on you can be a big help in getting up early to run or work out.
To motivate myself when a workout is the last thing I’d rather do, I think of the positive benefits that it will bring. Exercise always helps clear my mind, gives me a boost of energy, and setting me on my way to accomplishing my goals, even in those times when all I want is just a little more sleep. Having a workout partner helps me get out the door and on my way to a better day.
I often travel for business meetings and speaking engagements, so I need to prep for what I’m going to say when I step into the board room or onto the stage. Using a run to go through my notes or talking points for that day’s activities is a great productivity booster. It also allows me to contemplate new ideas while staying in shape.
It can also be hugely productive to hold meetings during a run or bike ride — this is my way of staying fit instead of always meeting for coffee or a drink. These types of “working” workouts help my brain function better and allow me to multitask at the same time. It’s a great way to use the little free time that I have to accomplish two things at once!
Mix It Up
One thing I like to do while traveling is finding out what the locals do to stay in shape. So, if I’m in Miami, I will ride my bike along the trails or run along the beach. If I’m in Milwaukee in the winter, where it can be way too cold to run outside, I will do some hot yoga at one of the many studios there. It is so much more fun to do something outside of the ordinary when you’re in a new place. It’s also much easier to convince yourself to be active if there’s novelty to it. Recently, I had the opportunity to do some boxing in Chile, and it was such an amazing way to connect with local people, stay in shape, and try something new — all at the same time.
Walk the City
This one is more of a rare luxury than something I fit in all the time, but one of my favorite ways to get to know a new place is to walk and walk and walk until I get a true feeling for its unique beauty. I don’t always have time to take in a city in this way, but when I do it’s a true pleasure!