As rewarding as regular business travel can be, it comes with challenges. There is the psychological stress of being away from home and loved ones and the physical impact of jet lag and too many meals in restaurants. One of the best ways to combat these routine stresses is to keep up with exercise. In my opinion, running is the easiest, most effective activity for road warriors for several reasons. In other words, running during work travel is actually good for business.
Running is Energizing
Fitting a run in first thing in the morning gets your blood pumping and helps you to acclimatize to a different time zone. It’s an uncomplicated exercise that doesn’t require you to think about what you’re doing. In my experience, It’s one of the best ways to clear the mind, allowing me to face the day with a calm focus.
Maybe your hotel will have a fitness center and maybe it won’t. Sure, you can get a one-day pass for a gym nearby, but then you’ll have to travel there, change clothes, and wrangle for the machine you want. With running, all you need is a pair of running shoes and basic workout wear. Unless your business it taking you to winter city in January, packing your gear takes up little space.
Support for Running on the Road is Growing
Many hotels have clued-in to how popular running is among business travelers. I stayed in the Kimpton Marlowe Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was surprised to learn that the general manager hosts a morning run for guests. On a recent stay at the Park Inn Radisson in Krakow, Poland, hotel staff provided me with complimentary maps outlining running routes of various lengths. Wherever you’re staying, the site MapMyRun features route maps contributed by runners in cities around the world. It’s my go-to resource when I’m in an unfamiliar spot.
Running Allows You to Enjoy the Sights
It’s disappointing when you travel somewhere new, and because of business commitments, all you see of the place is a hotel room and a restaurant or two. When you start or end your day with a run, you have the opportunity to see your surroundings. Because you’re running, you can cover a lot of ground in relatively short time. A bonus of a going for a morning run is that iconic sites are free of tourists. I once visited the Trevi Fountain in Rome on a run at 7 a.m., and there was not a soul around at the usually tourist-clogged site. It was magical!
Connect with Colleagues Who Run
If you’re not a runner, you may not realize how many people in business are. Inviting a colleague or client to head out for a run is a sure way to connect. People engage differently on a running path than they do in a boardroom. Something about movement makes ideas flow more freely, and I think people share thoughts more readily when they aren’t sitting face-to-face. Running with a colleague or client can cement a relationship through the bond of a shared experience. It’s exercise that’s good for you and your business.