Staying Healthy on the Road

By Lain Ehmann

When you’re planning a meeting, the last thing you want is for everyone to arrive in a rotten mood—and stay that way. One way to mitigate travel-related stress is to maintain normal schedules, including eating, sleeping and exercise, as much as possible while on the road.

Granted, there may be little you can do to honor attendees’ sleep schedules when you’ve got sales reps coming from Los Angeles, London and Lebanon. But these tips can lessen the effects of jet lag and general travel angst.

  • Stick to the known. Though it may be tempting to treat coworkers to an authentic 10-course Polynesian feast, you’re better off opting for the generic so people can stick with what they know.
  • Look for supportive facilities. In-lodging fitness facilities are a given at most business-class hotels and resorts, but meeting attendees will need time to take advantage of them. Instead of starting your sessions at 7 a.m., start an hour later and denote the earlier hour for exercise.
  • Avoid buffets. Hotel buffets can be rife with mysterious concoctions and questionable mélanges and notoriously calorie-heavy. Give everyone a break by ordering specialty meals ahead of time or by going off-property for a menu-driven dinner.
  • Offer physical leisure-time activities. While a round of golf is a mainstay at many sales meetings, think of other options appropriate to your venue. Hiking trips, snorkeling excursions and volleyball tournaments are all good ways to get attendees’ blood pumping.
  • Go easy on the booze. It’s tempting to imbibe more than normal when you’re at a resort, especially in an exotic locale. But alcohol affects the body in many ways, from slowing metabolism to hampering thought processes. Because you need your attendees in tip-top shape, try a dry event the night before the big round-table, or skip the open bar. People may grumble at first, but remember that while you want everyone to have fun, the point of the meeting is to work.