This is a great guest post from Dr. Cory Annis is the MD for Entrepreneurs
Travel makes maintaining or losing weight easier than living full time in the suburbs, even when those suburbs are well designed and expensive.
That’s the counter-intuitive observation of many entrepreneurs and executives. They lose weight on the road despite the diverse world-class eateries in cities like New York, Paris, and Tokyo. When the general belief is that weight goes up on vacation, how could it be easier to lose weight while traveling on business in major foodie cities?
The key factor hinges more on the amount of energy expended to get food rather than the type of food consumed.
Airports and major cities accidentally thwart the world’s worst invention for health — the car. In these places, it’s easier to walk everywhere or use public transportation. Perpetual motion obviously burns more human fuel. Business travelers who live in suburbs find that simply spending a week in any city results in a near immediate 3-5 pound weight loss.
But beware. Business travelers who are being driven everywhere gain weight even if they’re vegans. Those who walk or rely on public transportation drop weight even when eating pate and pastries.
Just taking advantage of this fact is usually enough to reduce worry about on-the road calories. But over the years, clever road warriors have shared the following tips they use to thrive on the road instead of just surviving it.
1. Make it a habit to walk briskly in the airport during every layover.
Go 15-45 minutes without stopping. Do this BEFORE turning your cell phone on. This way, you make time to sharpen your own saw before responding to other people’s emergencies. Not only does this increase fat-burning, but it prevents blood clots, back pain and hemorrhoids. Wear or carry good athletic shoes for this.
2. Use plane and hotel time for strength training.
Throw resistance bands in your carry-on or download the Everywhere Exercise apps. Almost anything you can do standing can be modified for an airplane seat. In your hotel, fill the plastic bag in your ice bucket with ice and tie shut: instant kettle bell.
3. Try to get lost.
The more “memorized” your activity becomes, the less energy you burn executing it. Navigating unfamiliar surroundings lights the glucose-burning furnace in your brain. Getting back on track may mean taking several hundreds of extra fat-burning steps. Even getting lost while driving will use more calories than taking your familiar route. Leave your GPS off, just for the exercise.
4. Take a load on.
To maximize calorie burn and bone building, forget wheeled luggage. Pare your needs to fit in a single bag that you can carry everywhere. Not only does it streamline travel, but adds an automatic 12-25 pounds to every step, burning an additional 170-200 calories an hour.
Smart travelers practice a form of exercise “ambush”, adding a small amount of effort to activities they’re doing anyway, improving both their health and wealth.
About the author: Dr. Cory Annis is the MD for Entrepreneurs and founder of Unorthodoc.com, the virtual doctor’s office and health adviser for entrepreneurs and business nomads, located at the intersection of Health & Wealth.
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