Working in field sales has a ton of perks. You get to travel to new places, meet new people, and dine in different restaurants. Outside of closing deals, some sales reps like the lifestyle so much, they compare it to vacationing while on the job. Now I’m jealous. But regardless if you feel like your career is a continual retreat or not, life on the road can start to catch up with you if you are not proactive. Here at Badger Maps we understand the traveling sales person’s lifestyle and we want to give you some tips about staying healthy on the road as a busy sales rep.
While traveling, every new city comes with the opportunity to try the food culture, hang out with locals, and experience the town. It’s easy to ditch the once relatively healthy lifestyle you may have had… but then you start to notice some changes.
You may want to get back into shape or train for a marathon next summer, but you are thousands of miles away from your gym. You notice those beers with clients catching up to you, or your motivation is getting sluggish. You toy with the idea of sticking with that healthy diet your significant other pitched to you, but staying healthy on the road sounds impossible. You’re fine stopping by the local fast food joint to grab lunch. You’re tired anyway. Your sleep schedule has been inconsistent and lately you have been traveling between time zones.. The term “jet lag” is now just a usual state.
The reality of the situation is that irregular sleep schedules from time-zone hopping, stress, excessive alcohol use, and poor eating habits have been directly linked to obesity and metabolic disorders developing, like diabetes. Your success in sales = healthy mind + healthy body. You get plenty of mental stimulation from the smart sales strategies you craft to the amazing client interactions you build daily. But traveling from hotel-to-hotel, sitting in traffic, and the constant chance to eat out is not helping the healthy body side of the equation.
You can keep enjoying the traveling life and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I promise. Badger Maps wants you to succeed in the field and our platform has numerous benefits for busy sales people that need to reduce traveling stresses. Beyond acting as a route planner, providing route optimization, territory management, visualizing customer data on the map, and generating leads – Badger can help lessen other stresses. Keep your healthy lifestyle on track as you free up time by automating administrative tasks or planning routes in advance. Here are just a few tips for staying healthy on the road for sales professionals, allowing you to sustain a productive life on the road.
Get Enough Sleep
According to Daniel Kripke, a sleep expert at the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center in La Jolla, CA, studies show the optimal amount of sleep for adults is between 6.5 hours to 7.5 hours a night. Ironically, more than 8 hours a night can be just as bad as getting only 5 hours a night.
Stay at Suite Hotels
Ask your company about the possibility of staying at a suite hotel, which can give you access to small kitchens or kitchenettes. Suite hotels are often the same price if not cheaper than the standard hotel room at a major chain. Not sure where to start in your hotel search? Using the Badger Maps Places tool, simply search “suite hotels” and find ones near your accounts or route for the day. You can automatically pull up hotel information and save it as an account or place it on your route as your end location with just one click.
If you have a hard time pitching the suites idea because of cost, remind your company that your expense account will drop since you won’t be eating out as often. Even with just a kitchenette you can store perishable foods and put together small meals. This is where that grocery store stop will really kick in.
Go to the Grocery Store or Local Market
We all fall into the fast food trap because we are short on time, feeling hungry, or trying to save some money. A simple alternative for eating healthy on the go is to stop by the grocery store and keep healthy snacks in your trunk. That way if you are in-between meals clients and a hunger craving hits, there are no excuses! Similar to finding hotel suites, use Badger’s “places” tool to find grocery stores that are close to your first, next, or last account and simply add it to your route.
Whether or not you have a hotel room that allows you to easily put together food in, there are still plenty of easy snacks that don’t have to stay refrigerated.
Fruits: Try easy to eat fruits like banana, pears, grapes, or tangerines; or even go for pre-packaged or dried fruits that don’t have added sugar. Add fruit to greek yogurt or cottage cheese to make it more filling, and added protein and calcium.
Nuts & Bars & More: Grab a bag of nuts like almonds, cashews or walnuts. They are satisfying and will last you a long time. Low-sugar protein or fruit and vegetable bars are also very filling. Kind Bars make great nut and pressed fruit bars that have no artificial fillers. All natural beef jerky, trail mix, egg white chips (yes, that is a thing nowadays), seaweed snacks, or string cheese are great low-sugar snacks and easy to find at nearly all grocery stores. Avoid granola bars with sugar and chocolate fillings.
Quick makes: There are so many delicious options that keeps you staying healthy on the road. Want something more savory? Pair lightly salted pretzels or pita chips with avocado or tuna, or try hard-boiled eggs and avocado with tomatoes on toast. Feeling something sweeter? Some great and easy go-to's are apples and almond butter or a PB&J open-faced rice cake sandwich. Cut up any in-season vegetables to have with low fat dips; this is where you can get indulgent, but don’t go overboard. Go for hummus without added oils, or yogurt-based dips. Avoid cream dips with heavy dairy products.
Quick Meal Ideas
If you do have access to a kitchen there are a ton of different small meals you can prepare that don’t involve a ton of complicated ingredients. Eating healthy is not only great for maintaining your weight and long term health, but it can provide a much needed energy hike and boost your immune system.
Use some of the snack ideas mentioned above as components in your larger meals. For breakfast away from home, have avocado toast with hard-boiled eggs, or oatmeal with fruit. Prep your lunch ahead of time, like while you’re making breakfast or even the night before.
Grab some chicken or turkey slices from the deli, and pair with low-fat cream cheese and other in-season vegetables. Put this on whole wheat toast for a quick sandwich.Grab a pre-made salad mix while you’re at the market, and add some of those same vegetables to create a unique salad for later that night. Throw in those citrus fruits for added flavor, and add a dab of cottage cheese or yogurt dip as a salad dressing substitute.
Tuna sandwiches with light mayo or low-fat cream cheese in a whole wheat tortilla is more filling than it sounds. Use the tortilla to make a spicy black-bean burrito with sliced onion, tomatoes, and avocado with a side of chips and salsa.
For dinner, stir-fry chicken or steak and add in the leftover ingredients from your lunch menu. Onions, tomatoes, beans, peppers or other steamed veggies go great in any fajita. Add a dash of salt and pepper and your favorite hot sauce as the final touch.
Meal-prepping won’t weigh you down either. The essentials tools include a lunch bag with ice packs, a thermos, reusable water bottle, and ziplock bags.
Socialize to Break-up Your Day
These quick lunch and dinner ideas are great if you’re solo, but if you are interested in going out with a client or colleague you can easily find healthy dining options. Open Badger Maps and search in the Places tab ‘vegetarian restaurants’ or ‘organic restaurants.’ We might not all admit to it, but I bet your guest will be relieved the dining experience is a healthier option.
By having lunch away from work or with others, you can take a proper break in your day. People tend overeat if they stay at their desk eating in front of the computer. You won’t notice when you’re full because you’re distracted by what’s in front of you. Get to know your clients better, socialize, and take a legitimate break. Being mindful while eating is key to staying healthy on the road.
Drink a Ton of Fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day keeps you hydrated, improving brain and organ functioning. Also, fluids keep you feeling full so cravings between meals decline.
Skip sugary juices, sodas, sweetened teas, flavored lattes, energy drinks, and excessive coffee.. Instead, choose water, herbal teas, unsweetened iced teas, or carbonated water. Add lemon to anything for a flavor kick. Pick up big jugs of water to keep in your car if you travel by auto mostly, then simply refill water bottles. If sugar craving hits, curb it with lightly sweetened coffee (includes decaf!), diluted juices or herbal teas with chocolate or fruit flavors. Stash Teas has a wide variety of tea flavors from traditional green teas to the wild flavors like Vanilla Nut Cream and Apple Cinnamon. A personal favorite: Stash’s White Chocolate Mocha Black Tea.
You Are Super Busy but You Have Time to Exercise … Even if it’s just a Little Bit
I’m sure some of you just rolled your eyes. And you are right, keeping up with a fitness routine on top of being a human dynamo sales person is not easy. But exercising while maintaining a healthy sleeping and eating pattern is not impossible. According to a recent study, people who exercised sometime during the workday were 23% more productive. Regular exercise leads to a more productive, energetic and creative you!
Just like your sales appointments, schedule your workouts, which is important for staying healthy on the road. You are more likely to stay committed. Don’t just go do the “I’ll go when I feel like it,” because you’ll never “feel like it” unless working out is already a part of your daily lifestyle. And if you’re already on it, great, keep it up! You then probably know which time of day workouts are best for you. Depending on what your schedule allows, it can often be more successful to exercise first thing in the morning. It’ll wake you up, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day, and actually keep you more motivated to keep a disciplined (or at least, relatively disciplined) diet.
Jog it Out
It’s likely not every hotel you will stay in will have a gym. But not so fast – you’re not off the hook yet! If you are into running, go hit the pavement. During your runs stop and do some squats, lunges, and pushups to trigger some other muscles. Running is also a great way to tour the area you are staying in. Invite a team member, fellow travel partner, or a close customer if you feel like it’d be appropriate. The more the merrier! You can catch up on more business or relax and turn-on social mode. If you must run at night, wear reflective clothing or lights.
Watch the Local News and Do a Living Room Workout
If you’ve never been sold into this running thing, that’s okay. But you’re not off the hook either. There are a ton of plyometric and weight-based exercises you can do right in your hotel room. Plyometric is great for building muscular power. It burns fat using explosive movements, even in as little as 15 minutes a day. If you think jump squats, traveling pushups, or burpees sounds intriguing to help jumpstart your sales game every morning, you can read more about plyometric exercises at sites like Human Kinetics or Built Lean. For those who just cringed at the idea of repeatedly jumping in the air, see below for some quick weight-based exercises for both men and women.
50 jumping jacks to warm up
Adjust the following to your needs but try to repeat x3:
40 second plank
40 leg lifts x2
These are great to do right before bed or just when you wake up. Modify intensity and rounds to accommodate your personal fitness level. These are must for staying healthy on the road.
Walk and Talk
Have a walking meeting! Steve Jobs was big into it, and the business gurus at the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal both boast the benefits of this new-ish business trend. Instead of the classic coffee-shop or sit-down conference meetings, evidence now shows that walking meetings leads to increased creativity and productivity and even a more honest exchange between parties. HBR sites that walking participants were 8.5% more likely to report higher levels of engagement during their walking meetings.
Walking meetings, however, have a time and place. They are perfect for meetings where associates are discussing strategies or exploring solutions, and will help get the creativity flowing. If you are interviewing a candidate, undertaking a negotiation, or need to sketch ideas on a whiteboard, skip the walk.
These traveling meetings are not a break from work, but many feel they are a chance to stay productive while also providing the feeling of unplugging. Return to the chair feeling refreshed and motivated.
Meditation is an amazing way to refocus your energy and gain back traction after a long day. Maybe even enough traction to do a quick nightly workout or fall asleep easier. Visit the Badger Blog to read our 5 Meditation Tips to Increase Sales.