On-the-Road Fitness: Getting Mentally and Physically Ready For That Important Business Meeting

Visualize this:

You check into the hotel at 10:00 p.m. You’re tired and hungry. You’ve spent all day at your desk, in a taxi or on the plane, and your body is stiff and sore. You have an 8:00 a.m. meeting tomorrow morning and you need to be “on.”

Does this sound familiar? Does to me. I spent many years experiencing this sort of thing.

Let me give you a few thoughts on how you might best take care of yourself in this situation.

First of all – avoid the temptation to rush to the mini-bar in an attempt to address your hunger. Whatever you find there will do more harm than good. Instead reach into your briefcase and pull out the decaffeinated tea bag that you always carry with you. Nearly every hotel has a coffee maker that you can use to heat water. Also in your bag should be a small baggie of unsalted walnuts and almonds mixed with some dried fruit. Eat this to take the edge off your hunger without leaving you full of empty calories. Snack on these as you unpack and get yourself set up for tomorrow morning. At the same time, start a warm bath and get the water heating for your tea.

It would have been nice to get some exercise today, but it’s late and any intense physical activity at this hour is bound to get you wired which will make sleep problematic. The objective for tonight is a good night’s sleep.

Drink your tea as you relax in the bath.

Before calling it a night, do a little light stretching on the bed. This should be a calming exercise just to loosen your tired muscles after you’ve warmed them in the bath. Set your alarm so that you have an extra hour in the morning and get to sleep.

The next day, you’re well rested and you’ve got an hour to get some physical activity to help set up your day. It may be the only time all day for any exercise, so take advantage of it. Drink a big glass of water or have another tea. If the hotel is serving an early breakfast, stop by and get a banana, a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. This isn’t breakfast – it’s fuel food for your exercise.

If you’re a runner and the weather is conducive, go have some fun. If not, check out the gym and/or swimming pool in the hotel. If neither of these is available to you, make do with what you have in the room. Chairs work as gym benches, doorways as stretching poles and the floor gives you all sorts of options. A couple of thoughts:

  • Check out the hotel on the Internet ahead of time so you can plan your exercise and bring appropriate clothing and/or gear.
  • Always carry an old bike tube, a piece of stretch cord or theraband in your bag. You can do all sorts of exercises with these.

Finish your exercise in enough time to have a good breakfast before starting the day.

Having had a good night’s sleep, some exercise and a good breakfast, you should be ready for whatever the day throws at you.

About Cherie

Cherie Gruenfeld, Boingo's official butt-kicker, is an Ironman age group champion and world record holder. She is a grand masters triathlete — a sport in which she didn't even start competing in until her 40s — proving that top fitness is achievable at any age. She has raced in more than 25 Ironman triathlons, has 18 wins overall, and has won her age group at the Ironman World Championships a whopping 13 times. She's also an incredible fitness coach with great insights on goal setting and fitness on the road. Have a question for Cherie? Email her at askcherie@boingo.com. You can also learn more about her non-profit organization, Exceeding Expectations on Facebook.
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3 Responses to On-the-Road Fitness: Getting Mentally and Physically Ready For That Important Business Meeting

  1. Andrew Lowry says:

    Thanks for the interesting post.
    I would add two items.
    1) Take five minutes to prep your clothes etc. for the next morning so if there are any problems you have time to resolve them now not when against in the morning.
    2) A good body weight exercise can be done in your hotel room. Here is one example on You Tube (I use this program for my exercise) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Gde6Dlgyms A search will find many other good programs.

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  3. cherieg says:


    Thanks so much for these great points. Clearly,you’re a fit road warrior!

    Please let me know about other topics around fitness and focus you’d like to see me write about.