This article was published on November 7, 2013

Healthy travels: Staying refreshed, well fed and rested on the road

Healthy travels: Staying refreshed, well fed and rested on the road
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

This post is brought to you by Sheraton. Click here to explore Sheraton Club.

I’ve written a few posts about traveling and working and living in hotel rooms now as part of a sponsored post by Sheraton. Check my earlier posts “Experiencing the Sheraton New York Times Square” and “Top tips for business travel the geek way” on the subject. In this instalment I want to talk about staying fit and healthy while traveling.

sheraton_The Next Web_runAt The Next Web we are all very much concerned with working out. Bloggers and developers tend to sit still for long periods of time and when we take a break we tend to eat something unhealthy real quick to get back to work.

To break with that unhealthy lifestyle we try to encourage people to do push-ups in between meetings, or take walking meetings, or we just invite everybody to go for a run when we are up for it.

When we travel we take extra care to work out more. Here are some tips to stay fit on the road:

The Flight

Even if you are not a vegetarian it makes sense to say you are, when you are flying. It turns out that airlines have about 2 to 3 times the budget to prepare Muslim, Kosher, Hindu or vegetarian meals. You miss out on the beef or chicken but get a high quality meal instead. You also get served earlier than the other passengers. VIP treatment, for free? What’s not to like?

The Apps

screen480x480I use a whole range of apps to help me relax on the road. One of my favorite new ones is “Yoga for Runners“. It is a very basic app with a friendly voice-over from Tania Fréchette from Canada. Her voice, and accent, are mesmerizing and her ‘keep the pose alive with your breath’ slogan has become a mantra both at the office and at home.

The good thing about doing yoga is that you don’t need any equipment (just a towel) and it really helps to reset your body and relax your muscles. Next time you arrive at your hotel after a long trip give yourself 15 minutes and do the ‘Post Run’ sequence. Namaste.

The Hotel

Most hotels have a gym and I’ve made it my routine to ask for it right at checkin. Then I find out where it is and go and check it out even before I go to my room. That way it becomes part of your routine and not something you ‘might’ do during your stay. If you don’t build these things into your daily routine it can become too attractive to just hang out in your room behind your laptop. That’s something I’ve learned from Ultra runner Stephanie Case. She once said that working out should feel like brushing your teeth in the morning, something that is so much a part of your routine that you would feel weird if you wouldn’t do it.

Most people treat a workout as something extra or something that needs to be worked into their lives. That way it is too easy to skip or forget. Would you go to sleep in the evening or go to the office in the morning without brushing your teeth? That would feel weird. Same goes for your workouts. Make them a part of your life.

Run, forest, run!

sheraton_runA great way to relax while traveling is going for a run, but that too takes a bit of preparation. I bought extra-light running shoes that easily fit into my luggage and take along swimming shorts that I can also run in. Then before I go for a run I check the Nike site for the best runs in my neighborhood. Often there will be popular run nearby that has great views and takes you to parts of the city you haven’t been before.

I remember going for a run in San Francisco one day, and halfway through I suddenly realized how one part of the city was connected to another. When you visit cities and travel around by cab or subway it is sometimes difficult to get a feel for whats what. Running changes all that.

I’ve also found that going for a run is one of the best ways to battle jetlag. When you arrive in your comfortable, warm, and cozy hotel room after a long flight and a serious time difference adjustment it will be very difficult to stay awake. Going for a run exposes you to a lot of light and oxygen and that helps you stay awake and will energize your system. Do make sure you drink enough water because dehydration is one of the main causes of jetlag

Waking up

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 16.18.45My last tip is about waking up. Sure, you can set your alarm or have the hotel give you a wake-up call, but there is more to it than that. I use the Sleep Cycle app myself which tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up when you are in your lightest sleep mode which means you wake up refreshed and ready to go. But there’s more.

Try to sleep with the curtains open so the rising sun wakes you up instead of the alarm clock, which is the healthiest way to wake up anyway. And lastly, keep a large glass of water next to your bed and down the whole glass as soon as you wake up. The water works like a reset button for your whole body and starts up your metabolism.


Make your workout part of your daily routine, especially when you are traveling. Find out where to run in advance and prepare yourself for a good night sleep. Then wake up refreshed and relaxed and kick-start your day with some yoga or a workout.

Lastly; what health routines do you keep for traveling? Any special apps you like?

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