People are living longer than ever before. They’re also working longer, too, with many maintaining jobs after 50 that keep them traveling on a regular basis.

That can make fitness extra-challenging for active adults still enjoying their demanding careers. Steady business travel can mean long days; restless nights; little incentive to exercise; and eating heavy meals in restaurants or lousy ones at conferences. In short, it can be a quick route to weight gain and other unhealthy outcomes.

Shirley Johnson learned that first-hand in her 40s, when her sales job started taking her away for three days a week and she quickly packed on 40 pounds.

“The clients want to go to the best restaurants, and you don’t want to be ‘the salad girl,’” explains Shirley, who flies for business three days a week, almost every week of the year. “You have to be focused and know when to say no. People ask me how I stay so healthy at my age and traveling so much. You just have to be committed to it.”

You also have to learn which hotels have good gyms. Some advertise “exercise facilities” that end up being a closet with an old treadmill. But many business hotels know that corporate travelers demand a place to work out while they’re away from home, and you can find those gyms pretty easily, Shirley has learned.

When you’re stuck somewhere without much to offer, ask the front desk if the hotel has an agreement with a local gym, or just if there’s one nearby.

Weather permitting, inquire about a local walking trail, even in an urban environment. It’s a great way to get your steps but also to explore the city.

Shirley has picked up tons of tips over the years. She’s 55 now and stays at a healthy 185 pounds on her 5’8” frame. The physical vitality of exercise is key to her success as a happy road warrior. She advises:

  • Use a trainer, at least when you’re starting, and ask for workouts to take with you and perform alone.
  • Schedule the day and time of your exercise while traveling so it doesn’t get away from you.
  • Keep workouts short and focused. You can get in the epic, full-body sessions at home.
  • Pack water and healthy snacks in your carry-on bag.
  • Avoid the hotel bar, but find a healthy way to relax.
  • Avoid hotel chains, so that each city feels special. Book with a website that will let you accumulate points across brands.
  • Explore each location’s museums, sporting venues, and other landmarks. It’s good for your mood and energy levels.

Shirley speaks onstage frequently, and in her business, appearances are important. Working people over 50 know the subtle ways ageism can come into play.

“It’s important that I don’t look like an old woman,” she says. “I need to be energetic, motivated, motivational, and excited about my projects.”

What about you? Are you still a frequent business traveler? Do you need some help keeping a healthy lifestyle while away? We’re here to help. Come see us today.

At TASH Wellness for Women, we are here for you!  Our specialty is working with women that have a substantial amount of weight to reduce, or women that are 50 and above.  As a Functional Aging Specialist, Integrative Corrective Movement Instructor and as an Ageless Fitness facility, we get all our women moving functionally for the rest of their lives.  TASH Wellness for Women is not a gym – it’s a journey and it’s YOUR community.  We serve women in Skokie, Wilmette, Winnetka, Evanston, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Park Ridge, Northbrook, Glencoe, Glenview, Riverwoods, Chicago and Des Plaines.