Conference season is a busy time and health is often the first thing to take a hit, long days and living out of a suitcase can leave you feeling stressed and exhausted. But thankfully there are ways to manage the stresses and strains. Whether you’re spending all day in the office or travelling around the world, planning ahead to make sure you’re always looking out for number one is essential. Not only will it keep you on top form, but also your work!
We’ve pulled together our most effective health hacks on eating, energy and exercise, so you’ll be one step closer to feeling happy and healthy this summer and the tolls of conference season will seem like yesterday’s problems!
When it comes to food, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, especially a jam packed one! Starting the day with a high protein breakfast will keep you fuller for longer, so you won’t be tempted to reach for an unhealthy snack. Say no to sugary cereals and instead opt for eggs or porridge instead.
As your busy day goes on and stress levels rise you’ll notice an increase in your appetite. While fast foods and snack isles are easy and convenient, they cause blood sugar spikes followed by slumps, leaving you tired and irritable. So make sure you have healthy food on hand when you’re feeling peckish. Fruit and nuts should be your go-to snacks, and when it comes to lunch, a pasta salad, vegetable frittata or wholemeal pitta and hummus will give you both the lasting energy and nutrition you need.
For when you’re traveling to an event, why not pack a cool box? You can fill it with fresh foods like fruit, salads and yoghurt, which will stop you from being tempted by the unhealthy food fare in the services. And if you’re staying overnight you can pack some healthy food to last you the trip!
When you’ve avoided the junk food, it time to look at your liquids. You may think you need endless cups of coffee to manage your hectic workload, but too many can do the exact opposite: at best you’ll get the jitters, at worst you could suffer from insomnia, nausea, anxiety, even heart palpitations. You don’t have to go cold turkey, just keep it balanced with a decaf, herbal tea and plenty of water. This leads nicely on to my next health hack.
Stay hydrated! Drinking water increases your energy levels, relieves fatigue, flushes out toxins, and is also a natural headache remedy. So take a water bottle to keep at your side during conferences to make sure you’re getting the recommended 2 litres per day.
If you’re really worried about energy levels, a course of vitamins and minerals will help keep you feeling tip-top. Taking a multivitamin, like Berocca, in the mornings should give you the extra boost needed throughout the season, although we don’t recommend doing this long term.
When the stress of organising your conferences really starts to take its toll, schedule in some ‘me’ time to recharge your batteries. If you’re away and lucky enough to be staying in a hotel with a spa, why not reduce those stress levels by indulging in a massage? And don’t forget to pack an eye-mask and ear plugs to guarantee an undisrupted sleep! At home, try to unwind with a relaxing bath; adding some Epsom salts will help to remove toxins and replenish the body’s minerals. Or turn off your phone, have a cup of tea and read a good book. Just make sure you plan some time to switch off, whatever you do.
Don’t let your packed schedule make you choose between staying fit and fitting in friends. Instead combine exercise with socialising! There are so many different ways to keep fit that you’re bound to find one that you and a friend will enjoy, whether it’s joining a 5-a-side football team, going to a yoga or a boot-camp session in your local park.
For when you’re on the road pick a hotel with a gym or a pool if your budget allows! If not, see if there’s one nearby. Websites like payasugym.com offer great deals on day passes, so you needn’t worry about having to be a member. If you don’t have the time for a full gym workout try HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), short and intense with a session lasting between 4 and thirty minutes. They offer you a quick and effective way to keep fit when time is precious.
Conference season can knock even the healthiest of us off course if we’re not careful. Cutting corners and excessive stress can play havoc with your health, leaving you feeling well and truly burnt out by the summer. But you can reduce the strain and have you and your team feeling healthy, happy and raring to go just by following these simple tips!