Late-night room service. Transatlantic naps. Airplane food. When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the deck is stacked against you when you leave town on business.
Your familiar gym is no longer around the corner, nor is your go-to spot for lunch, where they make the big salad just the way you like it. And you're certainly not sleeping in your own bed.
Of course, it's completely impractical to pack your pillow. But you can still work out without packing anything extra — not even your running shoes — and eat balanced meals without doing an ounce of local menu research.
What? Workouts on the road without packing extra gear? If you're staying at a Fairmont Hotel (www.fairmont.com) in North America, yes. The upscale hotel chain will provide you with everything you need — shoes, wick-the-sweat-away apparel and even a custom-made mp3 playlist — all according to your sizes and preferences.
The benefit, called Fairmont Fit, is one of the many membership perks of the Fairmont President's Club, which is free to join. All you do is go online, fill out a profile with your shoe size, clothing size and music preferences, and it's all waiting for you in your hotel room when you check in.
"Fairmont Fit really fell out of an ongoing dialogue with our club members," said Brian Richardson, the hotel's vice president of communications. "Members were saying, 'It's easy for me to stay in my healthy routine at home. Anything you can do to help facilitate that while I'm on the road would be great.'"
Since convenience is king, Fairmont paired up with Adidas to provide the complimentary shoes and athletic apparel, so that road warriors would effectively have everything save a proxy to actually jump on the treadmill for them. You can even choose whether you want carbonated or regular water in your welcome pack.
Of course, your hotel is not the only place you can get in some cardio on the road. Turns out there's something more productive to do at the airport than browse Sharper Image gizmos and aisles of duty-free liquor while waiting for your next flight. And it's not a jog around the tarmac.
Airportgyms.com is a free site with incredibly comprehensive listings of workout facilities and fitness classes either in airport terminals or nearby. And if you have to leave the airport, there are specific directions and time parameters to expect.
For example, got a 30-minute layover at O'Hare that just turned into a couple hours? Head to the Hilton Hotel, which is in the airport, to use the gym for a mere $11 — the price of a day pass. It has an indoor pool, sauna, steam room and according to the site, "a very good weight room. The hotel is connected to three terminals by underground walkways. Reportedly able to sell you clothing if you have none."
Not bad. While not every airport in North America (which is the current extent of the site's coverage) has a terminal-side gym, nearly all have some sort of nearby, convenient option. Some, like LaGuardia, have several.
And if you need to venture offsite, all the details are there — how many minutes' taxi ride to expect, if there is a free shuttle, and whether there is an option to work out by the hour, as opposed to purchasing a daypass.
But getting a workout in is only half the battle. It can be tough to eat healthy meals when the familiar routine of your home turf is supplanted by a chorus line of calorie-laden temptations that come in the form of late-night room service, drinks with clients and catered breakfast meetings.
Again, convenience is king. That's what prompted Don Ruttenberg to expand a diet-conscious meal delivery service all across the U.S. and parts of Canada.
You can have Zone meals (www.inthezonedelivery.com) — the popular diet that breaks down to 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat — delivered anywhere in the country for as low as $39.99 a day.
Alternatively, Heart Healthy meal delivery service (www.healthyheartmealsusa.com) will provide you with three squares of low-fat, portion-controlled goodness starting at $19.99 a day — again, delivered to your hotel room, home or office. You specify. And you can change it up.
"We'll deliver to you in Chicago on Monday and Seattle on Tuesday," Ruttenberg said of the program's flexibility. "All meals are made the day before and shipped overnight via Fed Ex using special airtight packaging to keep the meals fresh."
To keep items cold, they're shipped in cooler packaging with frozen bottles of water to keep temperatures crisp. "So every meal comes with a bottle of water as well," Ruttenberg said.
In both cases, fees vary depending on your location and how many days you sign up for.
The Zone deliveries are popular with celebs like Tony Shaloub ("Monk") and Colin Mochrie ("Whose Line Is It Anyway?"), with menu choices like crab-stuffed sole with Italian-style broccoli and portobello mushroom cous cous.
Heart Healthy deliveries are a bit more affordable, since "they focus more on portion control and we can use certain low-fat grains that don't work for the 40-30-30 ratio of the Zone diet," Ruttenberg said. Lunch might be Asian turkey chili or a Middle Eastern chicken and grilled vegetable salad.
Either way, healthy meal options are just a click away. And you'll save yourself any deliberation over the room service menu. Or any menu, for that matter.
Business trips may uproot you from your routine, but not necessarily from your lifestyle. With minimal fuss, you may even lose a pound or two by the time you get back to your own pillow.