How To Maintain Your Health While Traveling

7:28 AM, Mar 28, 2013   |    comments
(Photo: Matt Rourke, AP)
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(USA TODAY) -- When Colleen Hurley travels for work, she's often rushing to a meeting as soon as she gets off the plane.

A dietitian from California, she's got to be in top form when she visits clients, even if she's been on a plane for hours.

"It can be both physically and mentally exhausting - particularly when you spend hours on a plane - or sometimes for me even in the car, and then having to hit the ground running and go straight to a client meeting," she says.

Through the years, she's figured out ways to eliminate the stress of the road. She prepares for her meetings well in advance of boarding her flight. Midair, she takes a power nap. On the ground, she sticks post-it notes on her rental car dashboard with presentation points that she can glance at occasionally. She constantly refreshes her iPod playlist with podcasts that will entertain her during the little downtime she has.

Traveling frequently can take its toll on the mind and the body. USA TODAY Road Warriors, frequent travelers who, combined, rack up millions of miles a year on the road for business, say the biggest challenges they face are eating healthy, exercising regularly, sleeping well and missing loved ones back home.

"Being on the road can be energizing and enlivening. However, it can also be lonely, disorienting, and exhausting," says Stephanie Holdenried, an Oakland resident who works in the North America office of adventure travel company Explore Worldwide.

A study late last year by Carlson Wagonlit Travel found business travelers are often stressed out when they travel, especially when they feel they aren't making efficient use of their time, when their travel plans are disrupted and when they break their regular healthy habits. Stress levels increased with age and frequency of travel, the study found.

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