In many Canadian companies, a huge amount of stress and responsibility rests on the shoulders of the top executive talent. For that reason, senior leaders are becoming increasingly busy in their day to day lives and often displaced from their regular routine. So, despite best efforts, the hectic existence of a corporate executive can lead to personal sacrifices in diet and fitness. The good news is – it’s possible to have it all!
Maria Prairie, Vice President of Horizon Occupational Health Solutions, the occupational health division of Medisys Health Group, spoke with us about the highs and lows of her experience as a busy traveling executive. In this interview we get a glimpse of Maria’s passions, challenges, and more.
Q: WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS WHEN IT COMES TO TRAVELLING FOR WORK?
A: I spend a lot of my time travelling across the country for work. It gives me the opportunity to connect with the
broader team, understand their daily realities, and work with them to find ways to better serve our clients in-clinic and on client sites. This helps drive home why I do what I do every day – to make a positive, personal and enduring impact on the health and quality of life of our clients. It’s also a great opportunity to visit beautiful places around Canada, spend social time with our teams and clients, and of course indulge in the delicacies of each city!
Now, for the downside of travel. For me, the real difficulty is staying consistent with my health regimen. Sometimes it feels almost impossible because travelling interrupts my sleep and overall daily routine. And on top of that, my days on the road typically start early and end late, making it easier to over indulge.
Often travelling for work? Receive 24/7 medical support via text and video chat any day of the year, from anywhere in the world with Medisys365. Click here to inquire.
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE WAYS TO KEEP FIT WHEN AT HOME?
A: I was once an avid runner but got sidelined by a chronic ankle injury. After a few years off, I started cycling which has turned into something I love. It’s a social activity that I enjoy with my friends and family. Unfortunately, I haven’t been as active as I once was. When I rode my bike after taking the winter off I realized the significant change that had happened by not maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I understood my obstacles and what needed to change but was unsure of how that change could come about. While I love to cycle it does have a downside; you need a good bike, lots of time to get in a good workout and it’s tough to maintain the same level of activity in the winter. This meant I needed to find a routine that I could maintain all year and while travelling for work.
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Q: HOW HAVE YOU TRIED TO RECOMMIT TO YOUR HEALTHY HABITS?
A: I knew I needed to recommit myself to healthy habits and realized I needed some help. The most difficult part for me was prioritizing myself and any fitness routine when managing a national team across different time zones. The main obstacle I was facing was how to accomplish a fitness regimen with the sometimes limited food options and in some cases the lack of time or equipment while travelling. I have now committed to blocking space in my schedule and asking for support. With all the amazing health and fitness professionals we have within the organization I knew I could reach out for some help. I know in the long run this will be better for my mental and physical health, in hopes of making me a more productive team member!
Fortunately, Robert Cahill and Andrea Stokes at Definitions (wholly owned by Horizon OHS) in St. Johns, have really helped guide me in getting back on track of my health goals!
DIET AND FITNESS PROS, ANDREA STOKES AND ROBERT CAHILL, PROVIDE HELPFUL EATING AND FITNESS TIPS FOR THOSE OF US WORKING ON THE ROAD.
Easy to follow in a hotel room with a limited amount of time, these tips and tricks will suit any schedule!
TIP #1: EATING HEALTHY ON THE ROAD
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge for many of us when on the road is eating healthy. Maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging at any time, particularly when you don’t have access to your own kitchen! Everyone loves to indulge in delicious cuisine but remember - moderation is key.
Often, you look to grab something quick and easy during your busy work day or when your day finally winds down. In these situations the best snacks to nibble on and suppress your hunger are fruits and raw veggies, mixed nuts, or granola bars.
If you need to rely on fast options, simple substitutions can help you maintain a healthy diet.
• Choose grilled vs crispy/fried
• Choose mustard, salsa, low-fat mayo, and vinaigrette dressings over creamy sauces and condiments
• Skip the extra salt and avoid processed foods
• Pile on veggies whenever you can, including choosing a salad over fries
• Always choose water as your beverage and avoid sugary drinks, alcohol and excessive caffeine (water helps combat fatigue and reduces effects of jet lag)
When travelling aim to consume 8 ounces of water for every hour of travel, and casually drink water throughout the day to ensure you are properly hydrated. Don’t forget to pack that water bottle, wherever you go!
Do you often get takeout for lunch? Every wonder what a 2000 Calorie lunch looks like? Download the Medisys takeout lunch guide to find out how your lunch order stacks up.
TIP #2: FLEXIBLE FITNESS ROUTINES
We all know travelling can be hectic, but daily life at home can be just as hectic – if you can find time at home, you can do it on the road! Most hotels have a fitness facility, and if not, you can perform quality exercise right in your hotel room! These exercises will only take you 10 to 30 minutes.
PRO TIP: To stay committed to your fitness regimen - pack your gym gear and leave it on the top of your clothes in your suitcase.
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