There is a great piece on running and travel in today’s Wall Street Journal. Exercise when trying to acclimate after a long plane ride is a proven way to reset circadian rhythms and begin to feel human far from home. A colleague of mine who travels even more than I do, runs three miles every day wherever he finds himself – the discipline is admirable, especially since many locales (or weather situations) require him to hit a hotel treadmill instead of the streets. For me, a regular 20 minute set of calisthenics works best, since I can do them anywhere and can never justify skipping them as long as I wake up in time.
But hitting the streets in any city is essential. Even with a busy meeting schedule, there is always time to step out of a conference room and take a walk for 5 or ten minutes during a break. Sunlight on your face will get your body clock on track and as Mr Quinn says in his Journal story, the street view give us the essence of a city – pedestrians, traffic, commerce in all its forms.
So often, “glamorous” business travel consists of running through a generic airport, getting to a generic hotel or office tower, sitting in a generic conference room and trying to stave off jet lag. You could be in Istanbul or Cleveland and never know the difference. Getting out on the street and making your body move can connect you to your location and remind you that it is an incredible privilege to see the world on your company’s dime.