Menu

Health mad? Why I’d rather smash a pizza than a PB (personal best)

Whenever I’m travelling for work, I have a little routine I go through every morning.

I get up nice and early and go to get my breakfast, the most important meal of the day. On the way to the breakfast room, I will tell myself that I will have a nice healthy breakfast today, just fruit and yoghurt, maybe some porridge.

I do not need to have a full English breakfast. I know what hotel bacon tastes like. Hotel bacon is hotel bacon is hotel bacon. Nor do I need to eat the sausages, hash browns or the weirdly floury scrambled eggs that will also be on offer. Today, I will be healthy.

Then I get into the breakfast room, my stomach takes over and I pile my plate high with every salty, fatty delight I can lay my hands on. If I’m really lucky, there will be waffles or Danish pastries to have for dessert. Then I get on with my day, immediately vowing that I will have a healthy breakfast tomorrow.

Excitingly, it seems that I may not be alone in my habits. It turns out that European business travellers are less health-conscious than their Asian and American counterparts during business trips, according to new research by CWT.

European travellers are less likely to be healthy on business trips than their American or Asian counterparts

European travellers are less likely to be healthy

The research shows that while awareness of maintaining healthy eating and exercise habits is growing in momentum among business travellers, take-up is markedly lower among those travellers from Europe. Asia Pacific travellers are the most likely to eat healthier (46 per cent) compared to travellers in the Americas (35 per cent) and Europe, with the latter trailing in at just 29 per cent.

And it’s not just in attitudes to food where European travellers are lagging behind their global cousins. European business travellers are much less likely to work out while on the road (48 per cent) versus travellers in the Americas (38 per cent) and Asia Pacific (32 per cent).

I am definitely part of that 48 per cent. Confession time: in all the hundreds of times I have travelled for work, not once have I ever worked out. Of the seemingly endless facilities every hotel provides these days, the gym is the last one on my to-do list. I am more likely to use my in-room trouser press than I am to seek out a rowing machine. (Is that what they have in gyms these days? I have no idea.)

I know I’m not the only one. A few years ago I travelled with a colleague to Norway. She had packed her trainers with the intention of fitting in a quick fjord-side jog at some point, but they didn’t fit in her hand luggage, so I agreed to put them in mine. A week later I gave them back to her, unused when we were back in the office. At least the intention was there, I suppose.

Hats off, then, to all the travellers who do make an effort to stay healthy on the road. There has been a marked rise in health-conscious travelling in recent years, not least evidenced by the rise in popularity of runs at trade shows and the like.

However, I’m never going to be among them – and I think I’ve worked out why. You see, keeping fit and healthy is time-consuming – and if I’m travelling for work and have any free time, you can bet your bottom euro I’m not going to be pulling on a pair of trainers. I’d much rather go and explore the place I’m in, have a wander about, see the sights.

The IMEX run has been popular in recent years

The IMEX run has been popular in recent years

In Rome recently, I had a spare hour and went off to see St Peter’s and the Vatican. Then I nipped over to the Trevi Fountain and sat out with a beer on a nearby square, taking in the evening atmosphere. It was wonderful.

And if this sounds like I’m just making an excuse for being lazy and unfit, you’re probably right, But for better or worse, I’d rather go to a gallery than a gym. And I’d rather smash a pizza than smash a PB.

So while I may be letting the European side down in terms of health-consciousness, I’m afraid I won’t be feeling bad about it.