Walking the last mile

Walking the last mile

Here is another short post with a very simple idea that can help you, the business traveler, maintain your health and fitness while on business travel.

Prepare before you travel

When booking your trip, if you can, choose a hotel in an area that will allow you to get in some walking or running.

As I’ve said in an earlier post, one of the easiest things you can do to maintain your fitness level while traveling can be summed up in one word: Preparation

Every business traveler is going to have slightly different circumstances and it will not always be possible to try out or implement some or any of the tips suggested here.

I am not always able to implement all of them, and sometime none of them. However, I adapt my approach to the realities of my upcoming trip.


Mapping technology today is phenomenal, use it!

Get to know Google MapsBing Maps, and yes Yahoo Maps are still around…  Take some time in your preparation to map out the trek from airport to your hotel. Look at the area around your hotel/office.

Walk the “last mile”

Once your hotel is selected and you’ve prepared and mapped out your route, plan on walking the last mile. Simply put, if you are taking a taxi/uber/car service from the airport to your hotel/office. Plan on where you will be dropped off and walk the final “mile” to your destination. I put “mile” in quotes as it obviously does not have to be a full mile. It could be less, it could be more. When I have done this in the past and still do, I plan to walk for a minimum of 20 minutes and preferably as close to 30 minutes as possible.

Walk the “first mile”

This idea is simply the reverse of the first idea. Again, as with any of my tips for staying fit while traveling, they may not always be achievable based on your location, meetings, agenda and company, if you are traveling with colleagues.

Check out of your hotel, bring your suitcase to your office or customer meeting  and Walk the “first mile” in the direction of your transportation hub. (Airport, Train Station, Bus Station, etc. )

When you have walked enough, obviously that will depend on your location, available time and even the weather, Hail a ride to your final destination.

One of the incredibly positive things about the technological revolution we have been living through is the numerous options we consumers have today.

As part of your Preparation as discussed earlier, you will be looking at what ride hailing apps or services are available in your location. I’m not going to get into the politics of these services, but I am a strong advocate of “on demand” services, such as Uber, Lyft, Gett, MyTaxi, etc…

Uber started a revolution and there are very few cities I have been to in the past 8 years that does not have some form ride hailing, on demand car service available.

Use these services to your advantage in your quest to maintain your health and fitness while traveling.

Preparation (Again)

As part of your preparation, you may want to think about your wardrobe.

One trick I learned long ago is to make certain I have one extra set of clothes to travel in. Traveling long distances in wet, sweaty or uncomfortable clothes is not pleasant. As you’re packing for the return part of your journey, pack the clothes you will travel in last. This way, after your walk, when you get to your transportation hub, you have easy access to clean clothes and can change for a pleasant trip home.

After walking the “first mile” and hailing my ride to the airport, I will make a bee-line to the lounge (If my travel hub has a loung that I have access to as part of my loyalty programs) and change into my travel clothes. If no lounge is available, obviously a rest-room/bathroom will have to do.

Another travel tip that I learned is to pack one or two medium to large sized plastic bags. You can use these to pack your sweaty or soiled clothes and not get the rest of your clothes digusting for the trip home. 🙂

Maintaining your fitness while traveling does not mean you alway have to have heart pumping, sweat inducing workouts.

Subtle adjustments to how approach your trips and striving to incorporate movement into your routine as much as possible will pay large dividends in your quest.

As always, I encourage you to give me your tips and ideas on what you do to maintain your health and fitness while on business travel.

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. These are fantastic tips! You are so right that fitness and health do not have to be compromised when traveling. I love the idea of walking the first or last mile. I guess it would depend on how much luggage you have with you but I would assume a business traveler probably only has a carry-on and most have wheels on them today. Having a change of clothes packed so you can get to them easily if you want to change is a great suggestion as well.

    1. Hello Heidi, 

      Thanks for stopping by and the comment…

      For me, with almost all of my travel I am only using a small, roller carry-on, so walking the first or last mile is a breeze!  Depending on the city and weather, this is also a great way to learn more about the place your visiting. 

      Preparation is key though!  



  2. This is a great post that I should share with some of the lawyers at my firm.  I am always booking travel for them and they are flying across Canada constantly.  Some of the hotels that I book them at, do have gyms, but that’s not to say that they have time to go and sweat it out for 30 min lol

    I know I personally find that I end up losing a bit of weight when I travel because I’m constantly on the move.  Some of these airports feel like a 5k marathon from where you get let out of a plane to picking up your luggage lol 

    But since this is on the topic of business travel, do you have any recommendation of quick 30 min – in hotel exercises that you do to keep you in shape when your in and out of meetings and flights?

    1. Hello Nicki, 

      Glad you enjoyed the post! 

      I personally love it, that the airports are so large and de-planing so far from baggage pick-up or departures, assuming that time is on my side. But this is where I usually prepare ahead of time and make sure I do have time!

      As for in hotel exercises for 30 minutes or so, Sometimes I’ll bring my suspension trainer with me (A future post!) and do something in my room. Other times I’ll do a 30 minute stretching, mobility session, or I might do a circuit of push-ups, Burpees, High-Knees, Crunches, and/or Planks…  

      The only restrictions are your imagination! 🙂

      Future posts will have sample ‘in room’ workouts for those interested!



  3. I like to walk. So what I like to do is, sometime to get out of the subway 2-3 stations before mine. I just walk my way to home. But I never though about using the same idea when I’m traveling. For sure, I will use it. The GSP and the application just allow you to do such a thing today. What a beautiful idea!

    1. Hello Jo, 

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Glad you liked the idea and I appreciate your input on the subway stop idea. I had completely forgotten about it, but that is another trip I use quite often when having meetings Central London and taking the ‘Tube’ in…



  4. This is a great post of a preparation for a trip. It is not always easy to stay in shape while you travel, specially if it is for work. It is a great advice to look at it from a walking perspective and really see every block as an opportunity to keep fit.

    I thought about this before but never really included that on my research before finding a hotel. This could be useful.

    Do you have any thoughts regarding healthy places to eat nearby your hotel? How do you manage your meals in a way that you don’t end up eating more than you would in a day to day basis?

    1. Hello Vivi, 

      Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you found some value in the post. 

      Regarding healthy places to eat near my hotel, it will depend on if I am having dinner or any meals with clients on what I am searching for. One thing that helps me when traveling for business and my diet, Salads!  Learn to love them… Another option, Intermittent Fasting. (I have a post on it that you might want to check out.)



  5. Hi Brad, What great tips about walking the last (or first) mile before going on a flight. As you say there are so many apps out there so that one is able to check out the route to the Hotel. This also makes it so much more interesting, if you can walk around the area in which you will be staying.

    It is so much easier now that we have Uber etc. to pick one up along the way. I love the idea of have fresh clothing to put on at the airport and a bag in which to put the used clothing. There are generally very good laundry services at the hotels for the laundry to come back fresh for the return trip.

    Another thing that has improved over the last number of years is have suitcases with wheels. No more lugging heavy suitcases around. With the new models one can move at quite a pace in the airports too, thus getting even more exercise.

    As in all things, preparation is the key. I will be sharing this post with my son who travels an awful lot on business. He is extremely health conscious and exercises a lot but I wonder if he has given this a thought. Igt will be good to pass on these good tips.

    Thank you for these valuable ideas.

    1. Hello Jill, 

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. 

      Agree, preparation is the key! As long as we prepare and prioritize our actions, there should be no reason to not get in some exercise while traveling. 

      Appreciate you sharing the post with your son!



  6. This is great advice even if you aren’t a traveling knowledge worker. The GPS technology we have is great and more people should begin to make better use of it. I live in the country, very rural, and my wife and I enjoy going on walks or bike rides from time to time, but as I said, more people everywhere should become more and more physically active and thus enjoy the benefits of it. I imagine my wardrobe could use a little tweaking, but for the most part it is handled. Again, Brad, this is an excellent article and I only hope and pray that people heed the call.

    1. Thank you free4life!

      Appreciate you stopping in and taking the time to comment…

      Do return and I look forward to your comments. 



  7. This is a brilliant idea! I have never heard of the first mile or the last mile planted into a holiday or travel plan. When ever I travel, my aerobics is put on hold. Most of my Fitbit targets are not met. But with your beautiful ideas I look forward to my next journey.

    1. Hello Juliet, 

      Thank you for stopping by and I’m very glad you found it useful…

      Give it a try on your next journey and do let me know how it goes for you!



  8. This is an interesting angle to being prepared for business meetings.  Walking definitely clears the mind and when you spend at least 20-30 minutes (as you mentioned here) before your meetings doing light exercise, you end up being on top form for your meeting.

    I tried something a little different for a friend of mine who had a court meeting coming up in a few days and was getting stressed about it.  I told her to go on a juice fast and demonstrated how to juice the right amount of ingredients per glass.

    It worked.  Within 3 days, she became calm and won the case.  Granted she still has to work more on the exercise side, but we are working on that…

    Thank you for sharing. 

    1. Hello Stella, 

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Walking is one of the most under-rated and yet useful exercises that we have available to us. 

      Great job helping your friend with the Juice Fast tip, glad it worked…



  9. Great tips. There was a time I had regular business trips, which totally destroyed my workout plannings. In the end I was so frustrated that I emptied the mini bar, which made it even worse. It’s a good idea to look out for the small things, like just walking an extra mile and to prepare better beforehand. 

    It would be awesome, if you could also give some tips, how to keep a healthy diet on business trips. 

    1. Hello Felix, 

      Thank you for stopping by and I’m glad you found the post useful!

      I do have a current post on Intermittent Fasting (IF) an how that can help you from a dietary perspective on your business trips. 

      Future posts will definitely be tied to other dietary tips and tricks you can use. 



  10. These are really good ideas and ways to incorporate your fitness without it taking away too much time.  With technology these days however, I noticed there are so many apps of fitness that can be downloaded onto your phone to make it easy access for exercise.

    However, walking is a fantastic way to keep yourself fit, while you are away, plus enjoy the city/town sights you are doing business in – as you walk that “mile”.

    1. Hello Sharon, 

      Absolutely agree that there are a lot of apps out today that can be downloaded and help, but the trick is you have to USE them…  🙂 They won’t do the work for you. 

      I know colleagues that have these apps and are proud to show them to me, yet when I probe a bit, they rarely use them…  

      Not only does just walking get me to burn a few extra calories, it’s a great way to learn the city/town I’m in for business a little better. 



  11. I see that you are explaining your tips through your personal experience.This is very great way to convey a truthful and optimised experience.Great strategy on The first and last mile,I do this often just to know around city i am not familiar of too.Sometime i walk to explore and board-en my choice of my food ,hotels ,entertainment .I think the i would prefer maintaining only the last 2 mile rather than both .Because i would need to be prepare on my task and keep it focused.Such as meeting or client meet up & etc.I wouldn’t want myself sweating since i sweat easily.

    1. Hello f1, 

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment… Yes, I agree that you (nor I) don’t want to be sweaty or breathless when walking to a meeting, either internal or client facing. Most often, I use this technique when I am walking to my hotel, or after my last meeting and heading to the airport. 



  12. For those who travel a lot and like to walk and maintain a good shape and stay healthy at the same time, this post give you excellent tips, I love the part that talk about technology, like using the GPS to walk around those places we don’t know, and don’t never forget to pack a plastic bag for the sweaty clothes! Good Post!

    1. Hello Guillermo, 

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. 

      Glad you liked the ideas and please do continue to check back as I’ll be adding much more on a consistent basis. 



  13. These are such great tips! There really aren’t any excuses for not staying active no matter where you are. Because we have these amazing things attached to us called legs and feet! lol They’re magical in that they can get you places AND they help keep you active no matter where you are. (Ok, maybe not sitting in a plane or a car…)

    From your article you said “Another travel tip that I learned is to pack one or two medium to large sized plastic bags. You can use these to pack your sweaty or soiled clothes and not get the rest of your clothes digusting for the trip home.” Yes, 1000x times yes. I’ve learned the hard way! 

    1. Hello Christina, 

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment! 

      Yes, I too have had more than one rather disgusting flight home before I smartened up and started packing a change of ‘travel clothes’ and a plastic bag to put my sweaty clothes in. A few times, I have ‘borrowed’ the plastic trash bag from my hotel to throw some of my sweaty clothes in. 



  14. I absolutely love what you’ve written here about walking the last mile, or the first mile. I’d always make excuses for myself, get lazy with exercise, and indulgent with food, whenever I travel. Which are actually bad habits. Looks like I must exercise a lot more self-discipline. Preparation is such a crucial part to making our fitness plans a reality.

    1. Hello Joo, 

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Agree, self-discipline and preparation are crucial to ensuring your fitness plans/goals will become a reality. Both will lead to consistency, which is one of the most overlooked aspects of a fitness. 



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