Managing Diabetes on Business Trips
If you travel frequently for work, you know that business trips can be accompanied by a great deal of stress. Business travel with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes can be even more challenging: while worrying about courting a new client or giving a big presentation, you have to make sure that you eat right, exercise, and keep your blood glucose levels under control.
Follow these tips to make sure that you excel at taking care of business—and taking care of yourself.
- Schedule time to rest. Hectic business schedules and back-to-back meetings with clients can take a toll on your body. Just as it is important to arrive on time for your meetings, it is necessary to schedule in time to rest and revive your body, especially after a long flight.
Jet lag can make it difficult for you to sense that your glucose levels are too high or too low, so try to find time to rest right after you de-plane.
- Make exercise a priority. Exercise is a critical component of diabetes management, and a week away from home should not result in a week of inactivity. While you are away, try to stick to your at-home fitness routine as closely as possible (pack gym clothes to use at the hotel gym).
However, remember that you may be exerting yourself a lot more than usual, so cut back on your usual exercise regimen if you plan to do a lot of walking, sightseeing, or other physical activity during your trip.
- Stay hydrated. When you have to be up at 5 a.m. to give an early morning presentation, it can be tempting to reach for the coffee cup instead of the water bottle. However, you may be spending more time outside in the sun (and more time running around) than usual, so make sure that you are adequately hydrating yourself each day.
- Check your glucose levels—often. A different sleep and activity schedule, along with the stresses of travel and a shifting workload, can all wreak havoc on your glucose levels.
Ask your healthcare professional to help you develop a schedule for testing your blood glucose during your trip based on changes in time zone, work obligations, meal-times, and other activities.
- Talk to your employer. A candid conversation with your employer about your condition may help you alleviate some stress about managing diabetes during frequent business trips.
For example, you may need to skip out on after-hours business dinners or social gatherings so that you have more time to rest.
Frequent business trips are a standard part of many jobs. You may feel like you spend more time on airplanes than you do in your own office, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t successfully manage your diabetes while you are away. Taking a few steps to ensure that you are keeping your blood glucose in control during travel can make traveling for business a breeze.