5 exercises to keep you fit while traveling to events

Physical and mental fitness are the foundation of a healthy events career. 2023 Smart Meetings Catalyst Award winner and Tree-Fan Events CEO Anca Platon Trifan, CMP, DES, PMED, started a new group called “Fit Mindful Mavens: Where Boardroom Brilliance Meets Fit Resilience” to help event producers manage their personal needs while advancing their careers.

woman standing with arms crossed
Anca Platon Trefan

“Throughout my career in event production, coupled with my personal journey in natural bodybuilding, I’ve come to understand the indispensable role that mental and physical fitness plays in not just surviving but thriving in our professional and personal lives,” Platon Trifan said. She acknowledged that the event industry, while exhilarating, often operates at a breakneck pace, potentially impacting physical health and mental clarity.

She decided it was time to blend career and our personal fitness goals in a shared community. “Fit Mindful Mavens is all about fitting kickass fitness and mental sharpness into our crazy schedules. It’s not just about staying on top of our game; it’s about redefining it,” she said.

Platon Trifan stressed that the group is not just about personal well-being. “I extend my expertise to events, and the teams running the events, as well as the audience attending it, offering holistic audits to ensure excellence in every aspect, from AV and tech to audience engagement. It’s a comprehensive approach to ensure peak performance in all areas. Think of it as leveling up in life and work, but with a roadmap.”

Read More: A Band of Female Event Producers

Flexing Success

To prove that mental and physical fitness is essential rather than competing with event planning and management, Platon Trifan offers these proof points:

Stress Management: The event industry is known for its high-pressure environments. Physical fitness activities like exercise can be effective stress relievers, releasing endorphins that improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety. This physical wellness directly contributes to mental resilience, enabling event professionals to handle stressful situations more effectively.

Enhanced Focus and Productivity: Regular physical activity has been shown to improve cognitive functions like memory, concentration and creativity. For event professionals, this means better problem-solving skills, more innovative event ideas, and improved attention to detail – all crucial for successful event planning and execution.

Energy and Stamina: The physical demands of the event industry—long hours, being on your feet, setting up venues—require good physical fitness. Maintaining a regular fitness routine boosts overall energy levels and stamina, making it easier to meet these physical demands without exhaustion.

Emotional Well-being: Mental fitness—encompassing aspects like emotional intelligence, resilience and a positive mindset—is vital in an industry that involves constant interaction with clients, vendors and team members. Physical fitness can support mental well-being by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, leading to more positive interactions and a better work environment.

Leadership and Team Building: Physical fitness activities, especially team sports or group exercises, can enhance leadership skills and foster team spirit. These activities teach valuable lessons in teamwork, communication and mutual support, which are directly transferable to managing event teams.

Personal Example: As leaders in the event industry, demonstrating a commitment to personal mental and physical wellness can inspire teams and create a culture of health within the organization. This can lead to improved overall performance and job satisfaction among employees.

Resilience in the Face of Setbacks: The event industry is unpredictable—last-minute changes and unforeseen challenges are common. A strong foundation in both mental and physical fitness helps professionals in this field to adapt quickly, maintain a positive outlook, and find effective solutions under pressure. Mental and physical fitness is not just beneficial but essential for success in the event business. It creates a foundation of resilience, creativity and energy that empowers professionals to excel in this dynamic and challenging industry.

Read More: Road Warrior Wellness

Small Investment, Big ROI

Healthy habits don’t have to be elaborate or expensive to have a big impact. For instance, activities like gratitude walks or community circles don’t require any fancy equipment or expenses, yet they deeply enrich the wellness experience. Platon Trifan advocates for smart resource utilization. This means using existing spaces innovatively, like turning a section of the conference venue into a calming area for meditation or breathwork sessions. “We don’t always need to rent out extra rooms or bring in high-priced specialists. We can highlight local community resources like public parks for exercise, community centers for classes, or even online communities for support. Wellness is everywhere if you know where to look,” she said.

Even incorporating stretching, chair yoga or body-weight exercises during a short break in the middle of a 30-minute session can be effective. “Staying fit doesn’t require a fancy gym membership,” Platon Trifan said.

Read More: Caesars Launches Wellness Menu Ahead of IMEX

Another option is tapping into technology by using free or low-cost apps for guided meditation or exercise sessions. “It’s amazing how a smartphone and an internet connection can open up a world of wellness resources without adding to the budget. The point is, staying fit isn’t a luxury; it’s a lifestyle choice that’s accessible to everyone,” she said.

5 Exercises to Add to Your Personal Event Schedule

Anca Platon Trifan suggested three specific exercises and practices—and no, they’re definitely not burpees—that can be seamlessly integrated into a hectic schedule:

1. Boxed Breathing Exercises: This is a game-changer for mental health. You can do this anywhere—in your hotel room, backstage or even in a restroom stall before a big meeting.

How to do it: Just take a few minutes for deep, diaphragmatic breathing. Inhale deeply for a count of four, hold for four, exhale for four and hold again for four. This “box breathing” technique is excellent for reducing stress and refocusing your mind.

2. 4-7-8 Relaxing Breathing Technique: This is a powerful method for reducing anxiety and calming the mind, especially useful in high-pressure situations.

How to do it: Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, then exhale forcefully through the mouth for 8 seconds. This can be done anywhere, anytime. Just a few minutes of 4-7-8 breathing can significantly calm the nervous system.

3. Jump Rope Sessions: A jump rope is easy to pack and a fantastic way to get a quick, high-intensity cardio workout. It’s effective for staying fit and boosting energy levels.

How to do it: Start with a 5-minute warm-up, then do 1-2 minutes of fast-paced jumping followed by 1 minute of rest. Repeat for 10-15 minutes. This not only improves cardiovascular health but also helps in maintaining focus and reducing stress.

4. Resistance Band Workouts: Resistance bands are lightweight and portable, ideal for on-the-road workouts. They can be used for a full-body strength training session.

How to do it: Band pull-aparts, squats with the band under feet and handles pulled up to shoulders, standing rows and tricep extensions. A 10 to 15-minute routine targeting different muscle groups can activate your muscles, boost circulation, and keep you energized, and are a great way to maintain physical strength and relieve tension from prolonged sitting during meetings or travel.

5. Walking Meetings: Instead of sitting in a coffee shop or a conference room, suggest a walking meeting. This not only gets you moving but also can spur creative thinking and more relaxed conversations. The physical activity of walking, even at a leisurely pace, can help clear your mind, reduce stress and keep you physically active.

Fit Mindful Mavens is a commitment to empowering professionals to embrace their physical and mental fitness, ensuring peak performance both in and out of the workplace. It’s about recognizing that nurturing our physical and mental state is not just a personal indulgence but a professional imperative. This is more than another business venture; it’s a heartfelt endeavor to transform lives by starting with my own.