Business travel has become a way of life. In fact, MMGY Global predicts that the average number of business trips will increase to 7.4 annually per traveler in 2017 — make that 8.6 each year if that traveler is a Millennial. With an increase in office locations, global travel, conferences, and networking, professionals are on the road more than ever before.

While being on the road sounds fun, it can be difficult to stay healthy while traveling for business. Eating out, disturbed sleep, changing environments, an irregular schedule, and exposure to germs can all cause stress on the body. A study using medical record data from EHE International shows that people who travel two weeks or more each month had a higher body mass index and rated their own health lower than those who traveled less. It gets worse: Professionals traveling more than three weeks a month had higher blood pressure and less good cholesterol than their counterparts.

Businesses must weigh the company benefits of having their employees travel against the potential health consequences and decreased job efficiency when they do. If you frequently find yourself on the road for work, here are six ways to stay healthy on the go:

1. Pack food from home.

You may not want to give up precious suitcase or briefcase space, but packing snacks and meals from home will make you think twice before grabbing something unhealthy (but delicious-looking) at the airport or in the car. Convenience makes unhealthy options far more appealing than they would be otherwise. And airport food is expensive! Make sure you don’t bring any liquid containers containing more than three ounces, and ensure you can carry your food through security. Great options that pack well include a wrap or burrito, a bag of almonds, or even a protein bar.

Also, consider packing probiotics. With potential exposure to germs and new foods, a probiotic can help keep your immune system and digestive health on track.

2. Be honest with yourself.

If you are running out the door to catch an Uber and can’t bring your own food, you’ll have to eat on the run. It’s easy to lie to yourself and decide that having a fast-food cinnamon roll and soda for breakfast isn’t a big deal. It is — and it can add up. Do yourself a favor and grab something healthy while you’re out. Pick up a ready-made salad (but don’t use all the dressing) or a grilled chicken sandwich. At the very least, you can stop at the airport newsstand to grab a bag of trail mix, a piece of fruit, and a water.

3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Bringing a refillable water bottle from home is the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. Once you’re inside the security checkpoint at the airport, find a bottle refilling station or ask a bartender to fill your bottle with water for you. Water is crucial for flushing out toxins, and hydration is vitally important. Aim to drink two-thirds of your body weight in ounces each day.

4. Hit the gym.

Or go on a walk. Or do a workout in your hotel room. Just don’t skip out on exerciseexercise helps relieve stress and keeps your health in check. You need to keep your body moving. Keeping up with your workouts means you won’t fall behind and stop completely when you get back home.

5. Get some sleep.

Sleep is vital when on the road, but it’s sometimes difficult to get enough. A change in time zones, an uncomfortable bed, or stress from travel can all result in tossing and turning. Do yourself a favor and turn off the television and any electronics, take a warm bath, and turn in early.

6. Wash your hands.

Wash your hands with soap (but not antibacterial soap, as that can cause more harm than good in the long run) as frequently as possible: after every restroom visit, after you exit a taxi or plane, and after shaking hands with business professionals.

Business travel can wreak havoc on your body — but it doesn’t have to. Incorporate these tips while you’re in transit, and keep using them when you reach your destination. Opt to walk whenever and wherever you can, and choose healthy dining options when out at restaurants to make sure your business travel isn’t compromising your health.

Author's Bio: 

Kristine Don is a big-time science nut who dabbles in the world of health and wellness from time to time as the editor and content manager at SmartyPants Vitamins, home of The Good Gummy and one of Inc.'s 500 Fastest-Growing Companies of 2015.