Staying Healthy on the Road

Staying Healthy on the Road

Maintaining healthy levels of fitness and nutrition can be a challenge for those constantly on the road and in the air. Abnormal sleep patterns, late night meetings, early flights, dining out, and many other travel-related stressors can interfere with a person’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle. One of our pilots, Jody Waring, compiled a list of tips that she follows to stay healthy while traveling.

Changing time zones and sleeping in noisy hotels can affect circadian rhythm and subsequently affect jet lag.
• Ask for a room far away from elevators and stairwells.
• Request floors that have been designated as “quiet” floors.
• Unless making time zone changes of 3+ hours, try to maintain your regular sleep and awake cycle.
• Aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per 24 hours.

Air at altitude and in hotels and public buildings can be very dry and dehydrating, and disrupted schedules can affect consumption and retention of water.
• Bring your own refillable water bottle when traveling.
• Set a goal to ingest a specific number of ounces of water per day.
• Infuse your water with fruits and vegetables (like lemon and cucumber) for a great taste. Infused water has other health benefits too, such as reducing muscle fatigue, mood improvement, and helping to shake afternoon groggy feelings.

Restaurant and hotel dining can make healthy eating challenging, but not impossible.
• Check menu selections online in advance of making restaurant choices.
• Don’t hesitate to ask your server to have entrees prepared in a healthy manner (baked, broiled, steamed, no sauce, sauce on the side).
• Substitute starch choices (potato, rice, pasta) for additional vegetables, or choose a salad instead.
• Pre-package healthy snacks to have throughout the day for in-between mealtimes.

Flexibility, adaptation, and a little effort can help you continue to achieve your fitness goals while traveling.
• Many hotels have their own gym or have agreements with local gyms; ask when making a reservation.
• Carry a jump rope in your suitcase. Jumping rope is a great way to get a cardiovascular workout.
• Utilize stairwells while traveling to walk/jog up and down.
• Bodyweight exercises (pushups, sit-ups, lunges, jumping squats) in your room can substitute for weight equipment.

The most important part of committing to a healthy lifestyle while traveling is to plan ahead.
• Commit to a set number of workouts for the time that you are away.
• Prepare healthy snacks ahead of time and check out restaurants prior to arriving.
• Keep hydrated as you move about your day.
• Make sure to keep your sleep on schedule and commit to getting to bed early enough to get your 7-8 hours in.

Note: This article is displaying as it appeared in Volume 19 of our PlaneSense: Informational Quarterly newsletter.
Photo courtesy of Terri Dowaliby

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