In all my wellness travels, one of the most common questions slung my way is how do I stay healthy when up in the air?
For sure, flying is incredibly taxing on our bodies. The stale air, the disjointed eating, the lack of movement and the stress (both emotional and physical) sees most of us land feeling sub-standard, compounded by the fact we generally arrive with commitments and responsibilities lined up.
But there is a way to alight from a long-haul experience with body, mind and spirit in balance. Recently I flew to Hawaii – for a wellness trip – and employed all of the tips below.
I make sure I eat well before flying, bulking up on veggies, mostly, in the two to three meals before boarding. I’ll often use up whatever is left in my fridge and make a green smoothie (pureed greens and whole fruit), which I carry in a metal canister to drink before flights. I then use the empty canister as my water bottle for the rest of the trip.
For every hour I’m in the air I drink 500ml of water. I befriend the steward and ask them to keep refilling my canister or bottle (rather than have them bring those pithy 250ml bottles).
I’ll spend my two-hour wait time in the airport walking as much as I can or I find a quiet corner and do some yoga. On the flight, I’ll go and stand in the communal area near the toilet and do some stretches (once everyone is asleep and I’m not in the way). I then walk for at least an hour on arrival, or, if I arrive too late, I’ll run the hotel fire stairs a few times. Keeping your blood oxygenated makes a massive difference to jet-lag.
Making travel as efficient as possible helps the whole experience. A few tricks to try:
I keep this on hand. I often pick up a cold from someone on flights. But this trick really works: as soon as I feel ringing ears and watery eyes, I take 20 drops under the tongue. It boosts my immunity and will stop infection in its tracks.
If you’re on a long haul flight and have to eat the plane food, choose the main meal with the least sauce and eat the protein and vegetables only, avoiding the cheap carbs. Eat the fruit and cheese, possibly your best option as there are no added nasties. Nuts are also a great choice. I tend to eat as little as possible and save my appetite for a decent, nutritious feed once I land.
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