One of the biggest challenges when traveling for business or pleasure is staying healthy and fit. I always find a little extra time spent preparing before I hit the road is worth it, so thought I’d share my 8 tips for staying healthy and energised next time you fly.
Pack your own food
Why: Airline food typically has a lot more salt, sugar, preservatives, calories and unhealthy fats in it than regular food. There are a few reasons for this, including the fact meals need to be pre-cooked and frozen to comply with food standards, preservatives and vegetable oils are added to stabilise and store the food, and extra flavours added because the air pressure and low humidity inside cabins changes the way food tastes.
Try this: Come armed by packing your own healthy snacks or meals to take on flights, ideally fresh items packed with nutrients like fruit, veggie sticks, some unsalted nuts, or a little dark choccy if you want a treat. And if you’re on a long-haul flight, fasting or eating as little as possible can actually help you recover from jetlag faster too!
Why: Water is required for every function of the body and when it comes to avoiding illness, you need to keep hydrated so your first line of defence, the mucous membrane in the nose, remains moist to trap dust, dirt and bacteria. When you’re dehydrated, that mucous membrane dries out and is up to half as effective!
Try this: Politely decline coffee and alcohol when in the air (at least on long haul flights), drink plenty of water (yep sparkling counts too!) and consider packing an electrolyte solution to top up for longer haul flights.
How to stay on top of your sore throat while travelling
Why: A friend of mine who travels a lot shared this tip with me and I’ve found it super effective for treating sore throats so I can stay healthy and keep fit when traveling.
Try this: Pack some Betadine Sore Throat Gargle and use it whenever you feel a throat tickle coming on.
*Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist please see your healthcare professional.
Prepare a few do-anywhere workouts
Why: Hotel gyms are typically pretty un-inspiring and often when traveling for work it’s hard to find the time to get your sweat session in, so having a few bodyweight workouts prepped and tucked in your handbag makes sure you get it done.
Try this: I love basic Tabata workouts if really pressed for time, or I’ll choose two exercises, like squats and push-ups and do 10 repetitions of each, for ten rounds. Or you could do any of the workouts from our BUF Girls online programs, of course ;)
Walk anywhere and everywhere
Why: Walking not only gets you out into the fresh air, away from all the germs circulating inside, it can also help increase immune function and bust the stress that can wear you down.
Try this: Walk between meetings if traveling for business, or jump out of your transport a little further away than necessary to score all the immune boosting benefits. If you’re on holidays, there’s no better way to see the sights and soak up a new city’s vibes than on foot.
Arm yourself with a snack stash
Why: When you’re not in your home town and don’t know where to find healthy snacks at the drop of a hat, it’s handy to have a few of your favourites on hand.
Try this: Pack some healthy, low sugar bars, individual serves of nuts, some dried meat or fruit, or tinned wild-caught fish like sardines and salmon.
Be a menu master
Why: I believe you can make a healthy choice from almost any menu. Look for fresh ingredients like salad, fish and other good quality proteins and avoid anything deep fried or too starchy and saucy. Nothing you can find? Be OK with asking for something off-menu!
Try this: Salads with dressing on the side, a basic protein option with steamed veggies or salad, roast potatoes instead of fries or mash, poached eggs with greens and avocado if you’re out for breakfast. For drinks, ditch the soft drink and go for sparkling water, herbal teas, a black coffee with a dash of milk, or one glass of lovely red wine sipped slowly. Even Maccas has a grilled chicken salad these days, so there’s really no excuse for ordering the burger with extra cheese, fries and a coke just because, ‘you’re on the road’!
Be a location scout
Why: It’s so empowering landing in a new location and knowing exactly where the hottest gyms, food stores and health conscious cafes are.
Try this: Do your research before you fly and maybe even plan your classes and food stops, putting them in your calendar just like you’re planning your business meetings or tourist activities.