Staying physically and mentally healthy is tricky for us as professionals who work in an industry that loves to clock up frequent flyer points. Overwhelmed by deadlines, disrupted routine and new sights makes it very easy to shelve the exercise, eating well or even the crucial full night’s sleep. Just because you are on the road doesn’t mean you need to compromise your health.
Read our top tips to help you prioritise wellbeing, ensuring you feel as good on the road as you do at home.
It may seem obvious but the first step is to actually place wellness first. Setting this as a priority at the forefront of your mind allows you to consider how you will incorporate healthy choices before you even step foot on that flight. Look for on-site wellbeing facilities at your hotel, consider what snacks you can bring with you on the flight, locate relaxation options and research gut-healthy dining options ahead of time.
Start the day off right
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, and while the buffet is always tempting or the rush to the airport in the morning decreases the priority – healthy choices and portion size are still important regardless of where you are. Eat for vitality. Keep it simple with options like eggs or granola with fruit; both will leave you with lasting energy all morning long. Place an order with room service ahead of time to ensure you still make the early morning rush.
The lack of humidity onboard a flight or in a hotel room can be very dehydrating. Coupled with a disrupted routine and we may be inclined to forget to keep the water intake up. Pack a large water bottle with you for travel and ensure you are getting through it all a few times a day. Maintaining proper hydration levels won’t just improve your overall wellbeing – it can help to enhance your alertness and mental acuity as well.
Plan meals and meal times
Sure, sometimes this can be easier said than done. Most of us are probably guilty of wolfing down a questionable takeaway meal at our desks or sodium-overloaded room service meal in the interest of meeting deadlines. Apply your pre-planning and research from earlier as an opportunity to source something gut-friendly to eat, which also provides you with the mental fuel you may require. Use dinner time as an opportunity to get up, stretch and walk to collect the food and get some fresh air; sitting is the new smoking, after all. Consume in moderation. Just because you’re travelling doesn’t mean that all form of routine have to be thrown out the window. While you may allow yourself some leniency with food, not every meal needs to be followed by dessert or an extra glass of wine. Set yourself some compromises and know your limits with what you will allow and what you won’t.
Stretch and move
You may not have your normal desk setup, so it is more important than ever to ensure you get up routinely and move around. Give up your seat if commuting, or at least stand for part of the journey. Not only will this reduce your sitting time, it will give you an opportunity to stretch out your leg muscles and relieve some of the pressure on your back caused by sitting for extended periods of time.
Switch off before switching off
Marathon runners don’t simply stop moving the second they hit the finish line. Athletes have wind-down or cool-down time after each session to allow their bodies to restore to a regenerative mode. By the same token, we can’t expect to simply switch off our brains the second we shut the laptop and try to sleep. Allocate wind-down time with no screen interference. Try a few minutes of meditation or breathing exercises to help your system start the wind-down process at the end of the day.
It doesn’t stop when you land
Make sure you wash your face and eyes to relieve your dry skin and eyes after your flight. When you get the chance, try a daytime walk. This will help you adjust to time zone changes and refresh your body. Water therapy can replenish moisture and relax your nervous system – try a sauna room session in the hotel’s fitness centre, a swim, a luxurious bath, or a shower that uses water pressure to unknot flight-tight muscles. Fresh juices loaded with vitamin-rich greens can also boost hydration and immunity, while a pure aromatherapy essence can ease anxiety and sleeplessness.
We don’t compromise on our health (as often) at home, so why do it on the road?