So, you say that you are a road warrior? Perhaps “jet setter” would be a more apt description for what you do — flying up and down the coast, traveling across the country and moving around the world. Not too many people can handle everything that you do and your flight crew appreciates your dedication and energy.
At some point the trips can become a bit wearing especially if you are used to a certain regimen, particularly of the exercise kind. At FL410 you can’t exercise the way you would with your feet planted on solid ground, but you can find ways to keep moving and prevent stiffness as you make your way to your next destination. Here’s how to stay limber and feel better.
1. Contract your calf muscles. No need to get up and walk to the back of the plane to touch your toes. Instead, while sitting, you can contract your calf muscles, an effort that will prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and overall stiffness. And it is an easy exercise to do too: simply keep tapping your feet, what also benefits your shin, thighs and hip joint.
2. Cut back on food intake. While in flight, eat less food. And what foods you eat should be warm, nourishing and digestible. Choose tea instead of coffee and go with steamed vegetables. Eat fennel seeds which are good for digestion. How does what you eat keep you active? When you eat right you’ll want to exercise; when you eat heavy or fatty foods you’ll feel too sluggish to work out.
3. Twist in place. Another exercise you can do right from your seat are upper body twists. Sit up straight, then tighten your fists and pull them to you as if you’re lifting dumbbells. Twist to the right and then back to the center. Twist to the left and return to the center. By keeping your arms close to your body you’ll avoid smacking the wall adjoining your jump seat.
4. Keep your skin moist. The bane of frequent flying is dry skin, a condition that can cause flaking, itching and other skin problems. And keep in mind that even though you’re flying in a protected tube, skin damaging UVA and UVB rays from the sun can penetrate through the windows. Apply a sunscreen only after you use a skin lotion or serum. Do this before you leave for the airport, but bring TSA-approved products for your return flight.
5. Walk wherever, whenever possible. You can’t do much walking while inflight unless frequent moving around is part of the job. For everyone else every opportunity to walk should be part of your exercise regimen. That also means walking between terminals, taking the stairs to get to your hotel room and, if your neighborhood is safe, donning a pair of walking or running shoes and heading out.
6. Bring along a jump rope. Let’s face it: not every hotel will have your dream gym. And if there is one present you may not feel particularly safe working out. You can still do a number of your exercise routines right in the safety and comfort of your hotel room. Sit ups, push ups, leg lunges, and jumping jacks are among the exercise routines you can perform nearly anywhere. And for a good cardio workout a pair of jump ropes can lift your mood and work your body. You may have to take this out to the parking lot if all that jumping up and down disturbs other guests.
7. Watch your diet. While at the hotel, be mindful of your diet especially if you are abroad. Avoid tap water, drink treated water and carry commercial iodine or chorine tablets to treat the water yourself. Drink beverages made with boiled water such as tea or coffee. Avoid undercooked or raw meats, any foods prepared by street vendors, and unpasteurized dairy products. Do eat unpeeled fresh fruit with thick coverings, thoroughly cooked meats, and thoroughly cooked fruits and vegetables.
Mess up in any area and you’ll feel it, perhaps paying for it with an illness such as a food borne sickness. Maintain a regimen and you’ll continue your road warrior ways without interruption.
Rachel Young is a professional blogger that shares tips and advice on health, training and nutrition. She writes for Fitness19.com, a leading fitness facility with affordable month-to-month memberships.