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Travelling light - health tips for a frequent flyer

Airport
Posted by: Julie Meek

Travel for pleasure can be one of the greatest joys of life, but frequent travel for work can be very exhausting and can really put a dent in your health and wellbeing.
Perth is one of the most remote cities in the world, so travelling by air for work is quite common – especially if you’re based in regional and remote WA.
If you are gathering frequent flyer points at a rapid pace, it’s time to pack some tactics for a healthy travel itinerary and boost your productivity on the road.

 

Avoid the Airport Trap

Sitting around in airports can be mentally and physically tiring and really quite boring. It makes sense that we look around for distractions and quite often the most appealing one is food.
Let’s face it, food at any airport is not usually a gastronomical delight and the most common choices available are coffee, a huge muffin or cake, a gigantic cookie and oversized chocolate treats.

Plan ahead…

  • Bring some fresh fruit from home just to eat at the airport – don’t forget to dispose of any left over fruit before your flight!
  • Take some healthy pre-packaged snacks with you such as snack size portion packs of dried fruit and unsalted nuts
  • Take a low fat breakfast drink for any time of the day
  • Instead of using loose change on high kilojoule snack foods, invest in a magazine or book to while away the time
  • Explore the airport and grab some exercise at the same time. Or do some laps if you are in a tiny regional airport

 

Up in the Air

Being held captive for hours on end with nothing to do except sit, eat and attempt to catch some elusive shut-eye can be a problem. The air in planes has reduced levels of humidity and this dries out the mucous membranes in our noses making it difficult to smell. 

This in turn drastically reduces our ability to taste food, but it doesn’t seem to stop us accepting offers of chocolate and ice cream desserts from the attendants.
Dehydration can be a real problem on short and long haul flights and can send a hungry message to the brain when it should be telling you to drink instead. Internal confusion reigns and there you are licking an ice cream that you can’t even taste!

While airborne…

  1. Say no to the extra bits and pieces such as chocolate, desserts and dry tasteless bread rolls. You are expending very little energy whilst flying and you don’t need these high kilojoule extras
  2. Get into the routine of getting up every hour to use the bathroom or to simply stretch the legs. This reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and keeps your circulation happy
  3. Keep hydrated by asking for water in between meal breaks or take your own empty water bottle and refill from the dispenser on the plane (every decent sized aircraft has one). Avoid overloading on the alcohol, soft drinks and fruit juice as they are laden with kilojoules you don’t need


If you are a frequent work traveller, effectively managing your behaviour and habits will vastly improve your energy and vitality. This will result in a productivity boost without excess weight baggage when you arrive at your destination.


The Food File, by Healthy Choices Healthy Futures is a great resource for individuals, and Healthier ‘On the Go’ Meals and Snacks has some healthy options that are ideal for travel. 

Until next time...

Julie :)

 

Photo credit: David Butler

Julie Meek

About Julie Meek

Accredited practising dietitian, performance specialist, speaker

View all posts by Julie Meek

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Healthier Workplace WA. For further information please see Healthier Workplace WA terms of use.

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