Tips for Healthy Airline Travel

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A study that’s gotten a lot of attention in the news recently draws a relationship between people who do a lot of traveling for business and their (poor) health. The study surveyed over 10,000 American business travelers and concluded that those who took out-of-town trips seven days or more per month were most likely to be overweight.

Of course, this is a rather obvious conclusion – it’s quite difficult to eat right and get the proper exercise while frequently taking business trips. But… it’s not impossible by any means. Take a look at these tips to help you stay trim and fit while traveling.

Food Options

The easiest option for the frequent flier when it comes to eating is to grab a fast food meal. Franchise chains are abundant around the airport and easy to access before you reach an offsite airport parking lot prior to takeoff. There’s also lots of them inside the airport terminals, and surrounding your hotel. But choosing fast food is also the easiest way to pack on extra pounds.

The best offense, as they say, is a good defense. Plan your meals in advance so you’re not stuck with only minutes to spare and a growling stomach. When you’re packing your laptop, include some healthy snacks in one of the pockets. Things like almonds, pumpkin seeds, whole grain crackers, string cheese, and apple slices with peanut butter are all good choices and they fill you up better than potato chips or cookies.

Once you reach your destination, don’t be afraid to order room service – but do take a good, long look at the menu and opt for a dish that is low in fact. Don’t believe everything you read, however; a “diet plate” of cottage cheese and a hamburger patty often has more fat and sodium than other menu choices. The more fruits and vegetables on your plate, the healthier your meal is likely to be. When it comes to beverages, avoid alcohol and caffeine and opt for water.

Exercise Options

Most hotels these days feature a gym and most are quite well-equipped. However, unless working out is a regular part of your routine at home, it’s unlikely you’ll turn over a new leaf while you’re on the road. Make exercise a daily habit at home so it feels “wrong” if you skip a workout while traveling.

Can’t make the time to hit the gym? Little spurts of exercise can add up to be a big benefit. Walk as much as you can; use your feet instead of a car to visit shops and restaurants near your hotel. When you get to the office building you are visiting, park as far away from the entrance as possible.

While you’re reviewing a report in your hotel room, do leg lifts and windmill your arms. Use the stairs instead of the elevator to reach your room.

Take the opportunity to exercise even while you’re on the plane. Toe lifts, breathing exercises, head rolls – all are subtle, yet effective ways of loosening your muscles and burning a few extra calories.

Don’t let frequent travel get in the way of your health. Pay attention to what you’re eating and drinking and use every opportunity to get up and move your body. And for extra credit? Park in the airport offsite parking lot and walk to the terminal – it’s good for you!

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