Ways to stay healthy while travelling
Travelling can be great fun but be it for work or pleasure it can also be a strain on your body and mind. Rushing for flights, changing time zones, sitting for extended periods, poor food, and new environments disrupt our daily routines and rhythms. Also, being on the go we find ourselves choosing convenient fast food options and throwing our regular balanced diet out the window.
Imbalances commonly experienced due to travel is sleep disturbances such as insomnia, jet lag, constipation, dry skin, anxiety, bloating, gas, fear, worry, low moods and fatigue. This is even more problematic if you’re on a business trip and need to hit the ground running.
Here are 5 simple tips to keep your mind and body fresh while on the go:
1. Practice yoga asanas (postures) mid-flight.
Keep your circulation pumping to prevent body aches and stiffness. Keep moving on the plane, get up and go for a walk every hour.
Try these gentle stretches:
• Gently touch your toes, then reach up towards the sky a few times.
• Hug your arms around yourself, trying to touch your shoulder blades with your fingertips. Once in that position, stretch your neck by pressing your ears towards your shoulders both left and right.
• Holding the armrest, gently twist shoulders and head towards the back of your seat.
• Hug your knees to your chest while sitting.
2. Stay hydrated.
The oxygen used in the aircraft cabin is extremely dehydrating to the body. This can cause dry skin, fatigue, constipation and poor concentration. So drink plenty of water a few days prior to flying and during the flight.
Avoid further dehydration by avoiding the complimentary tea, coffee and alcohol, as these are diuretic in nature. Drink warm water or spiced tea, such as ginger. This helps to keep the fluid levels up and supports digestion.
A simple tip is to pack an empty thermos and a range of herbal teas in your carry on, then as the cabin crew to refill with hot water throughout the flight.
3. Never eat air-plane food!
Air-plane food (if you can even call it food) is devoid of vitality and nutrients. Combined with impaired digestive function due to the irregular nature and movement of travel, this makes it hard on the body to digest, assimilate and absorb the food, causing toxins and leaving you feeling congested and heavy on arrival.
Try to eat a main meal 1 – 2 hours before travelling and pack something light to eat throughout the flight such as sweet, juicy fruits. Fruits are ideal, as they're high in fibre and water content. Nuts, seeds and dried fruit such as dates are also great satisfying snack.
Make breakfast, lunch and dinner before you go to take with you – try overnight oats, roast vegetable and grain salad, or vegetable wraps.
4. Have a regular routine.
The more you can keep a routine similar to yours at home, the easier the change will be on your body. When crossing time zones, set your watch to the destination time zone as soon as you get on the plane. Eat your meal when it's 12-12.30 p.m. destination time, and start preparing for sleep around 10 p.m. This supports the circadian rhythm (body clock) and will alleviate the effects of jet lag.
Another tip to combat jet lag is to get 10 minutes of early morning sunlight on your face daily to re-calibrate your body clock.
This is the number 1 tool for staying balanced while travelling. Nothing refreshes the mind and body like Meditation. Meditate as much as you like on a plane to keep the nervous system settled. Once at your destination, an afternoon meditation will alleviate fatigue and help you get through another late night
Author: Tegan Wallis
Tegan is a Naturopath, Ayurveda Health Consultant and Yoga Teacher at Griffith Consulting's sister company, Veda Wellness.
Tegan is one of Griffith Consulting's key program facilitators and specialises in workplace health & wellness.
For more information about Tegan or her services, please go to: www.vedawellness.com.au