Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Traveling is Healthy, Actually

I hear it all the time; "I can't find anything healthy to eat," said the business traveler; "There needs to be healthier choices," said yet another business traveler; "Those business dinners make me so unhealthy," yep, you guessed it, another business traveler.

While each of these statements may have some truth in them they are all modifiable, unlike age or sexual orientation (we are who we are) changing unhealthy habits into healthier ones can actually happen. As far as I have seen the airports now carry plenty of healthy options, and places like Delta's Sky Club offers an array of healthy snack options- you may have to pay a little more for a salad at the airport vs. your favorite lunch spot, but isn't your health your greatest wealth?

Also, when you stop and think about it, the airport is the perfect place for some exercise, especially if you have carry-on to push and pull. With today's airports being similar to a small town you can walk around and around and around, and no one will ever question you (just don't leave your bag with a stranger so you can walk faster, then they might question you).

So you've got a long layover and you start to seek out the closest kiosk for a candy bar and beer.


Layovers are not an excuse to complain about airport food...

Fly Well Tip #1: Pack (or wear) comfy shoes.

Christopher Berger is an exercise physiologist and professor at the University of Indianapolis who would agree with me that airports do not have to be a haven for stress. He likes to look on the positive side and see where he can relieve stress, and this starts with some comfy shoes. I would like to insert now a direct quote from Dr. Berger that sums it up quite nicely:

 “Travel does not mean deconditioning. You’re stuck in a terminal for three hours, boo hoo, but you have a climate-controlled place where you can walk literally for miles at some airports if you want.”

Like I said, you could walk for HOURS!

I'm not the only one who thinks airport exercise is a great idea.  The American Heart Association even started a program called the Start! Walking program. The  Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport actually have walking circuits JUST FOR YOU TO WALK! Layover in Minneapolis again? Switch the negative thinking to positive and think about how great you are going to feel after you get some exercise in!

Other cool layover spots?

San Fran International Airport has a Zen Room, that's right, deep breaths and a little meditation does a body good.

 Zurich Airport you can rent bike, in-line skates and Nordic walking sticks! Wow, airport or Olympic playground?

Incheon International Airport, Korea has an ice-skating rink. Never get to go to your home rink? Why not skate around in a foreign country!

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Yoga Room. Pop in a DVD and start your downward dogging!

Schipol Airport, Amsterdam, recharging bikes! iPhone out of power AGAIN? Don't just plug it in, get moving with these stationary bikes and charge it up! (They also have a great sleeping lounge area if you are really sleep deprived. I tested this out once on a trip to Germany, to this day I am amazed I did not miss my flight).

 Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong. Sports simulators that mimic soccer, basketball, golf, boxing, skiing, car racing and shooting AND they have a golf course? Make sure you get out to see the city too as much fun as the airport sounds!

Fly Tip #2

Unless you are hopping from the plane to an important business meeting try to wear, or at least pack, comfy pants. I say this because if you stumble upon a sports mecca or yoga studio you will be happy that you have the flexibility to be, well, flexible!

Fly Tip # 3

Nuts. (Unless you are allergic, duh) are a great snack to pack. Combine this with an apple (both do not need refrigeration!) and it can at least hold you over on your layover. However, as I said before, there ARE healthy options out there. Grab and go salads and sandwiches are fresh and easy. So don't say the only option are the Golden Arches- they are there, yes, they are everywhere, but that does not mean it has to be a go to travel food. In fact, I would be willing to make a bet that if you start walking around, you will feel better and your brain will ask you for those healthier options.

Fly Tip # 4

H20. If you have ever taken a flight before you know what the air is like. No explaination needed. Hydrate!

As far as the business dining steak houses? There is no business law that says you must order the 20 oz. steak. Stand up for your health, you will be surprised how many others will follow your lead.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Fly Well,



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