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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor


Wellness while flying: five top tips

It’s okay to turn down that offer of a fizzy drink and packet of pretzels, or skip dinner if you’re simply not hungry.


There’s growing evidence that business travel is unhealthy, due in part to more eating out, no time to exercise and changing time zones, which impacts the amount of good quality sleep we get.

Adjusting your diet and upping your exercise may be things you want to implement at home, but what happens during those times spent out of your daily routine, such as on any work trips away?

If regular travel is on the cards for you in 2020, thinking about your wellness while travelling, and more specifically, while flying long distance is recommended. Here are five tips on how to do just that:

  1. Monitor your sitting

When you’re strapped into your seat on the plane, you have no choice but to remain seated for safety reasons. However, it’s important to be aware of the negative effects of all that sitting during a flight – because there’s an ever-expanding body of scientific evidence that prolonged sitting can be harmful, according to the Mayo Clinic. They cite obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels as being linked to excessive sitting. With this in mind, ensure that you stand wherever possible, whether this means getting up and stretching during the flight, or using a standing desk in the airport lounges to get some work done.

2. Hydrate constantly

It’s tough to drink as much as water on a long haul flight as you typically would in a normal day, especially when you can’t bring your own liquids on to the plane due to security reasons. But it’s vital that you do hydrate, as flying does the exact opposite due to the high altitude. Ask the air hostess or host for an extra bottle of water so you can have one as soon as you wake up. Also go easy on the alcohol and caffeine, as these are instant dehydrators.

Also read: Hotels that help visitors maintain fitness

3. Eat well

You’re constantly offered opportunities to eat on a flight, and we get it – it’s something to keep the boredom at bay. But think about each meal you’re eating and whether you’re actually hungry, or eating because it’s been offered to you, and it’s free. It’s okay to turn down that offer of a fizzy drink and packet of pretzels, or skip dinner if you’re simply not hungry. The same applies to meals in airport lounges, or out with clients – you can simply order a starter if you don’t feel like a huge meal.

4. Manage your mind

While physical health is important, so too is your mental health while you’re away from loved ones, which can be compounded by stressful or demanding work situations during your trip. Take time to switch off the endless stream of movies in your in-flight entertainment centre and listen to some soothing music, or practise some meditation. It’s important to get as much sleep as possible, so it’s okay to head home after a client dinner instead of staying up into the early hours with them.

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