If you have plans to board a flight in the next few days, weeks or months, everything I’m sharing today will help you maintain optimal health while traveling. It’s no secret that flying can be quite intensive on our bodies due to things like irregular air pressure, extended time spent seated, impacted blood circulation, lower oxygen levels and a cabin full of other people. It’s also common to let go of your routine while traveling, whether by choice or because you don’t have access to what you normally eat, or do. As a result, we don’t always feel our best after flights, or trips in general and this is something I can definitely attest to as someone who flies at least once a month, and often 10+ hours in length. On the bright side, each flight has helped me develop healthy hacks, and fine tune my flying routine so that I can feel my best while traveling. I’m sharing 20 tips with you today, covering everything from flight hacks to travel fitness tips so you can stay happy and healthy while traveling.
I N T H E A I R
1. Always bring your own reusable water bottle + straws, to keep hydrated (& eco friendly!). Fill your bottle up after security at a water refill station, or ask flight attendants to fill your bottle for you on the plane, instead of the tiny cups of water distributed in-flight. Drink enough water in-flight, and make sure you use the restroom every few hours to keep your bodily functions going AND stretch your legs.
2. In flight, if you’re able to, stand up and stretch your legs every few hours to keep blood flowing. If you can’t, flex and point your feet to introduce movement, and try some seated stretches, too!
3. Pack snacks for your travels and/or meals if you have dietary restrictions. As long as you’re not bringing liquid foods with you, you can pretty much pack whatever you’d like. This is a great way to eat healthy, and also save yourself a lot of $ on overpriced airport food!
4. What kinds of foods/snacks? I recommend hydrating snacks fruits, veg and recommend against high sodium foods. This will help you avoid bloating too! An easy one to pack is a Health Warrior chia bar, which is the perfect size to fit in your pocket or carry-on. These bars make for excellent flight snacks because chia seeds are hydrating, full of fiber, packed with protein to keep you satisfied and energized for longer and most importantly, they’re really yummy. I have a bad habit sometimes of eating a few in a row because… they’re just that good!!! The code VEGGIEKINS20 will give you 20% off any Health Warrior orders.
5. Or, if your flight is within a reasonable length of time, consider fasting during the duration of the flight. Since I tend to have slower digestion, I find that avoiding food in-flight gives my body a break as I’m quite sensitive to the effects of flying AND also helps me adjust to the time zone, as I take my first meal upon landing according to the local timezone. Digestion is a really labour intensive process for our bodies, so giving your tummy a break is nice while flying too. That being said, if the flight is a long-haul flight, that may not be feasible, so stick to healthy, low sodium food.
6. Skip bubbly drinks & alcohol in flight. Trust me on this one. Stick with the water, and lots of it! Bubbly drinks will contribute to bloating and gas build up, while alcohol contributes to dehydration of the body. It’s already dry enough on the plane.
7. Wear compression clothing to help minimize bloating. When we fly, we produce a lot of gas in our organs and intestines which leads to bloating. You may have noticed that your shoes feel tighter post flight, or that you feel constipated–these are side effects of gas buildup in the body.
8. Before a flight, I like to avoid power lifting or pushing my weight too much, and instead focus on mobility and cardio. I find that recovery time is longer after a flight, so pushing my weight right before a flight leads to prolonged soreness. Conditions are rough for the body up in the air, so give yourself a break!
9. Post flight, I try to get into a yoga class first thing (heated preferred) to get circulation moving again, and muscles moving after sitting for so long. I personally experience tailbone pain after long flights, so yoga upon landing is a MUST for me.
10. I like to enjoy a facemask sandwich when I fly. Basically, that means a facemask before and after flying. Pre-flight, I exfoliate and really hydrate my skin (check out this blogpost for my detailed skincare routine + products I use), and then I follow up once I land with even more hydration. In short, I recommend a hydrating mask, or sheet masks before and after. If you’re feeling bold, do one in-flight too!
11. As a follow up to the facemask sandwich, DON’T skip sunscreen. It might not seem important because you’re spending all your time “indoors”, but the reality is, you’re still exposed to sun while on a plane, AND through windows with poor UV block. Not only that, but when you’re up in the sky, the exposure to sun is even more direct. I use this sunscreen every day, including flight days.
12. If you take sleep aids, try a natural alternative like lavender essential oil instead.
O N T H E T R I P
13. Do your research in advance. Take advantage of resources like Yelp (or the equivalent in that region), TripAdvisor, HappyCow and social media. Preparation is your friend, especially if you have dietary restrictions. More details on how I plan to come in a future blogpost.
14. Consider an Airbnb with a kitchen if you have dietary restrictions or prefer to cook your own meals. It’s a great way to save money versus eating out, and stick to foods you like to eat. You can also filter through Airbnb to look for a home with gym included, but if gym access is a priority, a hotel with a gym facility may be a better fit. Use this link for a discount on your Airbnb booking.
15. Enjoy the food, but still eat your greens! Or, commit to one meal out of the day eaten at home, or something healthier. Pack in your nutrition in that one meal, and enjoy yourself the rest of the day. It’s all about balance! I also like to drink more green juice while traveling, because even though I still eat my greens, nothing compares to all the greens I eat at home. Another thing I like to do is make breakfast a nutrient dense smoothie, packed with protein, greens, etc. to meet my daily needs OR make lunch a nutrient powerhouse salad every day, and eat the two other meals out. Balance, my friends, BALANCE!
16. Speaking of food, pack probiotics or consume fermented foods/drinks to aid your digestion while you eat things you normally wouldn’t at home. Because what’s life if you can’t enjoy an amazing pizza while in Italy, or a croissant while in France, right? But also, tummy aches suck ;P
17. On a similar note, pre pack and portion your vitamins & supplements for your trip. Consider packing travel size supplement items like teas, herbs essential oils, protein single serve sachets, maybe even a protein-packed mug muffin for dessert. Bringing your routine with you can make all the difference and it’s great to have the option. I find the Health Warrior microwavable mug muffins perfect for travel, because they make for a great snack, breakfast or healthy dessert while traveling, and all you need is a microwave (which most hotels have available).
18. Keep up with your workout routine by taking advantage of gym trials, hotel gyms or using ClassPass if it’s available where you’re traveling.
19. You can also stay active by traveling by foot & public transportation. You’ll also stumble upon hidden gems and be able to fully experience different parts of the city this way. I’ve found some of my favourite hidden gems just by walking around this way.
20. R E L A X & E N J O Y. Even if the purpose of your trip if business, take advantage of the travel opportunity to experience a new culture and try new food. If you stray from your routine, so be it. Stressing about it will only negatively impact your health, so relax, and enjoy yourself.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and found at least a few that were new to you. I tried to keep it short and cap it at 20, but I have SO many more to share, like packing tips, how I plan my trips and more. If you want to see more, let me know and I’ll get right to work on them! Until then, eat your veggies + travel often. Bon voyage!
Check out my travel guides for curated lists of healthy eats, workout classes and hidden gems.
Blogpost in partnership with Health Warrior.21
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BY Remy • January 9, 2019
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Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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