Sunday, 14 December 2014

Traveling Healthy Living Style: Top tips for flying the healthy way...

Ho, Ho, Ho, holiday season is nigh, and for a lot of us it means becoming reacquainted with a giant, aluminium flying can for either few hours or what feels like an eternal hell that is the long haul flight. 
I'm literally a week out from starting my own holiday journey, which I like to call the mother of all long hauls: the London to Sydney. It's a flight I’ve done on and off over twenty years (Yes, before they had personal TVs in front of your face. Oh, it was tough). Over that time I have come up with my own tried and tested formula which helps me emerge from said plane feeling less like a dribbling zombie desiring fast food and more like a human ready to holiday it out. So here are my top tips for flying the healthy way: 
Order Ahead: Make sure you contact your airline in advance to choose your meal. There is nothing more annoying that having to stick with the last chicken meal when you actually haven’t eaten meat in years. It should be old news that you can get a huge variety; vegan, veggie, raw. Take your pick and hope for the best. And on the subject of eating, eat light meals in the days leading up to your flight. That way you won’t feel like you’re attempting to digest a lead balloon while sitting on your backside for what can feel like an age. 
Pick your seat prior: This isn’t being control freaky, this is you picking the seat you know that you want. Personally, I go for the aisle seat because it means that I have the freedom to get up and move whenever I want. For others, they like the window seat for the view and the argument that there are less germs (Thanks for the extra paranoia, internet). Make sure you check up on your seat the day before you fly because you could get lucky and change to a seat which neighbours unoccupied ones so you can make your own insta-bed! Who needs First Class?

Be rested: One year I decided to stay up all night before my flight to Australia thinking I’d drop off the moment I found my plane seat. Incorrect. I was irritable, my mind was cloudy and I ended up getting sick a few days after I arrived. Try be as rested as possible before you fly because chances are the Z’s you get on your flight aren’t going to be capital. 
BYO: Food, that is. I'm talking, nuts, oat cakes, dried fruit, protein bars, more oat cakes. Do not depend on your airport to supply you with healthy food. In my experience, there isn’t a lot of choice and you end up panic buying crap that won't help you feel good. I'm still waiting to spot a coconut water past security, but a girl can dream.   
Water: Of course I had to get this in here. Remember that if you do bring a bottle of water with you to the airport it will be taken off you at security. So, it’s best to prepare to buy another once you’re through to duty free. If you can find some coconut water after security then go for it! When on the flight, I recommend getting friendly with the airline hostesses. And I don’t mean swapping life stories, I mean getting up to visit them in their galley to score more water. You may even make friends out of them and get some free perks. 
Beautify: Being locked in an air conditioned tin will play havoc on your skin. In fact, you may emerge looking like the lizard queen. To combat this, I will quite happily slap on an invisible overnight mask (I swear by Origins Drink up Intensive Mask) after take off as well as reapply hand cream and lip balm whenever I feel like it. It gives me something to do, and it really does make a difference to your skin when you’re back on land. So save up those free samples and prepare to self-soothe on your next flight. 
Move: It is so important to keep the blood flowing while you’re sitting down for long periods of time. Plan to take a walk every thirty minutes, stretch and get on with some chair yoga because, let's face it, what else is there to do?
Be Kind: To combat the flying anxieties, have a playlist at hand that you’ve designed specifically to relax to. Make sure you use it back home in the weeks before you fly so that you’re body learns that those tracks mean chill out time. Flying is also a perfect place to try some mindfulness meditation. No one will even know you’re getting your zen on while flying at 30,000 feet. While your at it, bring out some aromatherapy action. Thisworks have a great In Transit Muscle Therapy roll on, which I've used and loved for the past year when I've travelled. Its relaxing Marjoram, Black Pepper and Clove scent beats the classic 'Eau de plane'.
Get the gear: As well as the products listed above my in-flight survival kit also includes: a neck pillow, my own headphones, eye drops, ear plugs, eye mask, anti-DVT socks, a kindle loaded with every book I've ever had an interest in as well as an iPad loaded with my favourite TV shows. This bit is all about the comfort and are noticeably in the category of: 'Pretend I’m anywhere but here'. Something that I think is paramount for ones wellbeing when going the long haul. 
Lastly, enjoy it! Yes, it can be tough, but what a privilege to be able to travel the world. Take on the challenge and remember to always look for the unexpected and the awesome. 



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