iFly Blog

Marceyrader

 

Have your ever had to eat in an airport and walked what felt like miles up and down the terminal trying to find at least one healthy entrée?

Of course you have!

 

I’m Marcey Rader, Lifestyle Trainer for Mobile Professionals. I understand first-hand that business travel isn’t just part of your job, it’s a lifestyle. I spent over a decade traveling around the world for my job and have suffered through that same struggle. Now I own a business helping road warriors like you be healthy and productive on the road. Because iFly is my fave app for air travel productivity and health, I feature it in my book, Hack the Mobile Lifestyle: 6 Steps to Work Well and Play More, my Hack the Mobile Lifestyle Virtual Series and Road Warrior Secrets Unlocked webinar, they asked me to write about health hacks for air travel. I was happy to oblige.

 

My belief is that you can’t be healthy without being productive and you can’t be productive without being healthy, especially when you’re traveling for business. The first item we’ll cover is Airport Nutrition (Oxymoron? Yes.)

 

Carlson Wagonlit Travel did the most extensive research to date on 6,000 travelers and rated the stressors of travel. The highest for females were ‘routine breakers’ and included lack of access to healthy meals.  The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine rated airport restaurants for one low-fat, high-fiber, cholesterol-free vegetarian entrée and found only 76% of the busiest airports offered even ONE!!! They specifically look for menu items with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes.

 

The top five?

 

1) Denver International

2) Tie – Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Chicago O’Hare

3) Tie – Ronald Reagan National and Los Angeles International

4) Tie – Baltimore/Washington International and Washington Dulles International

5) Tie –  Phoenix Sky Harbor and Dallas Ft. Worth

 

The worst was Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airport, which is unacceptable given its size. Only 53 of its 103 eateries offered healthy options. How can you plan for this? By using iFly! This is what sold me on the app and it’s minimal price of going Pro. I use it to see what restaurants are at the gate or terminal I’ll be spending time in, that way I know what my choices are.

 

How many of you have stopped at a sub-par restaurant and bought a chemical-filled meal only to walk 200 meters and see a restaurant you actually like with real food?

No more with the iFly app. Planning is easy.

 

 

Hey Marcey, why do I feel bloated and icky when I fly?

Well Road Warrior, sodium + air pressure + sitting = water retention.  Altitude affects your digestive system and causes gases to expand by 30 percent. This can explain that constipated, ‘can’t poop in the hotel room’ situation. You know what I’m talking about.

 

How to combat this? Look for the foods that are the least processed. It doesn’t matter what kind of plan you are following – Paleo, vegetarian, Weight Watchers, you should always be looking for the least processed option. The less processing there is, the less sodium will be in the food.

 

Do what you can to avoid the airplane meals, which you’re probably only getting if you’re in first class. Alternatively, just eat the fresh part of the meal, if there is anything fresh, and avoid the entrée. Altitude also affects our taste buds so airlines have to add more salt on our food for it to taste good. Plus, the average airline meal has 950 calories, which you don’t need because you’re just sitting there, and it probably doesn’t even taste good.

 

Humidity falls to about 20% in an airplane, which is why you get those dry eyes and throat and a bloody nose after flying. High sodium foods can make this even worse.

 

Having caffeine on board can compound these problems since it’s a diuretic and you’re already forced to succumb to the altitude, air pressure, sodium, and sitting. Save it for later.

 

Marcey, what the heck should I eat?

Stay tuned for the next installment!

 

Marcey Rader, The MoPro Coach, is a Lifestyle Trainer specializing in helping road warriors and mobile professionals to be healthy and productive on the road. She is a Certified Personal Trainer with a B.S in Exercise Science and a Certified Productive Environment Specialist. She spent over a decade traveling for the clinical research industry and understands first-hand that business travel isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. She is the creator of the Jetsetter Exercise Kit, the 25 in 25® and 10 by 10® exercise challenges and author of Hack the Mobile Lifestyle: 6 Steps to Work Well and Play More! Sign up for a free video series and learn: What to do when you first enter a hotel room, rest stop workouts to fix your numb butt, travel accessories to keep you organized and your legs from catching on fire and much more! Free Video Series 

 

Last installment we learned:

1) Airports are still in the dark ages when it comes to healthy offerings to passengers.

2) Why you feel bloated and icky after you fly.

3) How sodium can ruin your flat tummy and your bathroom experience.

What’s the worst thing for me to eat?

Wherever you are, buyers beware! Inspections of almost 800 restaurants at 10 airports found violations. At one airport 77% of the restaurants had at least ONE critical violation, some of which included rodent droppings and kitchens without soap! Being sick while traveling is as much fun as having your toenails peeled off one by one so it pays to be extra cautious. Continue reading »

 

In the last two posts we learned what to eat and what to avoid at airports. Now we’ll learn how you can get some movement in to combat all that sitting.

 

To check or not to check?

It’s scary to check a bag because you may not get it at your destination and if you are flying in to RDU, it will take as long as your flight to actually get your baggage (what is going on back there?). However, if I have a long connection I almost always check my bag so I can walk around the airport untethered. Even with a nice roller bag it still jacks up your posture and spine to be pulling it on one side all the time.

 

Regardless of whether or not you check your bag, make sure you have some comfy shoes you can put on to walk the terminals. I’ll even find an unused gate and do an exercise routine right there. I’ve done sun salutations, push-ups, burpees and lunges all at empty gates. I’ve used my bag and done shoulder presses. Sometimes I’ll whip out my exercise bands and do a routine that doesn’t get me too sweaty but gives me an energy boost and a decent workout. At least four times I’ve had someone come up and ask me if they can borrow them while we were waiting for our flight. Each time we had multiple delays and were there so long that people were getting antsy and the movement really helped. I even created my own mobile kit, The Jetsetter Gym Kit, that has 55 pounds of resistance in a 14oz bag.

 

I have a collapsible hoop and have traveled with it several times. I’ve even whipped out my hoop at an empty gate and practiced or read and hooped at the same time. Are you the type of person who would be mortified to do this? How often have you seen someone in an airport that you knew? And besides, let the others stay in their tired, haggard, energy-drained state while you’re increasing blood flow, reducing your risk for cankles and getting a little calorie burn to boot.

 

Other ways to get activity? Stop using the people movers. Take a look at who is standing on the people movers next time you are at the airport. I guarantee it isn’t someone who looks fit and healthy. Or it’s someone with very small children. That’s a good excuse.

 

If you have a really long layover time, you might be fortunate enough to be at an airport with a fitness center. Don’t get your hopes up, there aren’t that many. I really think we could do with one less McDonald’s and one more fitness center with showers. Even if you don’t have shower access, that doesn’t mean that you can’t wet wipe yourself clean and put your clothes back on.

 

Fitness-minded airports include:

Dallas/Ft. Worth – American Advantage room has a small fitness center and showers. I’ve used this during a long layover. The Grand Hyatt full service fitness center and spa costs $30 for non-guests. Or take advantage of the free yoga studio with mats and looping DVD instruction or LiveWell Walking Path in Terminal D.

San Francisco International – yoga room

Detroit Metropolitan – Westin Airport Hotel has a full fitness studio for $15 and rents shoes, shorts and t-shirts for $5

Singapore Changi – fitness center in all terminals for $11

Vancouver International Airport in British Columbia – full health club with pool $18.00

Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport – full health club $10-19

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport – 1.4 mile walking path

Dubai International Airport – 24-hour gym $13 per hour

Zurich – Radisson (across the street via covered walkway) fitness center, Turkish baths and sleeping rooms. $43-110. Long layovers can be dealt with by renting bikes, inline skates and Nordic walking sticks.

Los Angeles International Airport – 18-hole golf course or space for yoga at LAX Flag Courtyard

Munich Airport – pool and fitness center $26-40

Toronto Pearson International – fitness center with showers, locker and towel service for $15

Cleveland Hopkins International – walking circuit

Seoul Korea Incheon International Airport – ice skating $4, golf club with driving range and putting green, fitness center

 

 

When you’re on the plane, make sure you get up at least every hour and walk to the bathroom or walk up and down the aisle. I always sit in the aisle seat if I can just so I can get up when I need to. It isn’t good for anyone, especially tall people who can’t even straighten their legs, to sit in one position for even 20 minutes, let alone a cross-country flight.

 

If you can’t get up, at least keep your feet moving by rolling your ankles and pointing and flexing your feet. Do some shoulder shrugs and wrist circles too while you’re waiting on the beverage cart.

Being healthy and productive isn’t about being spontaneous. It’s about careful planning to make sure that you arrive at your destination feeling as energized as you can with what you have had to work with.

 

I hope you have enjoyed the series and got some great ideas for a healthier travel experience. For more health and productivity hacks for all your travel needs, visit me at http://www.marceyrader.com.


Marcey Rader, The MoPro Coach, is a Lifestyle Trainer specializing in helping road warriors and mobile professionals to be healthy and productive on the road. She is a Certified Personal Trainer with a B.S in Exercise Science and a Certified Productive Environment Specialist. She spent over a decade traveling for the clinical research industry and understands first-hand that business travel isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. She is the creator of the Jetsetter Exercise Kit, the 25 in 25® and 10 by 10® exercise challenges and author of Hack the Mobile Lifestyle: 6 Steps to Work Well and Play More! Sign up for a free video series and learn: What to do when you first enter a hotel room, rest stop workouts to fix your numb butt, travel accessories to keep you organized and your legs from catching on fire and much more! Free Video Series