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23 April 2024

How to stay healthy at the airport

By Carole Holditch

For the business traveller, life can start to feel like it's just another day, another terminal. This fast-paced lifestyle might be good for the bottom line, but it rarely makes for a positive ROI on your health. Travelling can mean a sedentary lifestyle fuelled by food sorely lacking in nutritional benefits, which in turn can lead to a host of health problems including being overweight or obese.

So what's the fix? Just like in many other situations it comes down to planning and choices. If you plan ahead as best as possible, and choose to take the healthier options, then you'll be on the fast track to promoting your health from poor to stellar.

Here are some simple ways you can make your travel time at the airport more healthy:


Pack Your Own Snacks: Do not give in to the snack stands hawking candy and chips. Those empty calories will leave you feeling empty. Instead, stock your carry-on with oat cakes, granola bars, trail mix, fresh vegetables or fruit like red peppers, carrots, celery, or apples, or nuts. This way, when you are stuck between flights or you just get a snack attack, you have a healthy fix at hand.

Keep Moving: Two-hour layover? Check your Blackberry while walking laps up and down the terminal, rather than sitting at the gate. You can also walk on solid ground rather than riding the moving sidewalk and take stairs instead of escalators or elevators.

Stay Hydrated: Whether getting a drink in the airport or from the in-flight beverage service, opt for water. The benefits of drinking plenty of water are vast, plus you'll feel more alert and reduce the sugar binge when you skip the sodas and mixed drinks.

Be a Picky Eater: Don't settle for the first fast-food chain you see in the terminal when you're ready for a meal. There are plenty of sit-down restaurants now where you can get grilled chicken or fish, a fresh vegetable salad, steamed vegetables and brown rice.

Be sure to ask for sauces or dressings to be left on the side. Also, ask to have fries replaced with vegetables or fruit.

Stay Light in Air: Anyone can nap on a flight, but few people opt to stay fit en route to their destination. You can walk a lap or two up and down the centre aisle; keep blood moving by "walking in place" at your seat; do light stretching and focus on proper posture; roll your neck clockwise and then counter-clockwise. All of this keeps you from being sedentary for the duration of your flight.


The writer is a motivator, weight management expert and founder of Good Habits. Visit www.goodhabitsuae.com


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