One of the hardest things about traveling is taking care of your body. Without routine, it’s easy for fitness plans to fall off the conveyor belt. There are packed schedules, meetings, time changes, venue variations, and limited time to plan meals, limited space to make them, and even further limited opportunities to actually exercise.
So, just in time for summer jaunts, these five frequent flyers discuss how they keep their health and fitness in check when trotting the globe on a long-term basis.
“I practice yoga throughout my flight”
Leo Lourdes is the CEO of Yogasphere, a global yoga retreats company with clients such as Oprah Winfrey. He practices yoga off the mat, including on long-haul flights. “Posture is an integral part of yoga, and you can work on this even when sitting on a plane. For example, aligning your arms to the side of your hips results in opening up your chest and a chance to focus on breathing; then moving your hips to the edge of your seat curves your lower back, which prevents slumping and promotes better posture,” he says. “I also work on my face too, energizing with each change of expression. Thankfully when the lights are dimmed and if I’m flying first or business, nobody really notices. There are lots of handy chair yoga moves to experiment with and these can all be done within the comfort of a flight.”
“My body recovers with floatation therapy”
Emirates cabin attendant and ex-professional skater Alejandro Cabrera swears by floatation therapy, the practice of lying in a dark pod of epsom salts for an hour. “In a single week I am often in up to five different time zones and in climates very different from my home in Dubai. I try and use floatation therapy whenever I can, which I first discovered at Floatworks. It’s used not only by athletes to speed up muscle recovery but as a way to help with jet lag. Your brain is forced to switch off and drift into an extreme state of meditation. I think doing this has helped me become a more relaxed and calmer person overall and I sleep much better at night.”
“I use an app for personal training sessions”
Working remotely means turning to remote personal training, and travel photographer Matt Linden uses an online trainer. “I use Fiit, which is a mobile app that connects to the TV or computer – you can work out from home, hotel room or office. You select a workout, say HIIT or Hatha yoga, and do it with a strap worn across your chest that tracks your performance and offers real-time feedback on reps, calories burned, and so on. You can even see your progress and compete against yourself and other users. Tonnes of classes are added each week so you never do the same one twice – it’s like going into a fitness studio via video call.”
“I fuel my body with powdered protein and vitamins”
Restaurateur Colin Tu travels the world up to six months out of the year, bringing recipes, discoveries, and stories back to his restaurant empire. When he’s not sampling Michelin star eats and hearty home-cooked meals, he’s fueling up on Huel. “Obviously, I am a big foodie, but all that can take a toll on my waistline. When I’m on the go I bring Huel with me in powdered form. It has all the protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals that my body needs and it takes under a minute to prepare so I’m not turning to convenience store snacks at the airport or indulging on greasy street food. Huel is my thing, but I have friends who turn to protein shakes and bars when they’re on the road. A bit of prepping before you fly just means you make better choices with regard to your nutritional needs.”
“I keep on moving”
Finally, it’s important to stay active in general, so ditch the Uber and sun lounger, as The Gym Dubai’s Hud Russell does. “My top tip for keeping fit whilst on vacation is to keep moving. Try and walk as much as you can and always take the scenic route; exploring actively is very good for your health. I would also always tell my clients that if they can’t make it to a gym, to try and do a small bodyweight circuit in their hotel room as it’s better than nothing. Even if it’s just before jumping in the shower – make it a routine to get in a few sit-ups, squats, and push-ups you will definitely notice a difference.”
Words: James Wong