Breaking Bad, Travel Habits

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Break your bad travel habits

Okay, lets be fair. When we all started out, our first business flight was exciting! So we had a beer and ate (reputably!) “The World’s Best Burger” at the airport waiting for our flight. We ate and drank again on the plane ("hey! they just put it in my lap!"), but that’s alright isn’t it? Sure! If its once or twice a year, but not every week!

In 2018, we shared the Harvard Business Review report on the data behind business travel health issues that went viral.

Since then, what have you done to improve your travel habits? In the face of so much data stating how bad it is for us, what have you actually changed?

Make yourself one promise right now - to break at least one of your bad travel habits. Try over the next couple of months to deselect at least one of these boxes:

  • I enjoy a drink before every flight home, no matter what the time
  • I always eat the plane food, regardless of time or if I'm hungry
  • I never take 10 minutes to find a quiet spot to stretch out before or after flights
  • I regularly wash and change in the airport toilet rather than book a shower room ( with Sanctifly)
  • I have never even tried to build in a light work out, power walk or swim during my regular travel downtime
  • On layovers or during delays, I just sit and wait rather than using the time to do anytime positive

Try to change just one thing, your body and mind will appreciate it. At Sanctifly we’re here to help you with every step. We’ve got over 2500 options at 130 airports ranging from a 7 minute stretch while in line for your flight to a round of golf! There are lots of free stuff included with every membership; Jetlag plans, exclusive airport hints and tips and our very own exercise and stretch videos to improve your travel wellness - and get you off those burgers and beers😊!

So starting today…what are you going to change on your next trip?

Have a great year and travel well!

Karl Llewellyn Founder, CEO

*Sanctifly is the market leading solution in providing frequent travelers (like you!) with access to wellness options globally. We are heavily focused on airports (130+) with over 2500 locations globally.

Corporate licences with Sanctifly start at only $10.00 per employee p.a. To include travel wellness in your compensation package, please contact us at or visit our website to find out more.*

What to do on you Portland Layover

Smart Choices for the Healthy Traveler


We are creating a series of “things to do” at each airport.  This is to help you use your layover as wisely as possible.  We can’t always help that we are held up at an airport but if we can take advantage of the time we have there, then we hope you find the following suggestions useful:

Don’t forget how flexible your membership to the Sanctifly gym, swimming or spa is.  You can use it for an hour or more to suit the time you have available.  You can get single use membership or come onboard for full corporate membership for your business.

1 Hour



If you’re in need of a trim or a clean up, or just want the relaxing service of a good barber, be sure to visit The Barbers located in the pre-security area. It’s an old-fashioned barbershop with the modern touch of flat screen TVs, a selection of quality barbershop supplies, and the shop’s signature neck and shoulder massage after every haircut.


The Art Program at Portland International Airport provides a portal into the dynamic cultural life of the region. There are nine changing exhibits featuring the work of our region’s finest artists. To learn more about the artwork, visit the PDXArt Blog.


Portland International Airport’s music program works to create a relaxing, pleasing and stress-free environment for travelers through the use of live music. Every day, volunteer musicians perform in the terminal and help enhance the passenger experience through personal interactions with travelers. Local musicians volunteer their time, offering travelers an eclectic mix of live music representing some of the best in local jazz, classical and contemporary styles and approaches. The PDX music performance schedule is published weekly and posted online.


Even if you’re not a bookworm head to Powell’s Books. The legendary Portland bookseller offers a complete line of new and used books as well as gift items. Grab something to keep you occupied on your flight.

2-3 Hours



There is one luggage storage company at PDX, Luggage Storage and Logistics, located just past baggage claim carousel number 10 on the lower level. It’s open daily from 8am-midnight.


As a component of the PDX Art Program, the airport teamed up with the Hollywood Theatre, a nonprofit movie theatre located in Portland’s historic Hollywood District, to create a 17-seat movie theatre. Located on Concourse C, the Hollywood Theatre at PDX is part of the Port’s rotating art program. The theatre entertains travelers with short films telling stories specific to the Pacific Northwest. Drop by to watch films while waiting for a flight. All films are family-friendly; the short films play consecutively on approximately a 1-hour loop. For a current listing of films currently screening, visit the Hollywood Theatre at PDX section of the PDXArt Blog.


Head out of the airport and explore the downtown. The easiest and cheapest way to get into Portland from the airport is via MAX, the city’s light rail system. The Red Line from PDX to downtown takes just under 40 minutes. A one-way adult ticket is $2.50, which is valid for 2.5 hours, or you can buy a day pass for $5. The MAX station is on the lower level at the south end of the baggage claim area.


There is no better way to blow through an an extended layover than by taking an hour to make new friends while solving a puzzle. Escape Rooms are a great activity offered around Portland. Try Labyrinth or 60 Minutes to Escape for a fun yet challenging first escape experience.


Located 7.6 miles an 18 minute drive get your sweat on while leaving erasing your carbon footprint at EcoPower Fitness. Out of town guests may purchase a guest pass for $10 online at any time. As a green gym, many of their cardio machines generate electricity while in use, returning power back to the grid. Those that don't are either people powered or low energy consumption.

4+ Hours



It takes less than an hour to drive from the airport to the world-famous International Rose Test Gardens, clear on the other side of the city. Be sure to check out their recently renovated and much praised Japanese Gardens while you are in the area.


Get away from the airport and take a hike at Portland’s favorite local rock-climbing spot, Rocky Butte. The park-on-a-hill also offers some of the best panoramas of the city- including stunning views of Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, the Columbia Gorge, and downtown Portland.


Fort Vancouver is only 20 minutes away. It’s a pioneer fort in Vancouver, WA, just across the Columbia River, and Portland’s history essentially begins at Fort Vancouver. It offers the chance to learn about the Wild West days of Oregon Country from within a 200 year-old wooden fort.

Thanks so much for reading and feel free to send any suggestions you may have to be added to this list.

Sanctifly is our number one recommendation at every airport. Become a full member now and enjoy the benefits today!

What to do on your Montreal Layover

Smart Choices for the Healthy Traveler


We are creating a series of “things to do” at each airport.  This is to help you use your layover as wisely as possible.  We can’t always help that we are held up at an airport but if we can take advantage of the time we have there, then we hope you find the following suggestions useful:

Don’t forget how flexible your membership to the Sanctifly gym, swimming or spa is.  You can use it for an hour or more to suit the time you have available.  You can get single use membership or come onboard for full corporate membership for your business.

1 Hour



From inside the airport you are able to download digital books via the platform Download to your smartphone, tablet or e-reader the first chapter of any books available in five categories: Novel, Youth, Thriller, Essay/Bio, and Guide. Complete instructions for downloading are posted in the airport's rest areas around the international area. After enjoying the preview chapter, you can read the rest either by borrowing the complete e-book from the BAnQ portal or by purchasing it from the site (in print or digital format).


There are art exhibitions throughout the airport. In the international arrivals baggage-claim area there are works by various artists. There are also showcases in the U.S. departures area, illuminated columns in the public areas, and photos in the passenger return and international arrivals corridors. In the passenger return and international arrivals corridors, there is an integrated light installation by Alex Morgenthaler. Throughout the terminal there is a permanent collection, comprising works by Molinari, Pellan, Wesselow, and more. The mission of the Aérogalerie art program is to help support Montréal’s artistic and cultural development.


If you enjoy taking a moment to marvel at the wonders of flight and watch the complicated movements of aircraft traffic, visit Jacques-de-Lesseps Park. It was inaugurated in 2012, and provides aviation enthusiasts with one of the best possible vantage points for observing the runways at Montréal–Trudeau. The park is located facing runways 24-L and 06-R, at the intersection of Halpern Avenue and Jenkins street.

2-3 Hours



If you need a bit of an adrenaline rush, but in safety, check out SkyVenture Montreal. It is the only recirculating indoor free-fall simulator in Canada. Experience the thrill of skydiving from the complete safety of an air tunnel guided by professionals.


As North America's premiere racing simulation centre, Vortex Racing brings the thrill and experience of racing to Montreal, a city immersed every summer in the excitement of the Canadian Grand Prix. There are eight professional-level simulators identical to those used by top Formula 1 teams to train their drivers. From first timers who want to know what it's like to be in a race car, to professional racers who want to practice in the most realistic setting possible, participants can sit in the driver's seat and feel the extraordinary rush of adrenaline unique to the sport.


Stretch your legs and take a nature walk at René-Lévesque Park. It is an urban park located on a jetty between the Saint Lawrence River and the Lachine Canal. It features a sculpture garden with works from Quebec artists, and an arboretum.


If you need even more exotic nature pay a visit to the Refuge faunique Marguerite-D'Youville located on the Île Saint-Bernard. It offers eight kilometers of trails, beautiful natural landscape, local wildlife spotting, and a guided pontoon tour.


If you need to get your blood pumping and want to meet some locals check out Econofitness. They offer group fitness classes and are located only 9 minutes from the airport. They offer classes with titles like Dance Party, Combat, Flex, and Zen Yoga so there is sure to be something for whatever you are in the mood for.

4+ Hours



If you have time for a good work out and aren’t afraid of heights check out Clip ‘n Climb Laval and explore the adventure of rock climbing in a safe environment. There are more than 30 individually themed climbing walls that provide healthy, challenging fun. Automatic belay devices on every wall take in the slack as you climb and then lower you gently down to the ground. Not your average climbing gym, they offer bright, colorful, and unique climbing spaces.


Get out of the airport, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air with a round of golf at Golf Dorval. Be sure to check the schedule as they close during the winter months. There are five levels of difficulty are offered on their public course, and prices vary by season. There is also a practice field if you are interested in working on your swing or blowing off some steam hitting a few balls.

Thanks so much for reading and feel free to send any suggestions you may have to be added to this list.

Sanctifly is our number one recommendation at every airport. Become a full member now and enjoy the benefits today!

What to do on your Calgary Layover

Smart Choices for the Healthy Traveler


We are creating a series of “things to do” at each airport.  This is to help you use your layover as wisely as possible.  We can’t always help that we are held up at an airport but if we can take advantage of the time we have there, then we hope you find the following suggestions useful:

Don’t forget how flexible your membership to the Sanctifly gym, swimming or spa is.  You can use it for an hour or more to suit the time you have available.  You can get single use membership or come onboard for full corporate membership for your business.

1 Hour



If you have an interest in space travel head over to the Calgary International SpacePort. They are located in the airport, and admission is free. They are an educational and entertainment facility focusing on space and aeronautics. There are hands-on exhibits and displays and they showcase the latest computer and communication technology.

2-3 Hours



Stretch your legs and get some fresh air by heading to the Calgary Pathway System for a stroll. Calgary communities, parks and natural areas are connected by an extensive network of multi-use pathways available for all to enjoy. There are approximately 850 km of regional pathways and 95 km of trails.


If you want to learn more about flight and aeronautics check out the Hangar Flight Museum. It showcases the history of aviation in Western Canada. It’s a constantly growing museum whose mission is to foster the understanding and appreciation of the evolution of flight through stories told about airplanes, helicopters, and the men and women who designed and flew them. The collection holds rare and historically significant military and civilian aircraft.

4+ Hours

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Take a lazy few hours and relax with Lazy Day Raft Rentals. Lazy Day Raft Rentals is a self guided tour down the Bow river in Calgary. They give you everything you need to float through parks and neighbourhoods on the lazy river. They are located opposite Princes Island Park, and you can choose from a 2 hour float to 4 hours. Bring a snack and sit back and enjoy.


If you need something more active and want to blow off some steam check out Injanation, Calgary’s playground for kids and adults of all ages. Enjoy 55,000 square feet of high flying trampolines, ninja warrior courses, climbing, obstacles, and more. It is one of Calgary's largest trampoline parks with dodgeball courts, foam pits, and a high performance area. Test out our two ninja warrior courses and see if you've got what it takes to be on the next American Ninja Warrior.


If you enjoy horses or bonding with an animal on a trail ride, head to the Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies. The Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies is an experienced non-profit registered society celebrating 95 years of taking people from all over the world into the backcountry of Canada's Rocky Mountains. Riding experience ranges from beginners to the experienced and they can accommodate everyone’s abilities.


Test out your aim by visiting Calgary’s Archery Games. Archery Games is the very first indoor archery tag facility in Calgary Alberta. Teams of 3-10 battle it out in the indoor archery arena. This could be a fun way to spend time with your coworkers or meet new people.

Thanks so much for reading and feel free to send any suggestions you may have to be added to this list.

Sanctifly is our number one recommendation at every airport. Become a full member now and enjoy the benefits today!

What to do on your Charlotte, North Carolina Layover

Smart Choices for the Healthy Traveler


We are creating a series of “things to do” at each airport.  This is to help you use your layover as wisely as possible.  We can’t always help that we are held up at an airport but if we can take advantage of the time we have there, then we hope you find the following suggestions useful:

Don’t forget how flexible your membership to the Sanctifly gym, swimming or spa is.  You can use it for an hour or more to suit the time you have available.  You can get single use membership or come onboard for full corporate membership for your business.

1 Hour

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If you need to calm down after your flight enjoy some dog therapy. The CLT Canine Crew, a team of four-legged volunteers greeting passengers, is a new amenity at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. All dogs are registered, professional in-service therapy dogs with at least one year of experience working as a therapy dog. Each member of the crew wears a Pet Me dog vest, and handlers wear a CLT Canine Crew t-shirt.

2-3 Hours

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Check out the Carolina Raptor Center, they help rescue a variety of birds and raptors, with over 100 residing permanently at the center. To meet the creatures at the Raptor Center.


If you don’t have enough time to make to Charlotte, you can find the Carolinas Aviation Museum only a 5 minute taxi ride from the airport’s main terminal. The museum has an extensive collection of planes and a great observation deck.


If you’re into cars and want to go fast. The NASCAR Hall of Fame offers amazing artifacts, interactive exhibits, simulator rides and special events at the High Octane Theater.

4+ Hours

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Stretch your legs and take a walk through the UNC Botanical Gardens. The gardens include a greenhouse complex, a 3-acre Susie Hardwood Garden and a 7-acre Van Landingham Glen – each offering a variety of different plants.


If you want to get out and explore the city Charlotte NC Tours provides Segway, bicycle, van, tasting, and walking tours of Charlotte. They have daily Segway tours at 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm. They even have Haunted Segway Tours, Segway Taste tours, and Tours of beautiful Dilworth/Myers Park. If Segway is not for you, they also have bike tours that focus on history and architecture as well as gastro/pub tours on bikes.


The Mint Museum Uptown is a five-story, 145,000-square-foot facility that combines inspiring architecture with cutting-edge exhibitions to provide visitors with unparalleled educational and cultural experiences. It is part of the Levine Center for the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center. Mint Museum Uptown also features a wide range of visitor amenities, including the 240-seat James B. Duke Auditorium, the Lewis Family Gallery, art studios, a restaurant, and a museum shop.

Thanks so much for reading and feel free to send any suggestions you may have to be added to this list.

Sanctifly is our number one recommendation at every airport. Become a full member now and enjoy the benefits today!

3 Steps to Better Health

3 Steps to Better Health

“Relaxing for the mind and invigorating for the body.”

The Customer Desire and Pain Principle


The Consumer Pain Points

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Potential customers often need to feel pain before they decide to purchase or 'must have' that product or service. Why is this the case?

Let us take a moment to consider the above ‘Desire and Pain’ graph and to review it from a customer acquisition perspective.

The graph illustrates clearly that the greater the combined values of desire and pain, the greater the upward pressure becomes on the offer price or sales volume.

To illustrate this point imagine that a designer handbag is in the top left section of the graph (high desire and low pain). It is very desirable with minimum pain and can choose to achieve either a high volume of sales or a high sales price.

In the opposite top right-hand corner of the graph, imagine that we have insurance. It is not so desirable but resolves a major potential future pain point or the projected fear of something happening.  

A product or service places in the middle of the graph would be a combination of both areas, we often like it and it takes away some pain points. This could easily be a sun holiday, or weekend getaway depending on your personal viewpoint.

These two areas are often complementary factors (complimentary and not competitive) that drive that all important final decision to buy (Desire and Pain). Desire is founded in what the customer believes the product or service will give them, generally understood as a positive proposition or state of mind.

The Pain of Loss


The Pain is not physical, in this context but refers to the Pain of Loss (POL). It is the pain we feel when we go without a product or service. For example, that negative feeling or sense of fear we get with most insurance products. What if something goes wrong and we are not fully insured?

As the pain or desire intensifies, we move from ‘like to have ’ to ‘want to have’ to ‘need to have’ and finally to ‘must have’. The elements of pain and desire can certainly change our behaviour from shopping in a frenzied manner or to shopping in a herd like a mentality! Remember the last time you ‘must have’ those shoes or that concert ticket? If the desire index is high then sometimes so is the pain score (POL) of not going to that gig, or getting those shoes. This is often why desire and pain are complimentary indices.

This is especially true of habit forming purchases. In his best-selling book ‘Hooked’ by Nir Eyal, he comments: ‘Habit-forming products often start as nice-to haves (vitamins) but once the habit is formed, they become must-haves (pain-killers)’. What would you feel most if someone took away your Spotify, Audible or Netflix account? A POL right? This is because you have got the habit and your ‘like’ has moved to a ‘must have’.  The nirvana of the consumer SAAS model.

Influencing factors

Every company should want to influence their offering to move to the right (from a like to a must). In order to achieve this, I believe there are a number of critical influencing factors to be taken into further consideration.

The first factor is timing. The new Christmas tree lights are a ‘must have’ on or before December 24th, but they don’t even register on the 26th.

The second area is around availability. The ease of purchase is important, the harder it is to buy, the more that this dramatically increases the pain or POL I need to be personally feeling to pursue the purchase. Making it 'hard to buy'  is such a self inflected wound.

Lastly consider the importance of frequency. Do I already use it? Has a habit been already been formed?

In fact, add in all the typical customer influence indices and you will alter your products pin position on the graph based on: Frequency, loyalty, duration, timing, familiarly, availability. (e.g. the $5 chocolate bar in the hotel minibar – is probably only highly desirable only because of timing and availability).

Increasing Sales

To increase sales we have to increase either the desire or pain our customer feel. My vote is to sometimes turn up the pain.  It is often the easier dial to move – to message about the pain of loss.

Now, there is nothing scary here!  What I am simply suggesting is that to move your product positioning to the right-hand side of the graph and higher up, you need to challenge every sales and marketing campaign concept, both online and offline. Ask yourself what percentage (if any!) of activity is actually telling the story of what happens ‘if you don’t buy’, is emphasizing the POL?

A Global Members Club

At Sanctifly we are delighted that we are expanding rapidly. Our customers love the idea of a global members club that grants access to airport hotels' gym, pool and spa facilities without having to book a room.

We are passionate about changing the way business travellers use their airport downtime. Instead of hanging around the airport waiting or between flights we encourage people to do a workout, or treat your body to a swim, stretch. Sounds really good right?

Changing Habits

Changing habits, even ones we know are bad for us is an often a hard marketing challenge. Do we use our social media messaging to focus on the desire to feel good, in our case ‘a healthy alternative for your airport downtime’ or the pain approach to messaging ‘how bad commercial flying is for your overall health.’?

Whilst we are focused on providing an excellent service and we are delighted with our growth,  we do find ourselves often discussing the finer points of generating or creating the pain of loss with potential new customer campaigns.

One thing I do know, is that we should be asking ourselves with each marketing initiative; “how does this influence our potential customer's POL?”


If you have views on the elements raised in this article we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to comment below or get in touch with us here directly here at Sanctifly.


Travelling Can Be a Painful Business


Traveling can be painful business. The body craves movement. Sitting in a cramped seat for hours will challenge the fittest, most flexible person. Combined with using a laptop or handheld device, or trying to sleep, your body will be crying out for some exercise once you hit your destination.

There is no perfect posture. Sitting upright is not enough. Our spines demand movement to maintain circulation, peak disc nutrition and muscle flexibility. A dynamic, changing posture is most beneficial.

Here’s how to achieve it:

While queuing to get onto the plane:
• Tuck your tailbone under to lengthen your lower back and feel your tummy and buttocks activate
• Raise your heels to stand on your toes and relax back to the floor
• Stand on one leg x 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side
• Wiggle your toes, in your shoes, to improve circulation and activate calf muscles
While on the plane:
• Press the back of your head into the seat, and feel the length through the back of the neck
• Roll your shoulders backwards
• Clench and relax your buttock muscles regularly
• Circle your feet and ankles, and pump your feet up and down
• Lift your phone or magazine, don’t drop your head to read

While waiting for your bags:
• Place your two hands behind your head and open your elbows
• Place your hands on your hips and bend backwards
• Tuck your tailbone under to lengthen your lower back and feel your tummy and buttocks activate
• Raise your toes to stand on your heels
• Get close to the luggage carousel and lift your bags, while exhaling, when they are in front of you
Get used to doing these movements, regardless of the length of your flight. Keep your body moving while you travel and stay fit while you fly!
Jenny is a Chartered Physiotherapist, and owner of Total Physio in Sandyford. She is Physiotherapist to the Irish Women's National Football team, a certified Pilates Instructor and features regularly in the media.

5 Simple Things You Can Do Today to Make Exercise Fun!


For many people, the biggest obstacle to exercise is time; finding the time needed in our busy schedules. If it’s a low priority, like all your other low priorities it’s pushed back to the end of the queue. So exercise needs to be a high priority in your life, but for this to be sustained in the longer term, you have to want to do it and to get to this point you have to enjoy it and essentially see it as fun.
I was recently on TV in San Francisco talking about 5 Simple Things You Can Do Today To Make Exercise FUN! Click here to see my interview.

1 Fun: if you want your exercise to be fun and enjoyable you have to be prepared to give fun a chance. You’ll have to change any negative thinking such as, I have no time for exercise, it’s a pain in the butt or a waste of time. Instead, you’ll need to develop a positive mindset; exercise is good for my health and makes me feel good. It also makes me look good, helps me relax and helps me sleep. Of course it’ll help big time if you can find activities [e.g. walking, running, swimming, cycling, yoga, pilates, zumba, dancing, etc] that you really do enjoy once you give fun a chance.

2 Relationships: over the years living in Dublin, London and Charleston I’ve always found it much easier to keep exercising on a sustained basis when I do it with other people. Now you can do it alone some of the time, even most of the time, but if you want it to endure, do it with your family, friends and/or colleagues. Exercise is a great way to build new friendships but perhaps more importantly you can nurture and develop your current relationships.

3 Personal Time: while exercising with family and friends will be great fun, don’t underestimate the benefits you can get from exercising alone. In reality, it’s hard to find someone to do it with every time you want to exercise. When you exercise alone you have time to think, to consider important issues in your life and make decisions. You have time to be creative, to destress or simply to unwind. So embrace your personal time and enjoy the experience.

4 Outdoors: now the weather is not always conducive to exercising outdoors but whenever possible you should take advantage of the opportunities which exist right on your doorstep. You’ll need to dress appropriately but don’t let this get in your way of enjoying your local parks, beaches, mountains, lakes and rivers. I promise you this is a game changer if you want to truly have fun and enjoy your exercise.

5 Holidays: the next time you go on holidays try to make it an active, outdoor one with exercise [e.g. skiing, cycling, walking, swimming, running, sailing, etc.] the focus of your attention. Do this with your family and friends and you’ll bring your fun and enjoyment to a whole new level! The best part of this approach is that you’ll truly enjoy the eating, drinking and partying so much more. One last thing, when you travel, remember to use your Sanctify Club membership. Have Fun!

“You don’t have to be fit and healthy to start but you do have to start to be fit and healthy!”

Jim Kirwan
Get America Moving

Leaders Must Lead from The Front for A Fit and Healthy Organization


There is plenty of evidence that employees are more stressed out than ever; they are tired because they don’t sleep very well; they eat poorly and are not as active as they should be! So is it really a surprise that our health problems are getting worse, not better?


According to the Milken Institute, chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, hypertension, pulmonary conditions and mental illnesses has a total negative impact on the US economy of some $1.3 trillion per year. Of that, about $1.1 trillion represents lost productivity. Get your head around those numbers!

One of my favorite quotes from Dr Kenneth Cooper is “We do not stop exercising because we grow old, we grow old because we stop exercising” and there is no doubt that if you want to be fit and healthy you have to be physically active and that means moving throughout the day, not just fives times a week, for half an hour - the minimum recommended weekly activity. Most members of Sanctify understand this, however, physical activity is just one element of an effective employee well being program, albeit a very important one, mainly because what we have done so far has not been very successful. According to Gallop, 70% of employees in the USA are disengaged. At an average cost of more than $5,000 per employee, disengagement goes well beyond employee wellness or well being and everyone loses as a result.

F IS FOR FIRST: In my lifetime, nothing has really changed with regard to how the great organizations regard their employees. Employee well being has always been one of their highest priorities and with healthcare costs increasing everywhere, it presents a huge opportunity for organizations with designs on being great too. To succeed, F is for FIRST* which means employee well being must start at the top with the CEO and the C suite. They must walk the talk, practice what they preach, set the example and truly inspire their employees to be fit and healthy.

Of course, sustainable, long term effective employee well being also applies to leaders across the organization, from top to bottom. HR must also play a “champion” role as advocates, promoters, supporters and defenders. It needs to be or become an integral part of your organization culture and integrated into organization development, management training and development and performance management. Edgar Schein at the MIT Sloan School of Management said “the only thing of any importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture”. I’m not sure it’s the only thing but there is no doubt it should be a very high priority. Because a successful employee well being program will help create the right environment to maximize employee and organizational performance and thus profitability in the long term.

• F for FIRST is the first of six key ingredient of FITCEO, created from research and experience and required for effective organization and employee well being.

[Author: Jim Kirwan is the creator of Get America Moving, author of The eXercise Factor, creator of signature talk FITCEO and an organization and employee well being coach and consultant.]
Author: The eXercise Factor
Coach: email me at:

Don’t Let Your Physical Activity Suffer On Your Next Trip!

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As a general rule, physical activity is one of the first things to suffer when you travel, especially when you fly, because of the total time involved, door to door. Exercise takes a back foot and we don’t move that much on an airplane, so what’s really important for you to do before, during, after and especially between your next flights? Perhaps most important of all you need to manage this process and make sure that your health and exercise remains a high priority.

Before You Fly: Stick with your normal routine as much as possible but be prepared to be flexible taking your travel time into account. In arranging your travel plans, don’t leave everything to the last minute; give yourself enough time to be as active as possible before you get on that airplane, especially if it is a long flight.

During Your Flight: You have probably heard that “Sitting is the New Smoking”. This is because when you sit for long periods, it messes with your body and slows down your metabolism and blood circulation. You actually burn less fat, sugar converts to fat and your brain function slows down too.

It should therefore not come as a surprise that when you sit for long periods of time in a tin can at 35,000 feet, in cramped conditions, with low oxygen levels, low humidity and low cabin pressure, that it creates the perfect storm for all kinds of additional physical problems. What results is dehydration, poor circulation, swollen joints, dry skin and mouth, bad breath, fatigue and headaches, to name a few.

That’s the bad news but the good news is that the solution is actually pretty simple. Here’s what you need to do if you are on a flight that lasts for more than an hour:

• Get up and walk around for 5 minutes every hour. Do a few squats and lunges if you can.

• Stay hydrated, so drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight. This will force you to get up and go to the bathroom so you kill two birds with one stone!

• Eat healthy; try to avoid processed food, sugar and alcohol, if possible. Wash your teeth and moisturize your face, on a few of your bathroom visits.

• You can also do some exercises with your legs and feet to improve circulation while you are sitting. For example, pack a golf ball and practice rolling it forward and back under your sole as you sit (try not to lose it to the back of the plane!)

Between Flights: During your time between flights it is important to get physically active; there are no rules which say you have to sit down and wait in the airport! So this is where you can really benefit from Sanctify's Membership Club. Instead of getting stressed out, hanging out for hours in a busy/crowded airport where you are less likely to eat and drink healthily, why not use this time more effectively to do that circuit training in the gym, enjoy a relaxing swim or a rejuvenating spa?

After You Fly: Exercising after you fly is always good especially after a long flight. It will also help you reduce your jet-lag, work-out muscle tightness and create mental space away from the din of airports and inflight white noise.


Author: Jim Kirwan is the creator of Get America Moving, author of The eXercise Factor and an organization and employee well being coach and consultant.
Author: The eXercise Factor
Coach: email me at