How to build a healthy resilience to frequent travel

Let’s start with an uncomfortable truth. Frequent travel is good for business but bad for employee health and well-being.

On the surface a job which allows you to travel sounds amazing. Travel the world, experience different cultures and get paid for it? Great! However the reality of frequent travel is far from idyllic. High levels of stress, crossing time zones, poor quality food and too much time spent sitting and waiting at the airport are all factors that can have seriously negative effects on those who travel often. We all know someone who quit their job because of frequent travel. No study says frequent travel is good for you, in fact it’s quite the opposite. According to https://www.amexglobalbusinesstravel.com/

“Business travel may be an essential aspect of your company’s growth, but too much of it also can have a negative effect on your employees.”

Now, we are not talking about the guy who goes back and forth to Boston once a month. We are talking about the guy who is about to board his 10th flight this month, he’s alone, he’s missing his family & he’s bored with 3 hours to kill… What do you think he does? He goes to the bar, he eats a burger, he watches TV on his phone. He embraces unhealthy habits because he has no other options. That is the reality of time spent at the airport. With no healthy options readily available to travelers it is all too easy to fall into bad travel habits which can have a disastrous effect on health.

Employers need to take notice and here is why. Healthy employees…

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The bottom line is, healthy employees work harder.

According to this Harvard Business Review report, 75% of frequent travelers experience higher stress levels, 92% of frequent travelers experience a higher rate of obesity and 70% of frequent travelers experience mood swings, sleep problems and disorientation.

The key to combating these negative effects is resilience.

Helping employees (or yourself) build a healthy resilience to frequent travel means putting in place a series of steps that promote wellness while on the road and changing your thought process when it comes to airport downtime. Because frequent travel is not unhealthy. It’s our travel habits that are unhealthy and need to be improved.

Let’s talk about travel resilience training. Think about your energy levels as a battery. Certain activities which are inevitable when it comes to business travel, such as red eye flights, long layovers, crossing multiple time zones, cause the battery to drain. Low energy levels mean less productivity and more stress. By consciously choosing activities that charge the battery during airport downtime, you are more alert, more productive and happier. That is definitely good for business.

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Sleep, exercise, having a refreshing shower, swimming and even getting a massage are all activities that can help recharge your batteries. These are not the typical activities you associate with an airport layover right? WRONG! We need to change the way we view airport downtime and realize that there are healthier options available to us in and around the airport, we just need to know how to access them.

Sanctifly is the number one solution to finding those options. The travel wellness app that aggregates all the wellness options available in or within approx 5 miles of the airport. Get access to executive airport lounges for a fraction of the usual cost as well as access to 100’s of airport hotel gyms, pools and spas without having to book a room. We have a membership plan to suit everyone. See our different plans here.

Follow these steps to start changing your travel habits today.

  1. Prepare & Plan Ahead

    Avoid travel stress and bad airplane food by preparing the night before your flight. Make a travel check list and pack the night before to ensure you do not forget anything important and you can leave for the airport with plenty of time. Pack snacks, a healthy meal and a reusable water bottle to help you avoid not only bad airplane food but also avoid heading to the bar for a bite to eat. By preparing your own food you can ensure that you eat high energy, healthy foods to keep you energized during your trip.

  2. Move Your Body, Whenever Possible

    Being forced to be sedentary and sitting for long periods of time is a huge problem at the airport. It seems counter intuitive but staying still actually zaps your energy. We all know that energized feeling after a good workout session right? Moving your body in the airport can mean heading for a workout at the airport gym (thanks to the Sanctifly app!) or it could mean getting up an walking around the terminals. Or finding a quiet spot such as an unused gate and doing some stretches or a no equipment workout routine. Download a pedometer onto your phone and set a target step count while you are waiting for your flight.

  3. Replenish with Energy Foods

    This point echos number one but it is so important! And we understand that if you have a seven hour layover you can’t be expected to bring meals to last you the whole time. Sometimes you have to eat at the airport so make sure you find the healthiest option. First, familiarize yourself with how different food types effect energy levels and know what foods to avoid. You can head to the ‘Replenish’ section of the Sanctifly app to find the best places to eat or ask the airport directly. Message them on twitter and ask for recommendations for the best healthy spots.

  4. Create Comfort

    Long gone are the days of putting on your Sunday best to get on a plane. It is no longer a big event, in fact for frequent travelers it is just as mundane as driving to the office. Air travel is uncomfortable enough, with it’s cramped conditions and fluctuating temperatures. Give your self a chance by wearing comfy, loose fitting clothes to travel in. If you need to head straight off the flight to a meeting just keep your work attire handy and change when you get off the plane. Pack a large scarf that can double as a blanket and always include an eye mask and ear plugs to help block out your surroundings and have a more peaceful and calming experience.

  5. Use Technology

    You are not alone! There are an abundance of wellness apps out there, and many that are made specifically for the frequent traveler. Research and download the ones that best suit your travel routine and use them!

It’s time to start changing your travel habits.

Be the CHANGE AGENT against the unhealthy culture of frequent travel.

Want to work out during your next layover? Fancy a shower before your late-night flight? Become a Sanctifly member today and get exclusive access to hundreds of airport gym, pool and spa locations as well as over 250 of the most luxurious airport lounges in the world, where you can take a shower and unwind before or after your next flight.