I work with a lot of clients who travel for work. Over the years, I’ve heard all their complaints about how their body feels after those flights and hotel stays. I’ve seen the repetitive use injuries, listened to stories about the GI discomfort, jet-lag, dehydration, swollen feet, lower back pain, unhealthy meals, lack of sleep… All of it. And I have tips and advice for all of those problems.
Despite their constant laments that traveling for work is, in fact, exhausting and not at all glamorous… I still fantasize about the day that I will work for a company (or run my own business) that has the funds to fly me across the country and impart my vast fitness and nutrition knowledge and skills upon the masses… hehe ;) In grad school, had the opportunity to travel to D.C. for a conference on sustainable diets, and the Friedman School paid for my travel and hotel for one night. It felt SO validating. As if they were saying to me, “Your mind is worth all this. You are irreplaceable, and we need you in D.C.” It was great. Ah, well. I guess… maybe that shiny feeling of validation wears off after a while.
If you do travel for work, my advice to you is FIRST, try and hold on to those feelings that your work and skillset is valued by people in your industry/company SO MUCH that they are willing to pay for you to fly around the country (or world) to talk/train people or fix a problem that no one else can. Not everyone gets to experience that feeling. It can make the travel slightly more bearable when you put a positive spin on it. You are awesome!
Second, be consistent with healthy habits. Every. Chance. You. Get. Prevention is always better than treatment and rehabilitation. Even if you rarely travel or don’t anticipate leading this nomad work-lifestyle for much longer. Start early. Start now. The traveling life can take a toll over the years. These tips will be useful for any adult that will have to get on an airplane in their lifetime.
Here are my 3 main topics of concern when it comes to air travel:
- Avoiding shoulder injury with the proper luggage & planning
- Finding healthy food & adequate hydration
- Mitigating the effects of tight, cramped spaces on the body
A quick Google search tells me that there are a ton of articles on #2 and #3… but not much talk about shoulder health when it comes to air travel. So I’ll start with that one. Stay tuned for my next post on Preventing Shoulder Injuries During Air Travel!