Five Ways To Beat The Blues At The Airport
Sitting here on my way home from Munich, Germany (amazing airport by the way - seriously one of the best out there) and having a couple thoughts about ‘disrupting’ the airline industry. The small uncomfortable chairs, long security lines, mediocre food at best, the stifling air and lack of comfort overall…there’s gotta be a better way to travel right?
I’d be hard pressed to find someone out there who LOVES to fly.... It’s really an antiquated industry that if you’re not part of those elite clubs or have a first class ticket, you’re kind of at a disadvantage. The airlines know it, the employees know it, and even YOU as a traveler knows it, and there’s not much you can do.
You’re essentially stuck feeling like you’re in steerage in the 1600’s, crowded, long lines, it definitely can suck…anyways, I’ve read a plethora of, ‘How to beat the heat’ at the airport from all sorts of travelers, but what about if you’re a fitness nut, who constantly needs to be doing something? Who always wants to stay active and has a hard time ‘Just sitting there’ for hours on end at airport and while on the plane.
I’m constantly trying to improve these life hacks every time I traveled by packing less, or arriving no more than an hour and a half before my flight, as well as packing the right chargers in the right pockets and making sure not to overpack. Not to mention, I’m a huge fan of stretching or, ‘Being that guy’ at the airport. At 6’4” staying limber is my only hope and I could care less what other people think in public settings. Sometimes my body needs some maintenance at the airport…
Anyways…couple travel hacks for ya. This time around, I noticed a couple themes I wanted to share with our future VoyEdge RX travelers and customers about prepping the best way to tackle your next trip to the airport. So, here goes.
1) Pack lighter than you think - seriously.
I’ll tell you right now - you need WAY less than you think you do when you’re traveling. Yes, even if you do CrossFit. When traveling to other countries, you always have the opportunity to wash and dry your clothes. Always. And it’s usually much cheaper than paying for another piece of luggage, or getting whacked with a fee for having your bag be over the limit.
Not to mention, you’ll thank yourself when traveling from destination to destination. Carting heavy luggage around SUCKS. Don’t be dragged down by things you do not need when traveling for about a week. Learn to mix and match and seriously PACK LESS!
You can always BUY clothes to any destination you go, including extra luggage if you really need it. You'll thank yourself later for it. Trust me.
2) Workout HARD before you go to the airport
This is one of my favorites....no matter what time you're flying out, try to go to the gym super hard before you go. Your body will be more relaxed and you'll be able actually sleep and rest.
When you're stuck on the plane, you can't do anything anyways, so you might as well let your body recover. Use the flight time to try and catch up on some sleep and rest up for your next adventure.
Thinking ahead too....your body will need the extra rest and recovery time to adapt to any sort of jet lag. It's always a good idea for when you LEAVE to go to the airport, imagine what time it is at your arrival destination.
Most importantly, get that good WOD in before you go...you'll thank yourself later and your body will direct you to the proper airport foods to ingest before your flight. Which brings me to my next point...
3) Eat before you go to the airport and bring snacks for the flight!
This one is key...make sure to eat the right things before your flight! It's no secret airports are full of processed carbs, sugars and preservatives not meant for athletes. In some airports, this isn't the case, but in most smaller and medium sized ones, there's simply not enough options for healthy eating.
Avoid the sugar rush by packing your own snacks and eating a big meal before heading to the airport. If you're on an international flight, chances are you'll get a meal, but what are you really eating? Does it match your at home diet?
If the answer is no, then beat the system by feeding your body what it needs before you head out to the airport. You'll thank yourself when you do.
4) Stay away from processed carbs, excess sugar and alcohol while flying
Part of the reason why people feel that 2:30pm crash is because they've fed themselves poorly during lunchtime.
Truth be told, the mid afternoon is a slight dip in most people's energy levels, but when you eat excess sugars and processed carbs for a lunchtime meal, your body takes a big hit when trying to recover from it.
Now, when you fly, your body is adapting to all sorts of time changes, pressure changes, dealing with slight bits of radiation and more. There's really no need to add in dealing with excess carbs, sugars and alcohol.
It will make you lethargic, tired, cranky and leads you on a bad track for recovery. Any athlete knows that processed sugars and carbs are some of the most addictive foods on the planet and should be avoided at fairly regular intervals. Most people's diets include an overindulgence of grains and while some are ok, most people over consume them.
When you're flying, stick to leafy greens, fruits, proteins and some carbs (are ok). Alcohol does not do you a favor while flying. Alcohol is a diuretic and dries you out, leaving you feeling worse off than if you avoided it in the first place.
Don't forget to stay hydrated! Flying has a way or drying people out like prunes. Drink more water than you think you need. Period.
5) Stay limber while traveling - do whatever it takes - wherever it takes
I recently started doing this myself....stretching at the airport.
At first I felt really awkward, but my 6'4" frame needs to stay limber, and I really don't care what other people think about me.
As a CrossFit athlete too, I love to stay limber and stretch out for a long time before working out. I'm not getting any younger here either, so the more I keep dedicating time to rolling out etc.
That being said, make this a habit when you're in the middle of a long layover, or when you just feel the need to stretch out.
Bring a lacrosse ball as part of your carry on luggage, and I guarantee you'll use it. Make a habit of doing your favorite stretches (mine are a combination of down dog, calf stretches and hamstring stretches) as sitting down for a long period can do serious damage on your back, calves and of course hamstrings.
Who cares what other people think, anyway? Stretch out and feel better about your body. Sound body, sound mind, right?
Have any other tips, tricks or ideas? Shoot me an email using the button down below.