A Traveler’s Guide to Developing and Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Guest Post by: Andy Hughes from Vizzi.Biz

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Traveling for a living means you’re constantly on the road. As reported by Flying Mag, pilots for example, on average, spend up to 225 hours each month between flying and managing paperwork. While this means you get to visit new places and cultures, much more than those working in other professions (e.g. maritime industry), overtime traveling can take its toll. Additionally, adapting to ever-changing time zones and weather conditions is a challenge on its own. At Chief Engineer’s Log, we understand the lifestyle challenges traveling workers face in their day-to-day life, and this article explores a few useful strategies to help you live a healthier lifestyle.

Learn How to Meal Prep

As a working traveler, you often get an array of dishes to choose from. However, no matter how good your caterer is, food for airplanes is made weeks/months in advance and includes preservatives to keep it fresh for longer.

Learning to meal prep is a much better option as it allows you to stay on top of nutrition requirements, consume fresh ingredients and reduce dependency on junk food. Here is a list of simple meal prep recipes for beginners!

If you’re wondering about how to carry meals while traveling, there is a wide array of portable coolers small enough to fit into your carry-on luggage. You can opt to consume it during the flight or save it for meals after landing.

Maintain a Good Sleep Schedule

Flying long-haul flights or long ocean passages often brings with it difficulties with getting proper sleep due to the constant shift in time zones. The best way to overcome this challenge is to adjust sleep around your work schedule. While this could mean sleeping during the day while at home or off duty, it will significantly reduce the side effects of lack of sleep, which, as reported by the Sleep Foundation, can include:

  • Lack of alertness which can be dangerous while operating a machinery
  • Lower attention span
  • Reduced energy levels and increased irritability

If you have rest periods while flying or traveling by train, make the most of them by taking a nap rather than forcing yourself to complete paperwork or forcefully stay awake.

Minimize Caffeine Intake

Keeping your caffeine intake in check will do wonders for developing a healthy sleep cycle. Healthline notes that caffeine has a half-life of five hours. Hence, if you consume 20mg of caffeine at 1 pm, half of it will be consumed within the first 30-60 minutes. However, the other half will continue to be absorbed by your body five hours after you consume it (from 6 pm). This is one of the main reasons why you should avoid drinking caffeine post-afternoon.

If you have a habit of consistently consuming caffeine through coffee, energy drinks, chocolates, and other products, it’s best to cut back. Reducing caffeine intake will make it easier to maintain a healthy sleep schedule and improve overall well-being. Learn how much caffeine is contained in various beverages like espresso.

Exercise on the Go

According to the CDC, adults need at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly, which comes down to around 20 minutes of physical activity daily. This is a realistic expectation that can be fulfilled while you’re on the road or at home.

If your accommodation has a gym, make the most of it by using the treadmill and weights for a HIIT workout. In case you do not, a jog around the neighborhood or around deck when onboard vessel and body-weight exercises will work as well. The key will be to be consistent as you will reap the rewards of stronger bones and muscles, higher energy levels, and better sleep.

When on land, make the most of the opportunity to break up your fitness regimen. Look for walkable areas, which are measured by a Walk Score. A score of 70 and higher is considered best.

Safeguard Your Documents

While it is a given that you will carry your passport and work documents everywhere you go; it’s best to make digital copies for safekeeping. Scan the documents and save them as a PDF. These can be password protected and saved on the cloud, allowing you to access them from any device, regardless of where you are.

In the fast-paced lifestyle of traveling for a living, it’s important to learn how to take a step back and focus on yourself, whether it be through prioritizing sleep or exercising. Additionally, keeping a PDF copy of your documents will remove the stress of misplacing documents and make traveling smooth and stress-free.

Chief Engineer’s Log is your guide to maritime engineering education. Read more informative articles today!