Top tips for healthier travelling

Optimising performance for work trips and enjoyment for holidays

Our Method

The Circle of Better Life

Imagine your wellbeing as a wheel constructed of six components. If one component breaks down, the wheel stops spinning. For the wheel to spin smoothly, all parts need to be in place and in balance. Whether you are travelling for business or leisure, you will want to be able to be at your best during your travel to get the most out of it. This requires taking a holistic and integrated approach to your health and wellbeing, which is the foundation of our model.

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One of the benefits of travelling is having to occasionally do nothing but sit and be still. Rather than waiting anxiously for the seatbelt sign to be switched off, so that you can do something “productive”, use the time to just be still and reflect on your life.

Consider also choosing a good book to take with you on your journey, which may help you in your self-reflection process.

Physical activity

Maintaining a physically active lifestyle while travelling is important. Take the long walks at the airports as a positive opportunity to be active and aim to choose a hotel, which provides opportunities for being active either inside, or in the nearby neighbourhood.

Just keep in mind that jet lag and poor sleep is stressful for your body and it’s good to avoid very strenuous exercise, when you are still feeling tired. Start with light exercise and return to your normal routines gradually.

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Eating well when travelling can sometimes be a challenge. Purchasing some healthy snacks for your trip in advance can be beneficial so that you have good options easily available exactly when you need it.

You may also choose to eat at airports, where there may be better fresh food options available, rather than in the aeroplane where meals may be also served at times when you would need to sleep. Finally, remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol, which also interferes with your sleep.

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Sleep & recovery

Ensure that you get sufficient rest before you travel, so that you start your trip well rested. You can also consider shifting your rhythm gradually towards the destination time a few days prior to your trip. Aim to travel in comfortable clothing and be prepared with accessories, such as earplugs, an eye mask and a travel pillow.

Continue shifting your clock during your flight by sleeping closer to your destination time zone. Correctly timed light exposure is very important in speeding up your adjustment and our jet lag example (HEL–SIN–HEL) gives an example of how that works.

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Excessive sitting is a challenge for many of us during our work, and often even more so when we travel. As was already mentioned earlier, enjoy the long walks in the airports during your layovers, and aim to also stand up and move regularly during your flight, if you are not sleeping.

Don’t be ashamed to do for example a few squats, heel raises, and simple stretches on the aeroplane. When you arrive at your destination, doing a little longer stretching routine can be a helpful way of getting rid of the stiffness caused by travel.

Mental energy

A key strategy for maintaining good mental energy is scheduling your day in such a way that it includes sufficient time for energising activities. This applies when travelling as well, and you should aim to plan your travel schedules so that they enable you to have sufficient time to do activities that help to charge your batteries.

Remember also that as you travel east, you will find it easier to stay up late, but more difficult to wake up early. On the other hand, when travelling west, you will find it easy to wake up early but will struggle to stay up late in the evenings. Take these into consideration too, when planning your meetings and commitments.

General health

In many ways, your general health is the outcome of your choices in the other elements of the Hintsa model. Getting sufficient rest and eating nutritious food is important for your immunity.

However, remember also to maintain good general hygiene habits and pack a simple travel medication kit with some essentials that you may need during your journey. Depending on your travel destination, you may also need to get certain vaccinations or consider whether eating certain types of foods may pose a health risk.

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