Turn Your Layover into a Healthy Wait Time3 min read
Sitting on one plane for several hours and then having to switch planes and sit for another several hours can be, among other things, boring. Now add a few hours with nothing to do in between. Layovers can be just as boring, not to mention frustrating – depending on how long your layover is, you may be stuck sitting in the airport for a significant amount of time with nothing to do besides stare at your phone or laptop.
But, the good news is, with a little motivation and creativity, you can make your layover healthy time well spent.
First, sitting while waiting for your first flight, sitting on that plane, sitting during your layover and then sitting on the subsequent flight is simply not good for your legs and posture. You may not have any other option than to sit for the duration of your flight, but you have more freedom to get up and move in between flights.
Taking time to exercise between flights will help keep you balanced, relieve stiffness and cramps from sitting for prolonged periods of time and it may even help you doze off on your next flight.
Start with stretching out your glutes and hamstrings, which tend to get tight sitting on flights. Then, take a brisk walk around the terminal. Some airports have artwork hanging; go look for it to get your steps in. If you have the time, grab your bags and go in search of stairs. Climbing up and down the stairs will not only get you moving, but it will activate your leg muscles and get your blood pumping. Kudos if you can get out of breath!
After your walk, look for an empty or lightly populated area near your gate and find some room. Here, try doing some walking lunges, do a squat against an empty wall, or grab some floor and do pushups. You could even do some jumping jacks or run in place. Plan ahead and pack a jump rope in your carry on – it’s a great option for cardio that torches calories.
When it comes time for a meal or a snack during your layover, airports are making it easier for you to make healthy choices. There are still so many food options that are high in calories and fat, so you’ll have to be choosy – munching on greasy pizza, French fries, soft pretzels, or ice cream will only make you feel bloated during your next flight.
During your walk, keep an eye out for healthy options – more than ever before convenience stores, coffee shops and other vendors are offering travelers the option for fresh fruits and vegetables. Raw or dry roasted nuts can be great to munch on during your layover and on your next flight.
Yogurt is another healthy option during your layover – it delivers protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamins and probiotics. When you’re picking out a yogurt, take a look at the nutrition label and make sure it’s not high in fat and sugar, which can vary greatly between brands, flavors and types of yogurt.
In addition, hummus has been introduced into more and more airports recently. It’s high in fiber and protein, and great for dipping veggies into. Did you find that yogurt and fresh fruit? Why not mix them together for a fresh and hearty meal.
You could also opt for a fresh roasted turkey whole wheat sandwich or wrap – just go light on the cheese, sauces, dressings and other toppings. The same rings true for salads – pick a hearty green salad with spinach, a protein, plenty of veggies, and that’s light on toppings such as cheeses, bacon and dressing.
And, when in doubt, stay hydrated with good old water. Coffee and sodas can dehydrate you and be chock full of sugar.
Photo courtesy of http://ogio.com/blog/travel/six-tips-occupying-layover/.