By Lunden Souza
With as much traveling as I do, for work and pleasure, the airport environment is one I know all too well. From layovers to dreaded flight delays, you can find yourself hanging out in those airport terminals longer than you would like. If you’re like me and aren’t interested in just sitting and waiting to, then again, sit on a plane- try these fit tips to conquer a layover.
The airport can be a trap for sugary and high calorie food choices. Let’s face it, are you eating because you are really hungry or because you are bored? My best guess is that you are bored and just want “something to do.” Instead of grabbing a fast-food cheeseburger or a giant, calorie-loaded coffee cake, try to choose wisely. Pick things like beef jerkey, raw-unsalted nuts, bars without artificial sugar and good old fruit itself. You can find most of these snacks at convenient shops where you will also find books and magazines. In addition, don’t forget to drink water and lot’s of it! This will help get your hunger in check and prevent you from over snacking.
I am a huge Tony Robbins fan. I read all of his books and watch many of his seminars on YouTube. One thing I’ve learned from him is how to breathe with intention, mindfulness and for detoxification. This involves breathing in a 1:4:2 ratio. This means inhale for 1 count, hold that breath for 4 and exhale for 2. How often do you really take the time to focus on your breath, clear your mind and be still? This can be hard in everyday life, but what else do you have to do while waiting at an airport? This can be a great thing to practice during a layover instead of just melting into your chair with a bag of chips and a soda.
Grab your carry-on bag, your purse or whatever else you’re carrying and go for a walk. If you have many hours to wait, you could even mosey around to different terminals and really track some steps. There have been times when I find stairs next to my terminal gate and go up and down them a bunch of times. This might sound a bit extreme to some, but you could be spending some serious time just sitting in an airport, not even including the flight duration. Even with this stair extravaganza, I am most likely not even moving as much as I normally would on a given day.
Find a quiet spot in the airport and work on your flexibility. You can focus on your hips and lower body with these After Running Stretches or get in some Total Body Stretching while you wait. This can really help eliminate tight muscles and even reduce stress from traveling. You can even kill two birds with one stone and practice your 1:4:2 breathing technique while doing these stretches.
I hope you find these tips useful during your next layover or flight delay. Something is always better than nothing and, you will never regret simply moving your body.
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Lunden Souza is a certified personal trainer, writer and fitness coach at Runtastic, a world leader in mobile health and fitness. She worked as an in-home personal trainer in Orange County, CA for 5 years and now currently resides in Austria where she provides weekly fitness, nutrition and wellness tips via the Runtastic Fitness Channel on YouTube.
She also has specializations in TRX suspension and Rip training, is a certified Tabata instructor and an enthusiastic Sweat Pink ambassador. Her hobbies include yoga, running, biking, hiking and Kajukenbo.
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