Pilots tend to be diligent about seeking performance gains anywhere they can in the aircraft they fly, especially if its go-home day! And as you know, small tweaks can lead to big changes. Well, the same is true when it comes to your health and daily choices. Flying is sedentary and unlike a typical job, you cannot just get up from your seat whenever you feel the need (unless you are fortunate enough to fly the spacious flight deck of an Airbus). You are more or less trapped for the duration of your flight and sedentary lifestyles increase our risks of cardiovascular disease, fatigue, diabetes and osteoporosis while also affecting our mood, energy, posture and metabolism.
We have covered some of the circulatory risks and postural affects in previous articles. So what are small tweaks we can make in and outside of the flight deck that add up to big changes (or performance gains in the way our body runs) to stoke our metabolism over the course of a day? Read on for simple ideas to keep you #FitToFly. Small things matter and these small changes add up to noticeable change!
- Fidgeters, on average, burn 300 – 350 more calories per day than non-fidgeters.
- Walk the terminal during layovers/breaks.
- Take the stairs and park farther away from buildings.
- Dehydration not only leads to cognitive decline, it can increase feelings of hunger.
- Eat foods high in water content such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Bring a refillable water bottle to track how much you have consumed.
- Have electrolyte packs on-hand.
- High fiber foods help clean out your system. Good bacteria in the gut “eat” this fiber turning it into an anti-obesity compound know as propionate.
- Spicy foods containing capsaicin which actually increase your metabolic rate, as do foods containing arginine, such as soy, legumes, seeds and nuts.
- Legumes (such as beans, peas and lentils) have a very low glycemic index creating the “second meal effect.” Legumes moderate your blood sugar, not just at the meal you eat them but hours later at subsequent meals and even into the next day. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYdi0RpI1SU)
- Berries, citrus, red onion, grapes, green tea, cocoa and herbs may boost metabolism and significantly decrease waist circumference by increasing thermogenesis and fat oxidation.
– Exercise affects how your body stores and uses fuel. High intensity exercise can boost your metabolism for well over 24 hours.
No surprise here – it is the usual culprits of diet and exercise! However, you don’t have to go run a marathon or subsist on spinach to enact change. These small manipulations in your daily routine can provide you the momentum you need to alter the course of your health into the right direction.