How to Stay Healthy as an Airline Pilot? – 5 Helpful Tips
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How to Stay Healthy as an Airline Pilot?

There is no doubt that maintaining health and wellness as an airline pilot is challenging. Like other business travellers, the day for an airline pilot can start anytime from 2 AM to 11 PM and sometimes may last for more than 16 hours.

During this duty time, an airline pilot has to face many challenges such as low humidity, disturbed sleep, junk food, time-zone changes, and a lack of time for healthy physical activity or exercise. Also, airline pilots spend a lot of time seated.

An Airline Pilot in the cabin

These factors lead to a sedentary lifestyle, increasing the risk of developing harmful diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. That's why airline pilots need to pay significant importance to improving their health.

It might seem challenging to get into a proper regime, especially when your body isn't aligned with the new time zone; however, by adopting a few healthy habits and taking several precautionary measures, you can ensure that you stay healthy and fit during your flight operations.

Continue reading to explore a few healthy practices that airline pilots must include in their daily routine to enjoy a healthy and prosperous lifestyle despite extended flight operations.

5 Healthy Practices for Airline Pilots

Here are a few healthy practices that airline pilots must include in their daily lives to enjoy a healthy, fit, and prosperous life.

1. Fitness Routine Starts When You Are at Home

Let's be honest. If you want to stay healthy while travelling, you must start practising healthy activities at home. Before you take your next flight as an airplane pilot, ask yourself if it is good to know that you sat all day and now you will be sitting some more on your next flight? This isn't a healthy practice at all. So, what should you be doing?

Before embarking on your next flight, the best thing you can do is perform some exercise. It can either be a 10-15-minute-high intensity interval training workout, a 20-minute walk in the park, or just basic push-ups. If your flight is early in the morning, you can exercise a day before your flight. Whatever you do, it counts.

Why Exercise?

Now you might be thinking, why should an airline pilot indulge in healthy physical activity or exercise before leaving. Let's find out.

Exercise or other healthy physical activity releases endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine which induce feelings of positivity and make you feel good for the rest of the day. These chemicals boost your mood and promote a sense of well-being. Hence, you are less likely to experience stress and anxiety during your travel.

So, as an airline pilot, if you want to ensure that you stay relaxed, calm, and composed during your flight, make sure you perform healthy physical activity and exercises before embarking on your next flight.

2. Consume Healthy Food

Healthy eating is essential for everyone. Consuming healthy food is the biggest challenge, especially when away from home. Like everyone else, airplane pilots are more likely to get tempted to readily available fast food at the airport or the hotel. However, it is vital to resist unhealthy foods and develop healthy eating habits, especially for airplane pilots. It might seem challenging; however, the following explanation will make it easier to resist unhealthy foods during your flight.

Two pilots in the cockpit

Why is Healthy Eating Necessary?

Almost all airline companies allow the crew to choose what they want to eat during their travel. This means you can choose whether you want to eat healthy food or not. You must know that the food made to be preservable contains additional ingredients that can be detrimental to your health.

Also, when you are flying, your ability to taste food gets affected by cabin pressure. That's why catering companies add additives and additional sugar to the food to enhance its taste. These additives aren't healthy at all. So, you must resist these unhealthy foods and switch to healthier options.

You can take the meal from your home and keep it safe by storing it in an airtight container or prefer healthier options from the available food list. Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables is a healthier and safer option.

3. Stay Hydrated

It is essential to ensure that your body's water levels are topped up throughout the day during flight operations. Our body loses water at higher altitudes. Hence, as an airplane pilot, you must ensure that your water consumption is higher than what you consume on the ground. So, make sure you drink enough water during your flight to stay hydrated.

Stay hydrated as an Airline Pilot

4. Get Enough Sleep

Like all other jobs, getting enough sleep is vital for an airplane pilot if you want to perform your responsibility efficiently. It is pretty common to have irregular sleeping patterns when working in the aviation industry. So, whenever you have touched down, give yourself enough time to recuperate, even if you are in a country you desperately want to explore.

5. Exercise At Your Destination

Along with performing healthy physical activities before leaving, it is essential to continue performing exercise once you reach your destination. As soon as you land, locate the nearest gym or look for a hotel that has a gym facility. Sticking to your exercise routine will help you stay fit, healthy, and active. You will feel relaxed, motivated, and happy if you stick to your exercise routine throughout your journey.

Final Words

Knowing that your workplace is at higher altitudes is thrilling; however, it is associated with numerous challenges. Whether you are an airplane pilot, co-pilot, or flight attendant, maintaining health and fitness is a crucial element of your life.

Our bodies face several challenges when we are at higher altitudes. By adopting the healthy habits discussed above, you can take good care of your health and ensure that you enjoy a healthy, prosperous, and active life along with having a blissful career in the aviation industry.

References:

Bergqvist, P. (2021, November 11). Fly until you're 85. FLYING Magazine. Retrieved April 2022, from https://www.flyingmag.com/pilots-places-pilots-adventures-more-fly-until-youre-85/

Michelle. (2020, August 12). Fit and healthy as an airline pilot - my struggles. Dutch Pilot Girl. Retrieved April 2022, from https://dutchpilotgirl.com/fit-and-healthy-as-an-airline-pilot-my-struggles/

A pilot's Ultimate Guide to staying fit and healthy while traveling. The Pilot Who Explores. (2022, February 26). Retrieved April 2022, from https://thepilotwhoexplores.com/2020/11/16/a-pilots-guide-to-staying-fit-healthy-traveling

Share. (2019, February 26). Prior preparation - A key to healthy pilot life. BAA Training. Retrieved April 2022, from https://www.baatraining.com/prior-preparation-a-key-to-healthy-pilot-life/

Silver, K. (2018, August 27). Want to stay healthy while flying? follow this advice from an aviation doctor. The Washington Post. Retrieved April 2022, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/want-to-stay-healthy-while-flying-follow-this-advice-from-an-aviation-doctor/2018/08/08/41c3bdd2-90e5-11e8-8322-b5482bf5e0f5_story.html

Shortsleeve, C. (2016, October 14). This is how much water you should drink on a plane. Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved April 2022, from https://www.cntraveler.com/story/this-is-how-much-water-you-should-drink-on-a-plane

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