Whether flying occasionally for leisure or commuting every other day for work, we all experience the stress-inducing elements of travel that can disrupt normal wellness routines. Fortunately, many airports now cater to the health-conscious traveler with amenities such as yoga studios, express spa services, meditation spaces, and juice bars. While racking up more hours in airports or on planes than in my own home, I have learned to stay grounded in my wellness goals, giving new meaning to having a fresh perspective from 35,000 feet.
Extended travel, including lengthy layovers, can cause fatigue and disrupt normal fitness routines (you can only walk around an airport terminal so many times). But now, you may be in luck: A handful of airports, including those in San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Newark—among others—have created yoga and meditation rooms where you can keep your practice steady on the move. Feel free to bring a mat or use some of the provided props to add a little “OM” to your “c’OM’mute.”
The more readily accessible your preferred form of exercise, the more likely you are to continue your routine away from home. I always make sure to research local yoga studios, dance classes, and spin studios. If my time in a new place is brief, I resolve to walk anywhere and everywhere—not only for my health, but also to see more of the city and get the lay of the land. You can also watch yoga videos and pretend your hotel room is a private studio.
2. Rest and Relaxation
An important element of a healthy trip is getting enough sleep, which is often compromised to make the most of adventuring in a new place. Maximize your sleep prior to a trip if you anticipate not prioritizing rest during your vacation or business jaunt. We know jet lag puts our bodies in a physical slump, but it also lands us in mental stupors. Wherever your final destination, try to make contact with the grass or sand with your bare feet to create a physical grounding to the earth. The more sunshine you get on the day you land, the easier it will be to sleep in a normal cycle. And you should plan to rest luxuriously for one night to help your body rejuvenate.
3. Clear Your Mind
Travel does not always offer a mental break, especially if you are constantly on the road for business. Long work hours followed by flying and subsequent jet lag put stress not only on our bodies, but also our minds. Stress has a way of manifesting physically, whether we hold tension in our necks and backs or get headaches from constant worry. It is important to stay grounded, even when spending more time in the air than on land. Similar to the yoga rooms that have popped up in airport terminals, select airports also offer meditation spaces, where peace and quiet is the norm. By selecting a mantra to keep you focused or following a guided meditation, you can remain centered as you enter the chaotic world of travel.
4. Travel Mindfully
Overall, the goal while traveling, whether for business or pleasure, is to remain in the moment and in touch with all of your senses and sensations. Tapping into your highest consciousness helps you avoid the pitfalls of unhealthy habits on the road. If you follow the above tips, it is possible to travel mindfully and maintain a routine that will leave you as balanced as when you left home—maybe even more.
Cameron Cler is traveler at heart, obsessed with seeing the world and discovering ways to contribute to positive global change. As a registered yoga teacher, she balances her constant travel and work in the startup world by channeling her inner yogi and welcoming peace in chaotic moments. Her passion is cultivating creativity and inspiration while sharing travel stories, yoga classes, wellness tips, and smiles with her friends, family, and students.