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Travel Fitness

Travel fitness is crucial especially if you are travelling abroad. You will be burning the candle at both ends with business travel. You will need to be on full alert at the meetings which are scheduled. Most likely you will be meeting new people and will need to make a good impression.

In some cases you will be

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Travel fitness is crucial especially if you are travelling abroad. You will be burning the candle at both ends with business travel. You will need to be on full alert at the meetings which are scheduled. Most likely you will be meeting new people and will need to make a good impression.

  • In some cases you will be presenting to senior people that you only meet with every 6 or 12 months so you will want to deliver your best effort here also.
  • You will need to get your emails done and most likely time has not been built into your schedule for this so you will be doing it back at the hotel.
  • Your Host will want to take you out to dinner (so the emails may not get done until after 10pm).
  • You may need to be entertaining customers.
  • You will probably want to see some of the new city/town you are visiting so even if there is no scheduled entertainment, you will most likely want to go out.
  • You may not get time to stick to your exercise regime if you are in the air.
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    executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-pre-planning-your-trip

    Pre-Planning for Travel Fitness

    Pre-planning for travel fitness is critical. You were most likely working hard prior to your departure to prepare for the trip so…..

    Make sure your schedule is a manageable pace. Do not try to squeeze too much in. You will get much more out of your limited time if it is sensible and reasonable rather than running around non

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    Pre-planning for travel fitness is critical. You were most likely working hard prior to your departure to prepare for the trip so…..

    • Make sure your schedule is a manageable pace. Do not try to squeeze too much in. You will get much more out of your limited time if it is sensible and reasonable rather than running around non stop. You are likely to need to add unforeseen appointments so make sure there is time for this also.
    • Try not to get on a long distance flight when you are tired. The most likely place you will get ill is on the flight and if you are tired when you get on a flight, you are only increasing your chances of getting off ill. If you get ill on the flight you will be recovering as you travel which is no fun.
    • Make sure you pack for the climate you will be going to. If you are an outdoor runner and headed from summer climate to cooler climate, you will need different running gear so pack appropriately. Be Prepared!
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      executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-in-transit

      In transit

      Try not to just work too much on the flight and in transit. Get some sleep, catch a movie, read a book so that you relax. Flying takes it out of you so do not overdo it. Try to minimize the consumption of alcohol also. Some people see flying as the most time they get to themselves ever so take

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      Try not to just work too much on the flight and in transit. Get some sleep, catch a movie, read a book so that you relax. Flying takes it out of you so do not overdo it. Try to minimize the consumption of alcohol also. Some people see flying as the most time they get to themselves ever so take advantage of the “no phone/email zone” (well limited email zone)!!

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        executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-on-your-travels-staying-healthy-in-the-air

        Staying Healthy While Flying

        Staying healthy while flying means understanding a number of health related issues. They would be taken into account when flying. They include dehydration, blood circulation and muscle relaxation, motion sickness, and cabin pressurization. All these should be discussed with your doctor or specialist travel medical center. To ensure you get the best advice for your circumstances and needs, this is

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        Staying healthy while flying means understanding a number of health related issues. They would be taken into account when flying. They include dehydration, blood circulation and muscle relaxation, motion sickness, and cabin pressurization. All these should be discussed with your doctor or specialist travel medical center. To ensure you get the best advice for your circumstances and needs, this is the best approach.

        All the airline websites have a section that covers medical and health issues associated with flying. So take a look at a couple of these websites to familiarize yourself with the details for your airline.

        Drinks lots of water and avoid too much coffee, tea and alcohol to manage hydration. It is probably a good idea to take a bottle of water with you on the plane. Often the airline will give you a bottle of water especially when the lights are turned off on long haul flights. However it is best to bring one along to ensure you have it. The flight attendants will give you water when you ask but with the number of passengers on board, this may take time especially if it is a peak time.

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          executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-deep-vein-thrombosis

          Deep Vein Thrombosis

          Deep Vein Thrombosis is an issue for business travellers especially when travelling long haul. Because you will be seated for long periods of time and will be almost motionless, the risk of blood clots in the legs can increase. This is known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT. Some medications, some medical conditions and a family history of clots and

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          Deep Vein Thrombosis is an issue for business travellers especially when travelling long haul. Because you will be seated for long periods of time and will be almost motionless, the risk of blood clots in the legs can increase. This is known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT. Some medications, some medical conditions and a family history of clots and blood disorders can also increase the risk. The airlines are clear to point this out.

          You will be shown a film after take off. Alternatively, this film will be available on one of the channels on the entertainment system. In the film, they will demonstrate a series of exercises which are recommended. If a film is not shown, then you will be directed to a section in the in-flight magazine. The information and exercises will be presented there. These exercises include knee lifts, flexing exercises, neck and shoulder rolls, ankle circles to name a few. They can be done while seated and it is also recommended that you get up and move around as much as you can to stretch your legs. And if you are lucky enough to be flying Air China, every two hours, the flight attendants lead an 5 minute exercise session! Compression stockings are recommended to prevent swelling of the ankles and feet especially for people who experience “high risk” factors.

          Deep vein thrombosis is sometimes referred to as economy class syndrome but this is a misnomer. It is as likely to occur in business and first class as economy class and should be taken seriously.

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            executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-cabin-pressure-discomfort

            Cabin Pressure Discomfort

            Cabin pressure discomfort is an issue for some passengers. If you suffer from sinus, upper respiratory infections and other cardiovascular conditions, you will be more likely to be affected. Cabins are pressurized to an altitude of up to 2500 metres to ensure that the outside air drawn into the cabin is sufficient density for health and comfort. If you suffer

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            Cabin pressure discomfort is an issue for some passengers. If you suffer from sinus, upper respiratory infections and other cardiovascular conditions, you will be more likely to be affected. Cabins are pressurized to an altitude of up to 2500 metres to ensure that the outside air drawn into the cabin is sufficient density for health and comfort. If you suffer from nasal congestion or allergies, use the medications that you would normally use (sprays, antihistamines, decongestants) 30 minutes prior to take off and descent.

            “Clearing your ears” is the term used for equalizing pressure. Try swallowing and yawning to clear your Eustachian tubes. If you have a medical condition that warrants supplemental oxygen, this can be ordered to be available on the plane. Most airlines require notice of this.

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              executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-motion-sickness

              Motion Sickness

              Motion sickness can be experienced by some passengers. It is a conflict between the body’s sense of vision and it sense of equilibrium. Some people are more susceptible to this than others and increased turbulence can enhance the likelihood of experiencing motion sickness. Trying to focus on a fixed or non-moving object will assist in minimizing this. For example. during

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              Motion sickness can be experienced by some passengers. It is a conflict between the body’s sense of vision and it sense of equilibrium. Some people are more susceptible to this than others and increased turbulence can enhance the likelihood of experiencing motion sickness. Trying to focus on a fixed or non-moving object will assist in minimizing this. For example. during daylight hours, try to focus on the horizon, the sea or the ground. Over-the-counter medications can also assist you to minimize the effects of motion sickness so make sure you discuss this with your doctor or the specialist medical center. There is always a “sick bag” in the seat pocket in front of you if you need it. Press the call button for the flight attendant to take it away and replace it.

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                executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-heart-attacks-and-health-issues

                Heart Attacks and other Serious Health Issues in the Air

                Sometimes people have an epileptic fit, heart attack or other serious health issue in the air. This is part of life and passengers have been known to die in flight. The flight attendants are trained to deal with all these situations and they will be in communication with ground staff for extra medical assistance. Most airlines have defribulators on long

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                Sometimes people have an epileptic fit, heart attack or other serious health issue in the air. This is part of life and passengers have been known to die in flight. The flight attendants are trained to deal with all these situations and they will be in communication with ground staff for extra medical assistance. Most airlines have defribulators on long distance flights. The purser may ask if there is a doctor or nurse on board to assist. If a passenger near you is such a state of distress, your job is to press the flight attendant call button to alert the flight attendants to the situation and then to be the least intrusive as you can be. Ordering a drink while flight attendants are trying to deal with an emergency is not very appropriate. In severe cases, the captain may take the decision to land the airplane at the nearest airport and the ill passenger (and any other passengers travelling with this passenger) will be deplaned first. Again be as disruptive as you can. It is not a good idea to be trying to get your bags from the overhead locker if an ambulance needs to come past you to attend to an ill passenger).

                In case of a death, usually blankets are placed over the dead passenger and the airplane continues on or lands at the nearest airport.

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                  executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-while-you-are-away-getting-assistance

                  Getting help if you are ill while abroad

                  Getting help if you are ill while abroad can come from many people. Your host will be able to assist you. In countries that do not speak English and are more remote there is often a doctor that the company uses for all types of medical support. This doctor will be known to the company which will increase your comfort

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                  Getting help if you are ill while abroad can come from many people. Your host will be able to assist you. In countries that do not speak English and are more remote there is often a doctor that the company uses for all types of medical support. This doctor will be known to the company which will increase your comfort level. It is most likely that they will charge the costs directly back to your host’s expense budget.

                  The concierge at the hotel will also be able to help you so just call. They will be able to tell you where the nearest medical center is. They will know where the nearest international hospital is. They will also be able to organize a doctor to come to the hotel.

                  Of course, medical expenses will come at a cost but your health is paramount here. It will most likely be covered by your company’s travel insurance or your own business travel insurance. If not, in the case of a company, they should pay for this through a normal expense claim.

                  If the doctor comes to the hotel and you do not have enough cash, you may need to get the hotel to pay the doctor and charge the expense to your room account. The Concierge will be used to this practice as you will not be the first person to call the doctor to the hotel. Most medical centers and hospitals will take credit cards. If you are extremely ill, there will be an emergency number on your travel insurance card. Click here for more on Travel Insurance.. When you call the general number on your travel insurance card, the person on the line will assist you.

                  Make sure you ask for an doctor who speaks your native language or a language you are fluent in. The last thing you need when you are sick is to have to try to understand a doctor who does not speak your language. This is especially important because there will likely be some medical terms requiring translation. Medical terms are not the type of words you use everyday so are more difficult to translate. You can also ask your Host or someone from the office or hotel to come and translate for you.

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                    executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-jetlag

                    Jetlag

                    Jetlag is the discomfort that most travelers experience especially after long distance flights and those that cross several time zones. Some symptoms include tiredness and irritability, swollen limbs, especially legs, red/dry eyes, disorientation or irregular sleep patterns. They will vary by individual.
                    It is caused by the disruption of the timing of the biological functions in your body including when

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                    Jetlag is the discomfort that most travelers experience especially after long distance flights and those that cross several time zones. Some symptoms include tiredness and irritability, swollen limbs, especially legs, red/dry eyes, disorientation or irregular sleep patterns. They will vary by individual.

                    It is caused by the disruption of the timing of the biological functions in your body including when you sleep or eat. Darkness stimulates the release of the hormone melatonin which is produced by cells in the brain that control these functions. When you cross time zones your “body clock” is thrown out as your body experiences day and night at the “wrong” time. The chemical imbalance causes the symptoms.

                    The duration of the symptoms will depend on how far you have traveled, how many time zones you crossed, what your general health was going into the flight. Of course how well your particular body adapts to the new time zone will also be a impact duration.

                    There are a million remedies and ideas around managing jetlag. Just take a look at the counter at the pharmacy at an international airport!

                    Speak to your doctor and the travel medical specialist but what they will all tell you in common is:

                    • Fly west when you want the least impact from jetlag
                    • Treat your body well prior to departing – get plenty of exercise prior to traveling so you are physically tired (but not mentally tired) when you get on board
                    • Drinks lost of water on the flight
                    • Do not overeat on the flight
                    • Get up from your seat and move around as much as possible
                    • Minimise the consumption of alcohol (or better still do not drink it!)
                    • Try to get onto the new time zone as quickly as possible. On the flight is the best place to get started. Try to eat and sleep in the new time zone
                    • Leave for your trip with at least a full day at the other end to begin the process of assimilation. For example, if you are traveling from Sydney to London for a meeting on
                      Monday morning, leave on Saturday at the latest.
                    • Do not go to sleep when you arrive unless it is the night time.
                    • Get out in the sun with no sunglasses when you arrive. Walk around the new city and get some exercise. Try to stay awake to move yourself into the new time zone as quickly as
                      possible. Your body’s receptor to the new time zone is through your eyes.
                    • Stick to your regular exercise regime and if you do not have one, try to get out and do some exercise. It may start a new good habit!
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                      executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-when-you-arrive

                      Travel Fitness at your Destination

                      Tips for travel fitness at your destination are outlined below:

                      Try to stick to your exercise regime while you are away. Most hotels have gym facilities and often a pool. There will be walking/running maps in the local area of the hotel (just ask the concierge). Unless it is not a safe city, then you should stay in the

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                      Tips for travel fitness at your destination are outlined below:

                      • Try to stick to your exercise regime while you are away. Most hotels have gym facilities and often a pool. There will be walking/running maps in the local area of the hotel (just ask the concierge). Unless it is not a safe city, then you should stay in the hotel.
                      • A skipping rope and a set of aqua weights are also a good option for a “portable gym”. Aqua weights are light weight to travel with and you just fill them with water.
                      • The Westin chain of hotels has introduced a “Westin Work out Room”. This is a hotel room with a treadmill or stationary bike, adjustable dumbbells, workout DVD’s and magazines and complimentary bottled water in the room so you can work out whenever you choose. This needs to be booked when you make your reservation. You will be charged at a higher rate than a standard room.
                      • Some major cities have golf driving ranges in or near downtown which are open very early and very late. You can get some golf practice in before or after work. You will be able to hire all your equipment there. The concierge at your hotel will be able to assist you with directions and bookings.
                      • Book a hotel with a gym and/or swimming pool.
                      • Generally speaking because you are not doing all the chores you normally encounter at home, sticking to the exercise regime is in fact often easier while you are away than when you are at home.
                      • Turn you mobile phone off when you are in bed. This way you will not be woken up in the middle of the night by a friend calling for a chat unaware that you are on a completely different time zone and it may be 7pm in Sydney where he is but it is 4am in New York where you are!
                      • Take time out on weekends to relax and enjoy yourself – see Optimising your Weekends While Travelling on Business
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                        executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-managing-the-office-if-you-are-ill

                        Managing the office if you are ill

                        Managing the office if you are ill is all about communication. If you fall ill, you are not expected to go to work. Even if you are only in on your business trip for 1 or 2 days, if you are too ill to work at home, you are to ill to work. Most likely you will not want to

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                        Managing the office if you are ill is all about communication. If you fall ill, you are not expected to go to work. Even if you are only in on your business trip for 1 or 2 days, if you are too ill to work at home, you are to ill to work. Most likely you will not want to stay at the hotel unless you are very ill and need a hospital. This is perfectly reasonable. It just requires a call to your host or customer to explain the situation and postpone. Also call back to your home office so they know what is transpiring and where to find you.

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                          executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-pregnancy

                          Airplane Travel while Pregnant

                          Talk to your doctor or travel medical practitioner about airplane travel while pregnant. Make sure any and all of your concerns and questions are covered prior to travel. But generally if you are fit and well, airline travel is ok for pregnant women. Some general tips include:

                          Most international airlines, will allow pregnant women to fly internationally until 35

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                          Talk to your doctor or travel medical practitioner about airplane travel while pregnant. Make sure any and all of your concerns and questions are covered prior to travel. But generally if you are fit and well, airline travel is ok for pregnant women. Some general tips include:

                          • Most international airlines, will allow pregnant women to fly internationally until 35 weeks. Check with your travel agent of airline website.
                          • Some vaccinations are not suitable so make sure you fully disclose your pregnancy and check this prior to having vaccinations
                          • Traveling to areas where mosquito born illnesses are prevalent is not recommended. these include Malaria, Dengue Fever, Zika and others.
                          • Take extra care with respect to drinking bottled water, watching what you eat and the risks associated with deep vein thrombosis. Make sure you heed the advice on exercising in flight, wearing flight socks etc
                          • Travel Insurance limitations may exist. Some travel insurance only covers you up to so many weeks pregnancy, may exclude childbirth and may or may not cover the newborn child
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                            Emergency Numbers

                            Emergency numbers are taken for granted in your home country. In USA, Americans know the emergency number to call for help is 911. In Australian, Australians know to call 000. And here lies the challenge. The emergency numbers for help are different in each country and in some countries, there is a different number to call for police than fire

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                            Emergency numbers are taken for granted in your home country. In USA, Americans know the emergency number to call for help is 911. In Australian, Australians know to call 000. And here lies the challenge. The emergency numbers for help are different in each country and in some countries, there is a different number to call for police than fire brigade and another one still for ambulance. What happens if you need to call for help?

                            You can ask someone else to help. You will most likely have your phone with you so you can call for help also. Here is an easy look up tool to find what number to call in the country you are in. Just select the country in the drop down screen and the appropriate number or numbers will be revealed. Emergency Contacts

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