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A Full-Time Pilot's Guide to Staying Active and Healthy

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When you're a full-time pilot, you spend most of your waking hours getting people where they need to go. It's an important job, but it's equally important to find time for yourself, especially for essential activities like exercise.

Physical activity improves your energy and mental health and reduces your risk of many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. Even when your free time is limited, you can find creative ways to be active.

Invest in a Home Gym or Pool
As a pilot, you spend long periods of time away from home. When you return, it's nice to have everything you need right there so you don't have to travel to and from the gym. A home gym makes it easier to fit your workout into your routine without taking away from family and leisure time.

A swimming pool is a fun and effective way to stay in shape. There are many options for in ground swimming pools in Maryland, so you can design the perfect backyard oasis to help you relieve stress as you exercise. Your friends and family will enjoy it too!

Get Outside With Your Family
With your busy schedule, family time is precious, especially if you have children or grandchildren. Instead of leaving your family to go for a run or hit the gym, find some fun outdoor activities they can take part in. There are many activities your whole family can enjoy that are great exercise:

Biking
Cross-country skiing
Hiking
Kayaking
Walking
Sports

Not only will you get your exercise in, but you will also teach your kids that movement can be fun, a lesson they will benefit from for the rest of their lives.

Take a Ten-Minute Exercise Break
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 hours of exercise per week or 30 minutes a day five days per week. For a pilot on a tight schedule, however, it can be hard to find half an hour to exercise.

Fortunately, you don't have to do thirty minutes of activity at once. When time is limited, split your daily exercise into 10-minute sessions throughout the day. Even a brisk walk through the airport or a few stretches can benefit your health.

Exercise in the Cockpit
Sitting in the cockpit for hours on end is bad for your circulation and can lead to aches and pains. Office workers do desk exercises to ward off fatigue and muscle stiffness. Pilots can benefit from this approach as well.

Keep your blood flowing and your muscles relaxed with some simple cockpit exercises, such as leg and neck stretches. These exercises won't make you break a sweat, but they can prevent stiffness and muscle aches. You'll feel more comfortable on the job, and you won't be too sore when it's time to hit the gym.

Eat Well and Get Plenty of Sleep
You can't exercise if you don't have energy. Eating a balanced diet can be difficult while traveling, but good nutrition is essential for pilots. A diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains will give you the fuel you need for a long-haul flight or an intense workout. Healthy options can be tricky to find in the airport or at restaurants, so packing your own meals is often the easiest way to get a balanced diet.

When it comes to sleep, the CDC recommends at least seven hours per night for adults aged 60 and under. If you're over 60, you may need up to nine hours.

Coffee can give you an energy boost, but it's a poor substitute for sleep and can disrupt your rest. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 10 hours, so switch to decaf, herbal tea or water well before bedtime.

As a pilot, you need to stay healthy so you can do your job safely. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay active and healthy even with your busy schedule.

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