Traveling is one of my favorite adventures! In fact, it’s what originally inspired the name of this website: Heart Happy Adventures! When I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, I wondered how to still travel while keeping my high blood pressure well-managed. Lowering blood pressure naturally is really important to me; even while traveling!
How can I travel with high blood pressure? What are some tips for traveling with high blood pressure? I promise this is a topic that this blog will return to frequently!
So, for the first time since January 2020, I am going on a vacation today which will require flying! It’s a little nerve-wracking, but I’m vaccinated, received a negative COVID test, and packed a bunch of masks for the flight. I’m excited to get back out there again and will keep you posted with some pictures from the trip (and also more blood pressure tips of course!)
Let’s start with what are some tips for the day of travel!
3 Tips for Managing High Blood Pressure at the Airport
- Go For a Walk Inside the Airport
When it comes to maintaining good blood pressure control through exercise, it’s really important to be consistent. Which means, don’t miss the chance exercise even if you’re on vacation or in-transit! There’s a lot of waiting around at the airport. If you are the type that gets there early, consider taking a 10 or 15 minute continuous walk around the terminal. If you can walk from one terminal to another, even better! Clearly, it’s probably not a great idea to speed walk when so many other people around, so just do the best you can to keep moving. As I mentioned in my post about increasing physical activity, some exercise is better than no exercise! Be sure to wear good walking shoes, so it’s easier for you to move around. Also, even if the airport is small, you can still walk back and forth a few times before getting on the plane! Just be sure to set an alarm on your watch or phone so you don’t miss the boarding time!
2. Pack Your Own Snacks or Buy Low Salt Snacks at the Airport
Have you noticed that snacks on the airplanes are almost always loaded with salt? I usually grab a sandwich bag and throw in a scoop of raisins and a handful of no salt added cashews (By the way, cashews can help lower blood pressure. I’ve written about how awesome they are: here and here!). Other easy snack ideas include: carrot sticks! They are refreshing to chew on too, but watch out for annoying your seat mate on the plane with all the loud vegetable crunching! Hehe. Life gets busy though, maybe you didn’t have time to pack a snack. You can visit an airport store and buy a bag of no salt added almonds or a piece of fresh fruit. Yeah, I know. It’s definitely not as exciting as a bag of hot Cheetos. But if you’re here reading this, I know you’re invested in your heart health and lowering blood pressure so you know there are sacrifices to be made! Kudos to you!
3. Be Mindful of Your Stress Level
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, then you’ve heard me talk about the effects of anxiety on high blood pressure quite a bit! In fact, earlier this week I was excited to share a cool cellphone app called “Insight Timer” that I’ve used for many years because of the vast amount free content available, along with numerous other features. Check out my post for some fun screenshots! The airport is inherently a stressful place. There’s a weird combination of waiting and feeling rushed, crowds of people, delays, and other uncertainties. What I’ll do is plan to be at the airport on the earlier side if possible, find a quieter gate, pop on my headphones and do 5 minutes of meditation. The headphones help give you some “space” from the airport rush. Of course, if you close your eyes to meditate, be sure to put your luggage right by your leg so you can feel it!
I hope that was a helpful start! Speaking of getting some physical exercise, I’m going to put my backpack on and take a little walk around the terminal before having to sit for hours on the plane!
If you have any other helpful tips for staying healthy at the airport or on the day of travel, please free free to share!
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