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Old 10-31-2019, 05:08 PM   #1  
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Default Fitness while flying

Hey guys I feel like this doesn't get talked about much in these threads and if it does maybe you can direct me to some threads but I'd love to hear from you all.

Basically fitness is a very important part of my lifestyle and I'm aware of the irregular schedules that come with being a pilot. I just wanna ask you guys what are your biggest obstacles when it comes to staying fit on the road? Do you have your routine under control? I know sleep patterns, diet, and discipline play a big role, which do you feel impacts you the most? thank for your feedback in advance!
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:04 PM   #2  
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Exercise you can control.
Diet you can control.
Circadian rhythm disturbances.... you know, at some time in your career you are going to be very junior and you’ll be getting whatever schedules are left over. Some guys (and gals) are really tolerant of a lot of irregularity in their schedule and some just have a hard time dealing with red eyes and multiple time zone shifts, particularly west to East.

I’ve seen people do melatonin at night, caffeine up the ying-yang in the morning, and every other trick to try to get a good night’s sleep without very much success while some others can pretty much take a four hour nap and totally recharge our batteries. But for people who DO have trouble, circadian rhythm disturbances seem to be what is the least controllable in my experience.
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:11 AM   #3  
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I deal with the odd workout schedules by doing most of my “work” at home. If I plan to get in 5 good days of work at home, I do that. I then let say 2 of 4 work days be “rest” days. In the other two I try to find the most optimal workout situation for me and make it work. I’ve generally maintained my 4-6 days a week for 13 years now in this job and it works out ok. On days where lifting just isn’t in the cards due to fatigue or other, I just plan an easy run or similar.
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:50 AM   #4  
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If you get at least 15 days off (without too many lost to commuting) you can do what usmc-sgt and and I do, revolve your regimen around time at home.

I also work out on the road when it makes sense, but that's often limited to cardio and calisthenics, depending on what equipment is available. For my normal strength regimen, I need more than 50# dumbells but sometimes I use what they have a do a lighter workout.

On the road, always have the attitude that the work-out on any given day is optional, that way it's not hanging over your head if your day turns long. I can almost always work up the motivation to do an hour on an elliptical, that's way easier than intervals on a treadmill or calisthenics. And light/moderate cardio more than anything else will save your health and career in the long run.

I prefer to work out when I'm in the mood (which is not usually zero-dark-thirty), but I'll do it whenever I have to if necessary to fit it in.

I keep a list of hotels and what equipment they have, that way I can plan what I'm doing that week taking into account what's available on layovers. Also keep a list of running trails and public gyms near the hotels (I'm a member of one, and some others will sell you a day pass).

I always try to balance self-discipline with flexibility. If you're always working out when you'd rather not be, that gets depressing. Take a day off if you need to, life is busy.

If you get much less than 15 days off from flying, then you'll have to be pretty disciplined to stay on top of it in my experience.
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