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5 healthy habits: Kimberly Andrews, flight attendant

5 healthy habits: Kimberly Andrews, flight attendant

Being healthy isn’t a quick or easy endeavor — we get it! We certainly don’t have an unlimited budget for $15 green juices or enough hours in the day to spend two of them at the gym. In our “5 healthy habits” series we get inspired by tips & tricks from real women (no celebrity yoga gurus allowed!) and share the healthful practices they’ve incorporated into their daily lives.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been a flight attendant for 32 years and I’m a mom to 2 beautiful grown daughters! Cliché as it may be… where does the time go? Constantly changing time zones, alternating between working all night and waking at 2am to go to work, and eating and exercising at crazy hours are all part of a flight attendant’s lifestyle. To ensure I stay healthy with such a turbulent schedule, I’ve always tried to include daily healthy rituals as part of my routine.

1. Hydrate! I drink at least a liter and a half of water a day on and off the airplane, I stay away from soda and excessive alcohol, and I limit caffeine to 2 small cups of coffee a day (unless I’m in Italy where I just can’t resist!). And speaking of hydrating… moisturize! The air on a plane is extremely dehydrating, so using a good moisturizer along with drinking lots of water keeps my skin healthy.

2. Everything in moderation. I don’t deprive myself of an Italian gelato or a slice of pizza, but I rarely overdo it. I always pack healthy food in a lunchbox to bring on flights, particularly long ones. Even when I travel for leisure, I have a bag filled with fresh fruit, nuts, hummus, fresh veggies and ok… I confess, a bar of dark chocolate! After all, it is full of antioxidants. Just don’t forget to consume the produce before landing in a foreign country, ‘cuz ya can’t take it with you!

3. Get rest when you can. Good sleep habits are an oxymoron in the airline business, but listening to your body is important. I’m lucky that I can sleep almost anywhere, so I find grabbing 20-30 minutes when I’m feeling tired will re-energize me for hours. Also, I never consume caffeine after 3pm and try my best to have a consistent sleep schedule when I’m home. Obviously, when changing multiple time zones and working all night, I am often sleep deprived on layovers, but having an otherwise healthy routine helps me stay in good shape and relatively well rested.

4. Exercise at home and on the road. The beauty of travel is there is always something to see, an adventure around every corner. So on my layovers, I rarely take public transportation, and instead choose to walk wherever I need to go. When I am home, I play tennis, walk at the beach or cycle. A little outdoor exercise and a dose of vitamin D work wonders on a tired body!

5. Get some quiet “me time.” When you are a combination of service staff, safety police, healthcare worker, therapist, and negotiator, taking time to de-stress on days off is so important. I start my day with ten minutes of quiet meditation and I try to incorporate yoga into my routine at least twice a week. I call it my “be time,” time to just be!

And after 32 years, I still love my job, the people I meet along the way, and my co-workers! Life is always an adventure for me and healthy habits keep me at least young at heart.