Travelling can be stressful for anyone, with jetlag, tiredness and muscle aches being key issues and complaints. When you need to get off a plane and immediately attend a function, it becomes doubly important to ensure your recovery time is minimised to the max.
IN THE AIR
Preparing for a healthy meeting starts the minute you take off. “The most important thing to guard against when there are many people flying in from different parts of the world is infectious diseases and travel-related [health] issues,” says Doctor Kyoko Morishita, an associate medical director at Shanghai’s Deltawest Clinic, who specialises in dealing with potential illnesses and issues in the air before they hit the ground. “Precaution is actually the cure for infectious disease. If you want to avoid any potential problems, or suffer from a serious breathing complaint like asthma, it’s always recommended to wear an N95 mask, as it filters around 95 per cent of airborne particles. Wear it during a flight and always carry hand disinfectant with you, too.”
Morishita also cites deep vein thrombosis as a concern for travellers, particularly those who have experienced cardiovascular issues. “Find out if it’s worth taking any medication but also make sure to walk around a lot on the plane, wear compression stockings and massage your calves.”
If you’re about to get a cold, another item to pack in your carry-on is Aromatherapy Associate’s support breathe essence, an antibacterial essential oil that can help maintain clear breathing. Containing eucalyptus, peppermint and tea tree, it can reduce stuffiness and congestion and ease breathing. Just sprinkle a few drops onto a tissue and breathe deeply.
Even the most experienced world travellers struggle adjusting to different time zones. While Morishita recommends melatonin to control sleep and wake cycles, she also advises booking flights that work best for your sleeping pattern. “Adjust your arrival time for either the morning so you can stay up all day, or for night so you can immediately go to bed.” She also cautions against taking a nap. “You’ll never recuperate or get back to your regular schedule,”
Instead of crashing out, consider booking in for a spa treatment instead. Thea Huang, director of spa at Willow Stream Spa, Fairmont Singapore, says, “A soothing massage can relieve stress for better rest and aid a more effective recovery. Similarly, other treatments such as mineral baths can relax tight muscle tissue for improved blood circulation and facilitate the restoration of energy.” The spa’s three jetlag treatments, Recovery Massage, Body Booster and Skin-Glow Activator, are each designed to help restore energy from a flight and calm nerves while soothing aches and pains to improve sleep.
Huang also advises exercise after waking up. “I recommend that delegates start their day with a rejuvenating fitness session followed by a high protein and low carbohydrate breakfast. Whether it’s a private workout facilitated by a personal trainer or a refreshing yoga session in an open area, such activities help kick-start the metabolism and prepare for the day ahead.”
The Fairmont Singapore offers a Top of the World Sunrise Yoga experience on the helipad of Swissôtel The Stamford, where guests are engaged in a series of stimulating yoga exercises with unrivalled views of the city as their backdrop.
The Sheraton Macao Hotel, meanwhile, incorporates wellness into its FIT Meetings initiative, to ensure delegates are top of their game from the start. “FIT Meetings were created in collaboration with Core Performance, a leader in proactive wellness that helps elite athletes train,” explains Sally-Ann Klap, director of sales and MICE at Sheraton Macao Hotel. “The programme enables attendees to perform at their very best both mentally and physically while on the road.” It offers healthy meals and snacks, optional group workouts and breaks to recharge, tips to stay energised, and tools to promote sleep and recovery.
The programme is designed around four main ideas: Mindset, Nutrition, Movement and Recovery. Upon request, these ideas can be incorporated into events in the form of pull-up banners or tent cards placed around meeting venues or in guestrooms to remind guests to look after themselves during their trip. Depending on the size of the group, Sheraton Macao is also able to create stretching exercises during breaks that incorporate massage rollers and stretch bands. Neck and shoulder massages can also be offered.
Eating right is a simple way to get nutrition in order upon arriving at a new destination. As part of their meeting packages, many hotels now offer a range of healthy eating options that help delegates get back on track after long flights or lengthy meetings.
One such example is Sheraton Macao’s Color Your Plate programme, a simple approach to eating right by adding colourful foods to your meals. It is part of the hotel’s FIT Meetings initiative. It recommends adding three colours from fruits and vegetables to increase energy levels during meetings. Menus include specially designed dishes marked with Color Your Plate icons.
At Langham Place, Mongkok, Hong Kong, coffee breaks can be tailored to include healthy refreshments and snacks as part of the hotel’s Green Chic theme. This includes homemade, organic selections such as chawan-mushi style egg custard with sustainable prawns and salmon roe, organic berry compote with yoghurt and granola, and organic carrot cake. Fairmont Singapore’s poolside restaurant, Alligator Pear, also works in conjunction with the Willow Stream Spa to offer a range of wholesome meals and nutritious spa cuisine that complement its wellness activities and treatments.
Beyond the usual fitness and food options, there are other ways delegates can stay healthy during meetings. Essential oils, used in spas to enhance treatments and renowned for their healing properties, are an easy way to stay alert and refreshed. Fairmont Singapore’s Huang says, “To stay refreshed at meetings, I recommend Kerstin Florian rejuvenating anti stress oil, a blend of lavender and melissa essential oils that helps to ease tension and rejuvenate with a dab on one’s wrist or temple area.”
Huang adds that the spa is currently offering a wellness kit for meetings and events at Raffles City Convention Centre, which includes Kerstin Florian neroli water spray to hydrate skin, a fur balm that contains pine, rosemary and menthol to relieve tired neck muscles, and a 15-minute head, neck and shoulder massage.
Other spas encouraging meetings to get healthy include Chuan Spa at Cordis, Hong Kong, which offers tai chi classes at its swimming pool’s edge for MICE guests on request.
An increasing number of hotels and meeting venues are dedicating themselves to creating a healthy environment for delegates and promoting a better work-life balance. With a greater variety of fitness, food and relaxation options than ever before, it has become easier to create an environment where delegates who fly in from all over the world can come together and jump right into an event with minimum impact on their health.