Welcome to our “Fit for Flight” Spotlights.Fit for Flight Spotlight is a monthly feature that highlights friends, coworkers, social media influencers and bloggers who manage to maintain their fitness, health & wellness while living the traveling lifestyle. In these spotlights we share their advice for balancing it all from tips, tricks and products to a look at how they manage their fitness, health and wellness routines as well as how they:
“Go Live. Stay Fit” – our motto behind Fit for Flight.
If you missed our last interview with our girl Charlene, catch up on it here. This month, we’re going across the pond with our interview. We are so stoked to introduce our February “Fit for Flight” Spotlight. He’s a flight attendant for a major airline, living in London, and we are excited to share how he manages to keep up with his fitness and health while living the jet-setting lifestyle! From his own tips and tricks to plane (pun intended here) good advice, meet Suraj!!
Fit for Flight: Having a career as a flight attendant you know how keeping up with fitness and health can be difficult, especially when you don’t have a set schedule, dealing with irregular hours, and working across multiple time zones. How do you manage to work in a fitness routine or healthy eating when you’re dealing with those types of obstacles or time constraints?
Suraj: I love keeping fit & healthy, so now it’s just become a part of my lifestyle that I’ve integrated into my everyday activity. It is hard at times to workout, but I try and make it a priority – knowing that my body will thank me for it and that I’ll also feel better mentally knowing that I’ve worked out. The same goes for healthy eating, I make nutrition a priority and spend time preparing my meals & snacks for each specific flight.
FFF: Yes! We agree, if it’s important to you, you’ll make the time for it! We’ll backtrack a second and ask How did you fall into the career of becoming a flight attendant, or was it something you’re just always wanted to do?
S: I was at a place where I was completely lost and confused as to what I wanted to do with my life. Before becoming a flight attendant I used to work at Walt Disney World in Orlando, and it was the best experience ever. All I knew was that I wanted a job that incorporated travel and allowed me to work with people by creating relationships and delivering high levels of guest service.
FFF: Very cool! What airline do you work for, and are you based in London?
S: I work for Norwegian airlines, and I am based in London Gatwick. I fly long haul/international flights.
FFF: Oh wow!!! Yes if you spend a lot of time on the plane, we can assure it makes you want to get out and move your body! What are some of your go to exercises, especially if you’re short on time and want to get in a good quick sweat sesh?
S: My favorite exercises are pushups & pull-ups and they’re my go-to exercises. I literally cannot live without having access to a pull up bar. But I also love high energy HIIT workouts and it’s personally a great way to start my day.
FFF: We are big fans of HIIT! Of course keeping up a healthy diet is just as, if not more important than exercising.Are there any foods you love to eat while traveling, or simple recipes you like to meal prep for your travels?
S: I always prefer to prepare my meals as I can control the nutrients and ingredients in them. Usually I make a chicken salad burrito to take on the plane with me, as it’s quick and easy to both prepare and eat on the plane. I tend to avoid airplane food as it’s high sodium content. I additionally take lots of snacks like protein bars, bananas, apples and coffee with me to avoid snacking on anything unhealthy. My flights are always between six to eleven hours long, so I always take a lot of food to last me for the flight.
FFF: Those are all great options for healthy snacks/meals. The chicken salad burrito sounds so good!! You mentioned you travel internationally as your typical routes, how do you deal with customs or food restrictions when entering different countries? Sometimes our food we make or buy for our meals gets taken away depending on what country we are returning from when entering the US?
S:This has been so hard for me because I’m so restricted as to what I can enter certain countries with, especially the US. Any meals I prepare from home, I tend to finish eating during the flight. But my go to travel foods & snacks to take with me (that I know will be allowed into any country) is instant oats (as it’s quick and easy to prepare with just hot water), lots of seeds and nuts such as peanuts & almonds, a few protein bars, and also protein powder as it’s hard to meet my protein goals by solely relying on foods when on layovers.
FFF: Oh yes, getting in enough protein while traveling can be a struggle on top of having to deal with food restrictions when traveling internationally. Those are all great ideas! Since you live in London, has your career been affected by the ongoing Pandemic? And how have you dealt with it?
S:Since I fly internationally, my career has sadly been affected a huge amount. I haven’t flown since March 2020, and there is no date as to if or when we’ll return to flying. It’s been incredibly tough mentally because flying isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle. As I’m not currently flying, I’ve definitely been able to eat a lot healthier as I can cook my own meals rather than eating at restaurants/hotels, and my sleep cycle has additionally also improved due to not having jet lag & time differences.
FFF: We’re sorry to hear that. We agree, this career does become a lifestyle, one that is tough to give up, especially when it’s out of your control. We hope it gets better soon, and you can return to the friendly skies!! It’s good you can take the positives out of it as difficult as it is. What is one of your favorite motivational quotes or something positive you’d say to help others who’s careers or lifestyle has been affected by the pandemic?
S: I would just like to remind everyone that you are more than just your job. It’s easy to feel lost if your identity has been wrapped in your career, especially when it can be taken away from you so suddenly. So it’s important to invest in yourself, your passions, your skills, your family & friends, as they are parts of your identity that can’t easily be taken away.
FFF: So true, and well said!Speaking of London, we’ve never been! Do you have any go-to restaurants or places that are a must do or see?
S: I would highly recommend visiting Harrods department store, which is also somewhere else I used to work before becoming a flight attendant. Harrods is a world of it’s own, and there are so many things to see and explore within the store. You can literally spend the entire day there.
FFF: Oooo! We’ll have to add it to our list when we visit! Where have been your favorite places you have traveled or some that are on your bucket list?
S: My favorite place that I’ve travelled to has definitely been Austin, Texas. It’s not somewhere I would have even thought of traveling to if it wasn’t for work, so I’m truly grateful to my airline for introducing me to the city. There is such a big fitness community there, and I found myself in my element.
FFF: Oh my gosh, yes Austin is such an amazing city and so fitness oriented! We love it too! Looking at your Instagram it looks like you enjoy working out outdoors! What’s your favorite activity to do? Is there anything you want to try but haven’t yet? One thing for us would be paddle boarding!
S: I love anything that involves being active outdoors. I’d really love to try skiing and snowboarding – they are both definitely on my list of things to try next.
FFF: Oh for sure!! What do you think is the best thing about being a flight attendant?
S: The best thing is definitely the people that you encounter during flying. Every flight involves working with different crew members, and I also get to meet new passengers each time. You create such a bond with the crew in such a short space of time and end up feeling like you’ve known them forever. But the ability to travel and experience different cultures and walks of life is also such an incredible experience.
FFF:Very incredible!! Ah!Thank you so much for taking the time to let us interview you Suraj! This was so fun to do, and we have learned a lot of tips and tricks for ourselves that I’m sure our readers can find useful as well – especially when it comes to ideas when packing foods for international travel! We hope that this pandemic slows down and the world gets back to some sort of normalcy, so you ((and all our fellow flight attendant’s jobs who have been affected)), can get back to doing what they love!
You can keep up with Suraj, his travels, fitness & health by following him on Instagram @Flying.Endurance Thank you again Suraj!! Until next time guys, we hope you enjoyed this interview!! Go Live. Stay Fit!!