Stress and fatigue are some of the most common health issues affecting pilots and influencing air safety. Stressors are constant and numerous in Air Medical aviation, leading to fatigue and degenerative changes over time. Solid foundational health is key to having resiliency and professional longevity.

Use the 5 P’s approach focusing on you. Create a daily Plan that incorporates water consumption, meals/snacks, sleep and exercise — keep this simple. Think of your physical body as the Plane or Helicopter, your brain and awareness as the Pilot, flight crew as Passengers and your aircraft and the company you work for as the Programming.

By using this model, it will be easier to check in to see how you’re doing on a daily basis. Good health comes from aggregated steps over time, just like sound investments gain dividends with the right contributions.

Let’s look at how these habits can powerfully keep you in top form:

Hydration – drink ½ your body weight in ounces of filtered water each day

  • Helps with stiffness, exercise recovery and mental clarity
  • Helps flush and support the Lymphatic and Immune systems when sedentary
  • Moistens internal and external skin leading to improved Immune and Digestive function

Meals and Snacks – eat a balanced diet – 1/3 complex carbs, 1/3 protein, 1/3 good fats

  • Consuming high-quality food and water sustain better energy levels
  • Strive to eat or snack every 3-4 hours for better blood sugar balance, liver health and mood
  • Pack healthy snacks and simple meals for convenience, quality control and craving avoidance

Sleep – 7-8 quality hours each night

  • Supports healthy brain function, mental acuity and good memory
  • Regenerates all organs of elimination and supports healthy hormone balance
  • Boosts levels of Growth Hormone produced for replenishing the body while at rest

Exercise, stretch and movement

  • Improves ability to rest and sleep well
  • Mental and mood balance from producing healthy biochemicals
  • Walk, swim, stretch, weights, Yoga – even 10-15 minutes is better than 0 minutes!

It will take a little time to get comfortable with new components or improvements to your existing plan and daily activities. Once you feel improvements from any new steps, that momentum builds upon itself as you take flight with better health and quality of life.