Health-Conscious Dining, Travel, and Fitness Tips
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Travel and Dining:
Travel Fitness Tips
Travel Precautions
Travel in the USA
Travel in Europe
Elsewhere in World


Open Skies: Affordable Premium Business Class
The Civilized Traveller
Getting Where You're Going
Morocco Bound?
Foot Comfort for the Traveler
Travel & Adventure Clothes
Restaurant Discounts
Ballooning in Europe
Mountain High, Oxygen Low
Maintaining Fitness on the Road
Summer Leisure Activity Alert
Healing Power of Music
Reducing the Stressful Impact of Airline Travel
Mountain High, Oxygen Low
Maintaining Fitness on the Road
Summer Leisure Activity Alert
Healing Power of Music
Reducing the Stressful Impact of Airline Travel

Open Skies: Affordable Premium Business Class, New York-Paris

Some time ago, British Airways took over our favorite, affordable Premium Business Class airline, L'Avion. They renamed it Open Skies (www.flyopenskies.com) and it continues to be our favorite for travel from New York to Paris and return. Open Skies flies out of Newark and JFK, and they've added a Biz-Bed class (at additional cost, of course). We've tried Biz-Bed for overnight from NY to Paris, returning Business Class on the day flight. The service is excellent. Open Skies also flies Washington to Paris and return. An added feature is that the flight to Paris lands at Orly Airport rather than Charles de Gaulle. Half an hour in a taxi and you arrive in the center of Paris.

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The Civilized Traveller

Our editors are fans of The Civilized Traveller for travel books, maps or travel products, including fanny packs, special luggage items and the like. For locations, visit their site at www.civilizedtraveller.com.

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Getting Where You're Going

Our correspondents travel a great deal. They report that if you're traveling business or first to the Orient, the way to go is Singapore Airlines. Service, comfort, yes, even food are way above average.

Have you heard of Consolidators? If not, you should have. If you need last-minute tickets for domestic or international flights at reasonable prices, these companies are a good bet. Consolidators make contracts with airlines to sell a certain amount of tickets each year- they get a large discount for buying in quantity and are able to offer you a good deal. You can find them in small ads in the Sunday New York Times Travel section, but here are a few we've used successfully.

Discount Tickets. 2 West 45th Street. Suite 609. New York, NY 10030.
212-391-2313, or fax 212-391-2350.

1-800-FARE WORLD (Delta, Air Canada, and others)

French Experience. 370 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 212-986-3800 (Air France)

Travac. 989 Avenue of the Americas. New York, NY 212-563-3303. (Many airlines)

And, of course, there's Cheap Tickets, if you can get through the busy signals. 1-800-377-1000.

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Morocco Bound?

If you're planning a trip to Morocco, be aware that an alternative to driving a rented car is hiring a tour driver-guide and car. It is not that costly and provides an opportunity to get to know the country and the culture in a special way. We spent 10 days with Said Majlabi, a gentle man who drove us from town to town, across the Atlas Mountains and accompanied us on a pre-dawn visit so that we could see the sun rise over the Sahara. One of our most memorable trips, it included Fez, Taroudant and Marrakech. Said had friends in each town who put him up, while we passed the night in hotels. At the conclusion of the trip, we dined with him and his wife and children in their home in Marrakech. He works for
Atlas Maroc Rando, 18 rue due Colonel Gazeilles-Marrakech. Fax: 212-4-43-98-22.

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Travel & Adventure Clothes:

Hard to beat for quality and properly named for longevity are Tilley Endurables, a mail and phone order company whose clothes our editors have worn around the world, in all kinds of climates. Like that battery commercial, they just go on and on. Their hats (protect yourself from the sun!) are hand-crafted in Canada of 10 ounce cotton duck, specially treated so that they are water repellent and mildew proof, preshrunk. They look good on - Crocodile Dundee or Indiana Jones would be comfortable in them and so will you. Their classic khaki pants may seem expensive, but not after three years of frequent wear and as good as new. Secret pockets, velcro-sealed pleated patch pockets make them an all around wearable winner. Get a catalogue and see for yourself. Call 1-800-363-8737.
You'll thank us for the recommendation.

You may want to obtain a catalogue from DeSoto Sport, a San Diego outfit which specializes in triathlon and thus uses special fabrics in designing and creating a very attractive line of swim, bike and running clothes for all weather conditions and optimal performance.
You can call them at 1-800-453-6673, e-mail them at desotoinc@aol.com or look into their website at www.desotosport.com.
Several of our correspondents, tri-athletes are delighted consumers of De Soto Sport.

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Restaurant Discounts:

You may know about Transmedia, but have you heard of IGT? You may find their selection more to your liking. Send for information to IGT Services, Inc. 1111 Lincoln Road. Miami Beach, FL 33139-2453.

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Ballooning in Europe

Buddy Bombard is celebrating his 21st anniversary in providing a unique form of elegant travel, dining and accommodations in Europe. If you're not aware of the Bombard Society, Inc. and their programs in Austria, France (Burgundy and the Loire Valley), Switzerland, Italy (Tuscany), Prague and Turkey, we hope this introduction will be helpful to you. Sightseeing, staying in top hotels, inns and chateaus, fabulous dining are yours - as you visit these regions and spend one-third of each day in balloon-related activities. These low-level flights provide a memorable picture of the region visited, complemented by landing celebrations and more usual guided tourism. Call 1-800-862-8537 for information and their video.

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Mountain High, Oxygen Low

If you're planning a trip to the mountains and the change in altitude you face will be substantial, be prepared. What we call altitude sickness results from decreased concentrations of oxygen in the air at higher altitudes. You may be subject to symptoms of breathlessness even with only mild exertion, fatigue, sleep disturbance, nausea and headaches. In order to avoid such symptoms, take precautions: Give yourself a day to adjust when you arrive, and start at an altitude below 9,000 feet. Listen to your body. Go slow or stop if out of breath or fatigued. Sleep at a lower altitude- if you're above 11,000 feet during the day, head for 9,000 or below at night. Cut out cigarettes and alcohol, or run the risk of increased symptoms. Consult with your doctor about a prescription medicine such as acetazolamide which may help prevent or reduce symptoms.

Back to Top


Maintaining Fitness on the Road

Whether traveling for business or pleasure (and who says the two are incompatible?), if you're involved in a regular exercise or fitness program, there are a number of reasons why you'd be well-advised to continue it on the road. These include maintaining conditioning, muscle tone, maintaining weight and, of course, the beneficial effects of endorphins on mental state and satisfaction.

As we get older, we decondition more rapidly, and when we return from a one or two week trip without exercising, especially if we're involved in running, biking, swimming or aerobically-challenging sports, we notice the difference. We have to put out more cardiovascular effort to achieve the same time or distance, not necessarily within the range we've been working.

If you're going to be in a large city, at home or abroad, look for hotels with gyms, or affiliated with health clubs. More and more, this is becoming available. Our Tips Directory will soon list them, for your consideration, including available equipment and facilities. If you're a runner, ask the concierge of your hotel for a pleasant, safe route for that daily run. You don't have to exercise as often on the road as you do at home to maintain conditioning. Every other day will do the job. Swimming is a terrific substitute for your at-home regiment, and one of our editors uses empty water bottles to do water aerobics.

Be sure to keep well stretched, whether you exercise or not! Those who exercise on a regular basis know that they are quickly vulnerable to tight, contracted muscles in the absence of stretching- and with it, build-up of lactic acid, feelings of fatigue and the possibility of injury when exercise is resumed. If you're doing business, stretching will prevent somnolence and decreased alertness. Stretching should be done on long car, train or plane trips. Every couple of hours, if possible. We travel often and rarely do we see anyone taking time out for a good stretch. You'll increase safety as well as comfort if you, at the very least, take time to walk up and down the aisle of the plane every hour or so. Don't be embarrassed, be a role-model. Remember to move your feet and legs around while sitting to keep unobstructed circulation flowing. Thrombophlebitis or thrombophlebosis (blood clots), while rare, can occur as a result of impeded circulation on a plane flight. Try keeping your knees higher than your hips while seated. If there is no foot-rest, use a carry-on to rest your feet. And don't forget to gently rotate head, wrists and ankles, as well as flexing the extremities. Reach for the sky and stretch those arms as well.

A number of our health professional contributors carry an inflatable neck pillow (purchasable at the airport stores, if you don't have one) and use it to support the head and reduce neck and shoulder discomfort when sleeping. An airplane pillow placed at the small of the back may increase comfort as well.

Doctors recommend keeping well-hydrated in airplane cabin atmosphere which tends to dry you out. If you're going to drink alcohol on a flight, which they advise against , at least be sure to complement it with abundant water, say 8 ounces each hour. Yes, you may make a number or trips to the toilet, but look at it this way, it will guarantee your getting out of your seat and taking that stroll down the aisle which we recommended. Whether you drink alcohol or note, drink plenty of fluids (the less sugar the better).

Many people who travel, whether for business or leisure, tend to indulge themselves when they dine on the road. It's natural. There are dishes on the menus that one may not see at home- and if we enjoy good food, we want to try these new tastes. If you're with someone, share the rich dishes. Most restaurants will split them for you, at your request. Otherwise, leave some on the plate, unless you're burning off the calories in miles of walking or an exercise regimen. Remember, too, that these days, most restaurants will use olive oil or another substitute for butter, if you are serious about keeping fats down in your diet.

See our report on the importance of comfortable, well-fitted footwear for your walking needs for further information. And watch this space for specific exercises that you can do in-room, if your hotel doesn't have a fitness facility or a pool.

Back to Top


Summer Leisure Activity Alert

Our physician contributors wanted us to get the word out on the dangers of dehydration during summer activities. They point out that those who sweat a great deal and are at risk, are often the very same people who don't take in enough fluids. They add that you can't count on thirst to signal your need. It's possible to lose as much as two quarts of water before thirst is experienced, telling you that you need to drink the appropriate fluids. Even professional and amateur athletes are frequently guilty of failing to drink sufficient fluids before or during activities to protect their health as well as their performance. Older individuals are another group at high risk. Remember, too that caffeine and alcohol are diuretics. If you take in a lot of either, even the night before, you may start out the morning borderline dehydrated and need more water. Drink water on rising as a rule, as well as throughout the day. Stay away from soft-drinks, beer, or even milk as your sources of hydration. Water is still best- and don't drink it ice-cold.

Fatigue increases and performance declines as body temperature rises. You're likelier to feel poorly immediately after and often into the next day, if you dehydrate during exercise.

What to do: Drink two 8 ounce cups of water 2 hours before vigorous activity. If that's not possible, drink 8 to 16 ounces before the activity and continue to drink throughout the activity, especially if its hot.. 8-12 ounces of cool, again, not ice cold water, every 15 minutes or so. The minerals lost during routine exercise are usually replaced by meals and snacks, unless one is involved in vigorous exercise for over an hour.

Back to Top


Healing Power of Music

You've heard about the Mozart effect. Play Mozart's music for your infants and they are likely to maximize their intelligence development and improve retention - or at least so recent studies suggest.

Now, one of our contributing editors has come across a four CD set titled "Healing Music." The composers are pioneers in researching the effects of sound and music on the functioning of body and brain. Dr. Jeffrey Thompson's Inner Dance worked for us better than any relaxation tape we'd ever tried. Boris Mourashkin's "Points of Light" appears also to facilitate the reduction of stress. Jim Oliver's music also did the trick. For information, call The Relaxation Company at 1-800-788-6670. Our contributor found his set at Barnes and Noble.

Back to Top


Mountain High, Oxygen Low

If you're planning a trip to the mountains and the change in altitude you face will be substantial, be prepared. What we call altitude sickness results from decreased concentrations of oxygen in the air at higher altitudes. You may be subject to symptoms of breathlessness even with only mild exertion, fatigue, sleep disturbance, nausea and headaches. In order to avoid such symptoms, take precautions: Give yourself a day to adjust when you arrive, and start at an altitude below 9,000 feet. Listen to your body. Go slow or stop if out of breath or fatigued. Sleep at a lower altitude- if you're above 11,000 feet during the day, head for 9,000 or below at night. Cut out cigarettes and alcohol, or run the risk of increased symptoms. Consult with your doctor about a prescription medicine such as acetazolamide which may help prevent or reduce symptoms.

Back to Top


Maintaining Fitness on the Road

Whether traveling for business or pleasure (and who says the two are incompatible?), if you're involved in a regular exercise or fitness program, there are a number of reasons why you'd be well-advised to continue it on the road. These include maintaining conditioning, muscle tone, maintaining weight and, of course, the beneficial effects of endorphins on mental state and satisfaction.

As we get older, we decondition more rapidly, and when we return from a one or two week trip without exercising, especially if we're involved in running, biking, swimming or aerobically-challenging sports, we notice the difference. We have to put out more cardiovascular effort to achieve the same time or distance, not necessarily within the range we've been working.

If you're going to be in a large city, at home or abroad, look for hotels with gyms, or affiliated with health clubs. More and more, this is becoming available. Our Tips Directory will soon list them, for your consideration, including available equipment and facilities. If you're a runner, ask the concierge of your hotel for a pleasant, safe route for that daily run. You don't have to exercise as often on the road as you do at home to maintain conditioning. Every other day will do the job. Swimming is a terrific substitute for your at-home regiment, and one of our editors uses empty water bottles to do water aerobics.

Be sure to keep well stretched, whether you exercise or not! Those who exercise on a regular basis know that they are quickly vulnerable to tight, contracted muscles in the absence of stretching- and with it, build-up of lactic acid, feelings of fatigue and the possibility of injury when exercise is resumed. If you're doing business, stretching will prevent somnolence and decreased alertness. Stretching should be done on long car, train or plane trips. Every couple of hours, if possible. We travel often and rarely do we see anyone taking time out for a good stretch. You'll increase safety as well as comfort if you, at the very least, take time to walk up and down the aisle of the plane every hour or so. Don't be embarrassed, be a role-model. Remember to move your feet and legs around while sitting to keep unobstructed circulation flowing. Thrombophlebitis or thrombophlebosis (blood clots), while rare, can occur as a result of impeded circulation on a plane flight. Try keeping your knees higher than your hips while seated. If there is no foot-rest, use a carry-on to rest your feet. And don't forget to gently rotate head, wrists and ankles, as well as flexing the extremities. Reach for the sky and stretch those arms as well.

A number of our health professional contributors carry an inflatable neck pillow (purchasable at the airport stores, if you don't have one) and use it to support the head and reduce neck and shoulder discomfort when sleeping. An airplane pillow placed at the small of the back may increase comfort as well.

Doctors recommend keeping well-hydrated in airplane cabin atmosphere which tends to dry you out. If you're going to drink alcohol on a flight, which they advise against , at least be sure to complement it with abundant water, say 8 ounces each hour. Yes, you may make a number or trips to the toilet, but look at it this way, it will guarantee your getting out of your seat and taking that stroll down the aisle which we recommended. Whether you drink alcohol or note, drink plenty of fluids (the less sugar the better).

Many people who travel, whether for business or leisure, tend to indulge themselves when they dine on the road. It's natural. There are dishes on the menus that one may not see at home- and if we enjoy good food, we want to try these new tastes. If you're with someone, share the rich dishes. Most restaurants will split them for you, at your request. Otherwise, leave some on the plate, unless you're burning off the calories in miles of walking or an exercise regimen. Remember, too, that these days, most restaurants will use olive oil or another substitute for butter, if you are serious about keeping fats down in your diet.

See our report on the importance of comfortable, well-fitted footwear for your walking needs for further information. And watch this space for specific exercises that you can do in-room, if your hotel doesn't have a fitness facility or a pool.

Back to Top


Summer Leisure Activity Alert

Our physician contributors wanted us to get the word out on the dangers of dehydration during summer activities. They point out that those who sweat a great deal and are at risk, are often the very same people who don't take in enough fluids. They add that you can't count on thirst to signal your need. It's possible to lose as much as two quarts of water before thirst is experienced, telling you that you need to drink the appropriate fluids. Even professional and amateur athletes are frequently guilty of failing to drink sufficient fluids before or during activities to protect their health as well as their performance. Older individuals are another group at high risk. Remember, too that caffeine and alcohol are diuretics. If you take in a lot of either, even the night before, you may start out the morning borderline dehydrated and need more water. Drink water on rising as a rule, as well as throughout the day. Stay away from soft-drinks, beer, or even milk as your sources of hydration. Water is still best- and don't drink it ice-cold.

Fatigue increases and performance declines as body temperature rises. You're likelier to feel poorly immediately after and often into the next day, if you dehydrate during exercise.

What to do: Drink two 8 ounce cups of water 2 hours before vigorous activity. If that's not possible, drink 8 to 16 ounces before the activity and continue to drink throughout the activity, especially if its hot.. 8-12 ounces of cool, again, not ice cold water, every 15 minutes or so. The minerals lost during routine exercise are usually replaced by meals and snacks, unless one is involved in vigorous exercise for over an hour.

Back to Top


Healing Power of Music

You've heard about the Mozart effect. Play Mozart's music for your infants and they are likely to maximize their intelligence development and improve retention - or at least so recent studies suggest.

Now, one of our contributing editors has come across a four CD set titled "Healing Music." The composers are pioneers in researching the effects of sound and music on the functioning of body and brain. Dr. Jeffrey Thompson's Inner Dance worked for us better than any relaxation tape we'd ever tried. Boris Mourashkin's "Points of Light" appears also to facilitate the reduction of stress. Jim Oliver's music also did the trick. For information, call The Relaxation Company at 1-800-788-6670. Our contributor found his set at Barnes and Noble.

Back to Top