Make Wellness A Priority At Your Annual Event!

I’m so excited to see C-Suite executives make Wellness, Stress Management and Mindfulness a top priority in their companies!

Thoughts from one of my CEO clients:

“We invited John in to speak to our entire team during our annual meeting and 20th anniversary celebration. His session was a favorite among the group. It was extremely informative, fast paced and interactive. John could have stayed for an additional hour or two answering our team’s questions. I would highly recommend him for any type of meeting, especially when you are trying to show your team that you truly care about their well-being and overall health.”

Are you planning your company’s annual meeting and looking for a way to incorporate these ideas into your event?

Burnout and high stress in companies is BIG these days, and has a HUGE impact on employees – especially sales reps.

As a Natural health practitioner and 25+ year IBM sales rep/trainer, I provide a unique perspective on how Wellness (especially when traveling) can help BOOST your sales by helping your team operate at their highest level.

I led a team that closed the largest software deal in the history of IBM ($1B) and know personally how stressful sales can be!

I went through a long process to get my health back and would be honored to share with your team.

Let me show THEM how to stay energized, healthy and balanced (especially when traveling) so that they can give their best to YOU!

If you’d like a copy of my top 3 travel wellness tips (along with a sample packing list) – go HERE  and type TRAVEL (no opt-in required).

Book John to speak at your next event or meeting to show your participants how to manage stress as they travel so that they can be at their best – either for business or leisure!

 

What is a naturopath anyway?

So, what is a naturopath anyway?

You may have heard of other natural health practitioners like chiropractors, acupuncturists and certainly massage therapists, but may not be familiar with naturopaths.

We learn a little bit about a variety of different natural health modalities, and are like natural health consultants to help you learn the best ways to help your body heal!

As I often tell my clients “Only YOU heal you!” – we all just help.

This is one of the biggest lessons I learned during my personal journey back to health: It is MY responsibility!

We pay doctors and practitioners to be on our health team and to share their best advice. But, in the end, YOU have to make the decisions on the best way for your body to heal itself.

As you pursue your health journey, I hope you’ll consider checking out the variety of integrative practitioners who are available to help you.

 

If you’d like a copy of my top 3 travel wellness tips (along with a sample packing list and other valuable documents) – go HERE  and type TRAVEL (no opt-in required).

Book John to speak at your next event or meeting to show your participants how to manage stress as they travel so that they can be at their best – either for business or leisure!

I also work with individual clients worldwide if that is of interest.

 

Looking for a Fresh Speaker for Incentive and Sales Kick-off Events?

Are you looking for a fresh topic for your upcoming Sales Kick-off or Incentive events?

We are reading quite a bit about burnout in the news and the impact that it can have on employees – especially sales reps.

As a 25+ year IBM sales rep and trainer, my presentation will provide a unique perspective on how Wellness (especially when traveling) can help BOOST your sales by helping your team operate at their highest level.

I had an opportunity to lead a team that closed the largest software deal in the history of IBM ($1B) and know personally how stressful sales can be!

I went through a long process to get my health back and would be honored to share with your team.

When your sales team doesn’t feel their best, it’s difficult for them to give their best – and that hurts your business.

Let me show THEM how to stay energized, healthy and balanced (especially when traveling) so that they can give their best to YOU!

Send me a message so we can schedule a few minutes to discuss your event.

 

If you’d like a copy of my top 3 travel wellness tips (along with a sample packing list) – go HERE  and type TRAVEL (no opt-in required).

 

Book John to speak at your next event or meeting to show your participants how to manage stress as they travel so that they can be at their best – either for business or leisure!

 

Airplane Water Is Dirtier Than You Think

One of the best things you can do for your health (especially when traveling) is to drink lots of filtered water.

I highly recommend bringing a bottle on the plane with you and only getting it refilled from a plastic bottle. I ask for “2 cups of water with no ice” and refill my bottle throughout the flight.

Please  be aware of this information with regards to coffee and tea on a plane – NOT your best option!


You may want to think twice before ordering coffee or tea on an airplane ― or even washing your hands with the lavatory water.

A new study from Hunter College’s New York City Food Policy Center and the not-for-profit organization Diet Detective raises concerns about airline water quality. The 2019 Airline Water Study ranks 11 major airlines and 12 regional airlines based on the quality of the galley water.

So How Does This Affect Travelers?

The report confirms what previous studies have shown: You should not drink airplane water.

Flight attendants pour drinking water from bottles, but airlines still use galley water in the coffee and tea they serve. Passengers also come into contact with it when washing their hands or even taking a drink from the sinks in the lavatories.

Airplane coffee has come under fire in the past due to other concerns about container cleanliness and even coffee maker-induced flight delays. Platkin advises travelers to steer clear of tea and coffee, particularly on those airlines with the lowest water scores.

“I also don’t wash my hands in the lavatory anymore,” he noted. “I make sure to have sanitizer. If you wash your hands in what could potentially be unsafe water, it sort of negates the whole process of actually washing your hands. You could be spreading E. coli all over… Sure, it’s not likely, but why should you take any chance?”

 

[button link=”https://www.huffpost.com/entry/airline-water-quality_l_5d8152f7e4b03ec1bc96639b” newwindow=”yes”] Full Article[/button]

Is the Sun Really Harmful for You?

You definitely want to avoid sunburn, but it turns out that there are some major benefits to getting sun exposure on your bare skin – not the least of which is helping your body create an amazing hormone that we tend to be very deficient in these days (see video)!

Sunlight also helps to reset your body’s circadian rhythm, very helpful when traveling across multiple time zones!

Your body has evolved to be in synch with the cycles of the planet, but advancements in technology (e.g. jet travel, electricity) have caused us to lose harmony with these cycles: flying around the world, staying up with electronics when we should be sleeping, etc.

How can you change that?

Travel well.

If you’d like a copy of my top 3 travel wellness tips (along with a sample packing list) – go HERE  and type TRAVEL (no opt-in required).

 

Book John to speak at your next event or meeting to show your participants how to manage stress as they travel so that they can be at their best – either for business or leisure!

 

 

How Not to Get Sick While Traveling (+ How Chia Seeds Can Help)!

So honored to have my work highlighted in a Blue Zones interview!


We’ve all been there: you wake up on the first full day of your much-anticipated beach vacation with a sore throat and runny nose, you are on a business trip and arrive at your first meeting with a pounding head, or you touch down from your fun vacation and immediately get laid up with a cold.

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, we’re all traveling more than ever according to a global study by the World Tourism Organisation. Stateside, overseas travel has increased by over 170% in the last 20 years, thanks in part to the rise of travel planning online. Business travel spending is expected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2022, which seems to be a reflection of the overall global economy. As a company, Blue Zones was founded by explorers, researchers, and journalists, and we all spend many days on the road.

For help with staying healthy on the road, we turned to John Ayo, a healthy travel expert and keynote speaker who is the author of Travel Balance: Where Healthy Travel Drives Greater Business Profitability. John spent 30+ years traveling around the world for IBM, and he has spoken to thousands of people in dozens of countries on how to stay sane and healthy while traveling. He also consults with businesses and organizations that want to keep their employees healthier and happier.

He shared his inside secrets to reducing stress on the road:

 

Blue Zones: How did you go from a corporate job to being a travel wellness guru?

John Ayo: I had a long, successful career at IBM. I led the team that closed the biggest software deal in the company’s history for over $1B. There was a period there that I was on the road a lot, wasn’t fulfilled, was constantly sick and in pain, and could never get any sleep. I had it all: sinus infections in Tokyo, digestive trouble in Mexico, and the flu in London. And then I still had to go and do my job.

I went to countless doctors and had so many scans and tests and no one could figure out what was going on. They mostly said it was in my head.  I finally went to chiropractors, acupuncturists, and alternative therapists and started feeling better. I’m an engineer by trade, and my problem-solving brain kicked in. I was still working, but I went back to school to get a doctorate in naturopathy.

Towards the end of my time at IBM, I was leading a sales class in 26 countries and was constantly flying and on the road. But I had learned how to stay healthy and energized while traveling, which is why I wrote Travel Balance.  It is incredible how much healthy travel affects productivity and the bottom line. That was of interest to businesses, of course, and that’s how I started consulting and speaking about travel wellness. I’m an engineer with an MBA and an ND (Doctorate in Naturopathy), so I can connect with corporate audiences.

BZ: It’s refreshing to hear that corporations are interested in keeping their employees healthy, even if it is for productivity.

JA: It’s a win-win. If you improve employee health and reduce travel sickness, you increase productivity and reduce absenteeism. Business travelers lose an average of 6.9 hours of productivity due to stress, and they’re also at risk of losing overall productivity due to frequent work travel. My advice also applies to the leisure world, of course. Travel is better when you aren’t sick or exhausted from lack of sleep.

BZ: So what are some of the things companies can do to help their business travelers?

JA: The first thing is awareness, so the first step is getting wellness on the radar. The second is education for both individuals and their employers. How do we reduce traveler friction? The three important pieces of advice I give businesses are:

1 Book employees into decent hotels.

It doesn’t have to be luxurious, but it should be clean, safe, and comfortable so that they can get a good night’s rest.

2 Education on wellness travel for employees.

I give some of the tips below for corporations to use in their HR and employee materials.

3 Policies that allow employees to upgrade to business class on flights over 8 hours.

This last one is a little harder because it actually costs money. But the cost-saving strategy of putting one of your employees in a middle seat from the United State to India will probably not pay off if they have to get off the plane and perform for your company.

People regularly quit their jobs because of cost-saving measures like this. And that is a huge cost to companies—much more than the class upgrade or the domestic seat with extra legroom.

 

BZ: What can individuals do to stay healthy while on the road?

JA: Stress is one of the worst things for your immune system. In daily life and especially in travel, it’s not just one thing that affects stress levels. It’s many things. So it’s important to reduce the stressors where you can.

1 Wear Noise-Canceling Headphones on the Plane

Engine traffic on the plane is a major stressor for your body and mind. There have been countless studies on the effects of noise on stress and the immune system, and also studies that show that pilots wearing noise-canceling headphones have increased alertness and lower stress.

So canceling out the ambient noise during your flight is a good practice.

2 Eat and Drink Your Water!

Drink a lot of water before, during, and after flights because planes are so dehydrating. Also, eat your water through fruits and vegetables! Fruits and vegetables are made up of mostly water and are more hydrating than just plain water because they are made up of structured, or gel, water. Chia seeds can also absorb water and convert it into structured / gel water, so putting those in your water bottle or smoothie is a good practice to start. Like eating fruits and veggies, this hydrates at the cellular level. A big bonus is that chia seeds, fruits, and vegetables are also full of antioxidants and other health-promoting properties that will help your immune system.

3 Avoid These Foods When You Start to Feel Sick

When you start to feel rundown or get that telltale scratchy throat, immediately start avoiding as much sugar, dairy, and wheat as you can. This will cut out a large portion of inflammatory and processed foods from your diet so that you’re sticking to healthy whole foods.

4 Use Aromatherapy to Help Calm You Down

Smelling plant oils stimulate receptors in the nose that send chemical messages to the brain. These messages affect our mood and emotions and help us relax. Common essential oils for travel that people find helpful are lavender, lemon, chamomile, and peppermint. Lavender and chamomile are useful for stress relief and relaxation, peppermint helps with vertigo and nausea, and lemon oil helps as a mood-booster.

You can dilute the oils and spray them around your seat (they also help to block other unsightly smells!) or tap a few drops onto your travel pillow or hotel room sheets and bedding.

Anything else that can relax you by tapping into your senses is useful, as well. For example, if calming music helps you sleep or relax, then listening to that on a flight or before sleeping in a new place can help.

5 Make Sleep a Priority

The reason it’s hard for most people to sleep in hotel rooms, besides a time difference, is that your body is on high alert. So you have to make it feel safe and relaxed. Keep your phone six feet away from you and don’t use it before you sleep. Keep your room cool and dark, use essential oils or calming music, and take a warm bath or shower before trying to sleep.

If you’re going up against a big time difference and will need to deal with jet lag, however, you will do better in the long run for overall sleep if you stay awake until 9 pm on your first two nights. Also, as soon as you step onto the plane or get in the car for a road trip, put your mindset and your clock to the time at your final destination. Then eat and sleep according to that time.

 

BZ: Fascinating tips, thank you! You’ve been ahead of the curve in terms of advocating for wellness for business travelers, but any new trends that you think our readers should know about?

JA: The big story is that travel wellness is the biggest new thing in the tourism industry. Baby boomers want to travel to wellness destinations or have wellness be a component to their vacations because they are at retirement age—and now they want to focus on their health.

The best thing is prevention though, and Millenials get it. They have seen their parents stressed out and suffering and they won’t tolerate it. They will often just quit. Now Millennials are moving to executive positions, which I predict will be a great thing for workplace wellness policies.

 

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Are You Really Drinking a Beer?

Are you really drinking a beer? I thought you were a wellness guy!

Yes, it’s true…I don’t drink alcohol very often and am not advocating drinking – rather making a point about adding balance into your trip (that’s where the Balance comes into my brand).

Traveling can be quite stressful (especially business travel), so asking you to consider making the effort to get out and see the sights, eat the local food, and yes, even try the local beverages.

Belgium is well known for its beer and chocolate and it is quite remarkable.

What local delicacies (food, drink, other) have you tried and recommend for the world travelers out there?

Travel well.

 

Book John to speak at your next event or meeting to show your participants how to manage stress as they travel so that they can be at their best – either for business or leisure!

 

Is 5G Hazardous to Your Health?

5G is the latest iteration of the wireless cellular network and promises amazing connection possibilities.

However, there are MANY concerns about the impact on our health. This article presents an objective perspective on the debate.

My belief is that cellphones, and all of the ElectroMagnetic Fields (EMFs) are like cigarettes in the 1960s – back then we believed cigarettes were probably not good for our health, but people weren’t dying. Today we know better.

My concern is that it will take many years to understand the negative health implications of all these EMFs on our body.


5G promises lightning-fast speeds and the ability to power new technologies like self-driving cars and advanced augmented and virtual reality experiences. But an undercurrent to all of the things we can do with 5G is concern about what 5G can do to us.

Mobile carriers throughout the world are racing to deploy this fifth generation of cellular technology. And the biggest cellphone makers are also readying their 5G handsets. President Donald Trump has made it clear that the US must not fall behind other nations, like China, in the effort to develop and roll out the technology.

But not everyone believes the US should be pushing full steam ahead.

There are concerns that the very high-frequency spectrum known as millimeter wavelengths used in early deployments to make 5G a reality could pose adverse health effects for the public.

 

[button link=”https://www.cnet.com/news/5g-phones-and-your-health-what-you-need-to-know/” newwindow=”yes”] Read More…[/button]

Sleeping with Mirrors

Do you have trouble sleeping in hotel rooms?

There are many factors that can contribute to this, but one of the biggest reasons is that your nervous system is on “high alert” because it’s in a new place (especially that first night).

My best sleep tips involve making your hotel room as homey as you possibly can and appealing to all of your senses in the process, using familiar: smells (e.g. essential oils), sights (e.g. pictures), sounds (e.g. white noise or calming music) and feels (some people bring their own bed sheets).

In this video, I talk about one of the more unique challenges in certain hotel rooms that involves the placement of mirrors. I know this one might seem a bit odd, but give it a try.

Travel well.

Book John to speak at your event to show your group how to manage stress as they travel so that they can focus on being more productive and effective at their job!