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Wisdom of the Body

Aug 13, 2021

Listen to airline pilot Gary explain to Heather how a pilot prepares his body for flying. Gary has flown the U-2 Dragon Lady, a high-altitude plane that goes twice as high as the planes that most humans have been on. Learn about the physical demands of being a pilot and what can happen if you don't properly exercise, hydrate or eat right before or during the flight. Reflect on the changes that occur during air travel and how those affect your body - and what you can do to maintain your health and balance when traveling. 

In this episode, Heather and Gary discuss:

  • What your body feels like to fly different types of planes
  • Aging and wind
  • Exercising to increase blood flow and avoid decompression sickness
  • The importance of hydration
  • How to manage your diet when you’re on a mission in a spacesuit, and can’t poop for 12 hours
  • How the curvature of the earth looks when you are up so high (nope, the earth is not flat)
  • What G-Force is, and what it feels like when one is “pulling Gs”
  • Passing out and tunnel vision
  • Ayurvedic travel tips
  • When planes hit turbulence because of changes in thermal energy
  • How safe the air is on a plane

Gary is a current airline pilot with approximately 7,000 hours flying both military and civilian aircraft.  Gary started flying when he was 19 years old where he earned his private pilot's license in 1998.  In 2000, Gary went to the US Navy's Officer Candidate School where he was commissioned as an Ensign in February, 2001. From there he went to pilot training and earned his Naval Aviator wings in April of 2002. Gary was selected to fly the P-3C Orion in Brunswick, ME. From 2003-2006, Gary completed two six month deployments as a P-3C Pilot and Mission Commander. After his P-3 he relocated to Pensacola, FL where he instructed new Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aviators during their primary phase of flight training in the T-34C. After this 3-year tour, Gary received a unique opportunity to fly the U-2S Dragon Lady, and T-38A Talon for the US Air Force at Beale Air Force Base, CA. After several deployments and 1,000 hours in the U-2, Gary left active duty and relocated back to the east coast to fly the C-130J for the Rhode Island Air National Guard. Gary has recently retired from the military and now flies the Airbus A-320 for a legacy airline. Only astronauts fly higher than Gary has.

Heather Grzych is the author of The Ayurvedic Guide to Fertility and the host of the Wisdom of the Body podcast. A board-certified Ayurvedic practitioner, she bridges the worlds of conventional and alternative medicine to help women and men heal their physical and emotional lives. Heather is on the board of directors for the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) and has consulted with doctors, governments, and insurance companies. She offers virtual consultations and programs worldwide.  

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This podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only.