When flying, your health will suffer, not just during a long haul flight. Therefore, you need to look after your health when flying (besides your comfort during long haul flights).
You will sit a lot, won’t eat as regularly as you usually do, suffer from jetlag, etc. All this might upset your tummy or cause sleeping problems. Although there is no magical potion to completely rid you off these ailments, a proper diet is key.
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Hydrate Before and During the Flight
Rule number one is to drink plenty. Bring your own water bottle and refill after you have passed security. Drink as much as you can before and during the flight. You might need to purchase a drink if you are flying with a low-cost carrier. Learn from my mistake and don’t end up in hospital due to dehydration.
Sanitise And Stay Healthy
Even though planes are tidied up after each flight, that doesn’t necessarily mean that utmost cleanliness will present itself upon boarding. You have to take the hand sanitizer with you and put it to good use. If you are really worried about germs and your health, you can sanitise your tray, entertainment screen and armrests. Then, do the same with your hands.
Move Around During the Flight
The problem with sitting still in a crammed position over a long period of time (and no, quick walks to the toilet do not really count) is the risk for deep vein thrombosis. Especially in combination with a lack of water intake, this can pose a serious problem. Therefore, get up regularly, walk the aisle, stretch, do some seat exercises (models do it) and wear travel compression socks.
Adjust Your Sleep Schedule
Especially since you’re crossing time zones and your inner body clock will be confused, you need to trick it into adapting. This means, adjusting your sleeping schedule at least a week before your flight if possible, get out into the daylight sun once you arrive and go bed when it’s night time. Don’t sleep inbetween as that might throw you off even more. To sleep better on flights, you could even consider taking melatonin or a light tranquilliser subscribed by your doctor. But at the very least, have a travel neck pillow and eye mask at your disposal.
Watch Your Stomach Health
To help your stomach not get all upset, you need to eat more consciously and abstain from chewing gum, caffeine, alcohol, fizzy drinks and fatty foods. Also, avoid beans, cauliflower and broccoli as they will lead to bloating. Instead, opt for probiotic drinks, raw vegetables, yogurt and lean grilled meats. To help you swallow so as to release pressure on your ears, you can chew on hard candy. On top of that, you can use a little bit of cinnamon and cardamom to aid your digestion.
Look After your Immune System
Since you can can’t do much about other people’s germs circulating in the cabin air (no hand sanitiser will do), you have to strengthen your own immune system and health when flying – already before your flight. Wear layered clothes to take off or put on depending on different temperatures around the airport and during the flight. The cabin usually cools down once the flight starts and I always freeze so much. Stock up on vitamins or – even better yet – eat actual fruits and vegetables.
Cancel out Noise
Is it just me or is the noise on airplanes just the worst? This constant buzzing, the chatter – even during sleep times. Having noise cancelling earphones to play soothing music or watch the onboard entertainment is definitely an asset If you can fall asleep in them, great. But maybe you should also bring ear plugs with you. Some people even say they help with clogged ears due to the air pressure changes.
These were six essential hacks to hep you look after your health when flying. I know these may seem simple but if you are honest with yourself, do you actually follow them all? How often have you thought, screw it, let’s just treat yourself to a coke or glass of champagne? How often do you order the veggie dishes instead of the greasy pasta? And do you actually go up to walk around in flights or does it make you feel awkwardly self-conscious. You need to remember, your health matters. What other people think of you does not.
So tell me, how well do you look after your health when flying?