5 Tips for Healthy Flying
Leaving on a jet plane anytime soon? You may be concerned about safety but have you considered your health? The friendly skies might not be as friendly as you think at least when it comes to your health! Here are some tips to fortify your body against germs and the exhaustion that usually accompanies traveling, so that you can walk off the plane with a skip in your step.
Combat the Danger Zone
Tip #1 – Move
One of the biggest threats to your health while in air is a condition called deep vein thrombosis or in other words leg clots. Certainly not the souvenir you want to take with you from your travels. The deep veins in your legs have one-way valves; blood only moves toward the heart and requires muscle contraction to do so. One of the signs of DVT is warmth, swelling or pain around the clot area. Reddish or bluish skin may also accompany the clot site. The risk is said to be higher when flying for more than four hours, this is why the first tip is to MOVE! When it’s safe to “move about” walk up and down the aisle, take periodic bathroom breaks, even pointing and flexing your feet and leg raises can help keep your blood circulating.
Tip #2 – Magnesium
Have you ever walked off the plane just feeling bloated? The cause and effect with flying and inflation is that as the air pressure rises in the cabin, your digestive system starts to slow down. So what can be done to combat this “airborne” side effect? Besides avoiding carbonated drinks and continuous snacking during the flight, taking a magnesium supplement or eating magnesium-rich snacks such as nuts will aid in deflation!
Tip #3 – Sleep
One of the keys to a strong immune system is sleep. A well-rested body is able to fight off germs, but a worn-out, exhausted body is just a sitting duck for the next person who sneezes. Sleep is crucial to a healthy and enjoyable trip. You should be well-rested when you board the plane don’t depend on shut-eye during the flight as turbulence, seat mates and other factors many times prevent this good intention from happening. According to Medical News Today here’s how to sleep strategically:
If you are flying WEST (eg Paris to Vancouver, Bangkok to London): stay awake as long as you can when you get there. It is easier to endure a longer day that it is to shorten your body’s natural rhythm. Also, if you can, try going to bed and getting up later for a few days before you travel.
If you are flying EAST (eg Mexico City to Frankfurt, Johannesburg to Sydney): try to sleep on the plane while it is night time at your destination. When you arrive, try not to sleep during the day, or it will take longer for your body clock to change to the new time zone. You can also prepare for the adjustment by getting up and going to bed earlier for a few days before you travel.
Tip #4 – Hydrate
Yes you should drink water while flying, but don’t forget that it is equally important to be hydrated when you board the plane. The flight can be taxing on your body and the dry air on the planes can leave your body in a state of dehydration, which can leave you vulnerable to developing deep vein thrombosis. A hydrated body is also able to defend against germs by flushing them out of the body. Say yes to water, just make sure you are also saying no to alcohol, as it is a contributor to dehydration.
Tip #5 – Sanitize
Considering the minimal amount of time allotted for cleaning airplanes, you have to wonder what germs get left behind! You may want to start bringing sanitizer wipes for the tray table, the arm rests and of course for your own hands and anything else that needs a good wipe down! You may also want to wash or sanitize your hands after reading a magazine in the back pocket on the seat in front of you as everything from diapers to used Kleenex has been found in there!
How do you plan to “get away” in a healthy way?
Lakeview Family Wellness is your #1 Eastside and Seattle Wellness Center. We are a naturopathic medical clinic located at the very northern tip of Lake Washington between Seattle and Bothell in the city of Kenmore. At Lake View Family Wellness, we specialize in integrative medicine for the whole person. We emphasize people and not diseases while offering practical, real solutions to conditions and concerns such as: Diet, fitness, preventive care, women’s health, men’s health, cancer, chronic pain, common colds, autoimmune disease, and genetics.
Naturopathic medicine provides alternative, natural solutions for the most stubborn conditions. The doctors at Lake View Family Wellness utilize individualized nutrition strategies, pharmaceutical grade supplementation, intravenous (IV) therapy and a host of lifestyle modifying tools to make sure you reach your health goals. Creating opportunity for your body to overcome disease and surge in health is our number one priority. We hope to encourage and enable you to reach untold heights in your health journey. We look forward to serving you here at Lake View Family Wellness!
Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at 425-219-4325 (HEAL)
Dr. Jeff Thomas, ND
Dr. James Pendleton, ND
Dr. Carrie Miller, ND
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