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Staying Healthy on Long-Haul Flights

As most of us know from harsh experience, preparing for a holiday can be a stressful exercise before we even step foot on a plane.

Remembering passports, travel money and tickets, travelling to the airport, queuing for check in and then security - not to mention any delays to flight can all leave us feeling exhausted and under strain.

The additional stresses that come with taking a long-haul flight, mean ones mental and physical state can be much the worse for wear by the time we land and begin our supposedly relaxing holiday.

This article suggests some ways you can help stay feeling healthy on long-haul flights.

A long-haul flight is generally considered to be any flight lasting longer than seven hours. This is a long time to be sat immobile and this immobility can cause circulation problems such as blood clots and DVT (deep vein thrombosis) which can be fatal.

Here are some tips that can help:

Stay active:
To combat these circulatory problems it is important to keep your legs moving throughout your flight.

In their in-flight magazine or videos, the majority of airlines will suggest various exercises that you can do in your seat during the flight to keep your legs active. You should also try to keep mobile by getting out of your seat and walking along the cabin for 5 or 10 minutes each hour during the flight.

Also, avoid crossing your ankles, drinking alcohol or caffeine and consider wearing compression socks, which are medically proven to help combat flight related DVT.

Drink lots of water:
Another point to remember is that it is important to stay hydrated during the flight. The air inside a planes cabin in-flight is very dry (the humidity level in a plane is 20% which is 5% lower than the humidity level in the Sahara desert).

So drink plenty of water or non-alcoholic drinks before boarding and regularly during the flight. By the way, alcohol itself makes people feel more dehydrated, so try to avoid drinking too much as you will feel a lot worse.

One point to remember is that restrictions on taking liquids onto a plane mean you will have to buy any water you take on board after passing through security into the departure lounge.

Reduce jet lag:
Long-haul flights can leave you jet-lagged as your body clock struggles to adjust to a new time zone. Jet lag can leave you feeling fatigued and exhausted or unable to sleep. There are a few ways you can attempt to prevent jet lag.

As previously mentioned avoid alcohol before and during your flight and also drink plenty of water. Try setting your watch to the local time of your destination as soon as your flight begins and then try to sleep on the plane when your watch says it is bedtime.

If it is still daytime when your flight lands, try to stay awake until night time no matter how tired you are. Try and get out into the sunshine as this will help to alter your body clock and adjust quicker.

Some people find that taking melatonin, a type of hormone, can help reduce jet lag. You should speak to your doctor about this and to obtain a prescription.

Hopefully by using these suggestions you will arrive feeling fit and healthy and able to fully enjoy your holiday.



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