Air travel: staying healthy and arriving happy.
Whether you travel for work or taking the vacation of a lifetime, stay healthy with a few tips from this physical therapist, who loves to travel and wants everyone to stay healthy.
The once perceived glamor of air travel in times past has evolved into long lines, safety checks, larger carryon bags, completely full flights and cramped seating. Throw confined space with recycled air, jet lag, change in diet and altered exercise routines and it is amazing anyone who travels stays healthy. Many of these travel complaints cannot be completely avoided however with a little planning you can at least arrive at your destination healthier and happier.
Part one- Packing list:
Unfortunately, you cannot prevent the woman or man sitting next to you who has not bathed in a while or is wearing too much cologne, or worse still, both. The screaming child or the talkative neighbor is the Russian Roulette of air travel. So, it is best to first pack your patience then a few essentials like toothbrush and ID. After that considering packing following items:
1. Empty refillable water bottle, fill up once you are past TSA. Hydration is important. Dehydration is one risk factor for deep vein thrombosis (discussed later in this series of articles)
2. Healthy snacks: it is hard to resist fast food when hungry and when there are reduced healthy options. Avoid heavy meals right before flying, you don’t digest well sitting in a cramped space and it makes the seat even more uncomfortable.
3. Prevent the spread of unwanted germs. Pack hand sanitizer to use when you are not near running water. Otherwise, wash your hands often be sure to rub hands together with soap for at least 20 seconds. This is about the time it takes to sing Happy birthday to You twice.
4. Pashmina, blanket or jacket. As someone who is always cold I never leave home without it, even when going to the tropics (at 35,000 feet the air is colder). It can always double as a pillow behind your back to improve spine support.
5. Relaxing music downloaded on your phone with noise cancelling headphones. Reduce stress and attempt to tune out the agitating noise that comes with public transportation.
6. Entertainment of choice: Not all planes have TV screens and these entertainment systems do not always work so bring your own. Old fashioned books have no battery to die but for long tips can add weight to your luggage. Tablets and e-readers are convenient, but you have to consider how you hold them and what position your head tends to be in when using these devices. The flight goes much faster if you can sleep or at least keep your mind occupied.
7. Workout clothes or at least one comfortable outfit and shoes that can be worn to go for walk and get outside when you reach your destination. Studies show, going outside around 2pm at your destination helps reduce jet lag and assists your body in adjusting to the new time zone.
Check in next time for tips on managing luggage!