Tips for Healthy Long-Distance Travelling

Holiday season has officially begun with airports bustling and streams of Instagrams of exotic locations appearing on our feeds. Some of you may have a long-haul flight planned, in which case maintaining a healthy physical state and mindset are essential.

 

Staying hydrated, adjusting your body clock, packing nutritious snacks and moving throughout the flight to avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) will ensure an enjoyable and memorable time away with family and friends. Here are a few tips so that health remains a priority while you taking off on your adventures!

KEEP MOVING

Earlier this year, Hong Kong-based airline, Cathay Pacific, joined forces with premium wellness brand, Pure Yoga, to introduce an in-flight wellness and yoga campaign, “Travel Well With Yoga”. The six episode video series shares yoga and meditation exercises pre, during and post the flight, all designed to be performed whilst seated. These improve circulation, enhance joint mobility, and relax the mind for a comfortable and restful journey.”

Lucky you if you are flying with this airline because movement during flight is super important according to our Osteopath Matt Everitt. Matt has a few of his own tips for long-haul flights which we could all take on board – meditation and rotation!  Acknowledging that keeping moving on a plane can be difficult, Matt explains that the biggest problem areas during long periods of sitting are the thoracic spine (upper back) and hips. So to maintain good motion of these areas during long periods of sitting. do rotational and side bending movements and consider some deep breathing – great for relaxation too! He also suggests walking up and down the aisle and finding somewhere you can do some squats – maybe even when in transit.

Movement during your flight prevents conditions such as DVT too. DVT is a burden for many travelers, caused by sitting for extended periods of time in cramped spaces, resulting in potential slow blood circulation. DVT is classically characterised by pain in the calf, foot, or leg, as well as swelling, tenderness or warm skin. Practical steps to avoid DVT are to ask your doctor for compression stockings which aid in the prevention of clots, go for short walks up and down the airplane aisles, stay hydrated with water, and to wear loose-fitting clothing whilst travelling.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Jet lag can cause havoc with the body, so work out how best you can adjust to new time zones and get the zzz’s you need when flying high. The Wall Street Journal and Travel + Leisure Magazine have been praising a new App called Timeshifter which aims to make jet lag history. It’s a tool based on the latest research in sleep and circadian neuroscience, advising you to take small actions at specific times working out a personalised schedule for you. It “uniquely combines the only elements that have been shown to significantly reset the circadian clock (light exposure and melatonin)” helping optimise your performance, enjoyment, and health when traveling. Worth checking out for your next trip away!

PACK NUTRITIOUS SNACKS

One of the most essential tips of healthy travel is to maintain healthy and balanced eating habits. Nuts and seeds are a great snack to pack containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, antioxidant phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. Dried or freeze dried fruit, such as dried mango and apple chips, are also a convenient snack containing a lot of fibre and a great source of antioxidants, especially polyphenols which provide health  benefits such as improved blood flow, better digestive health and decreased oxidative damage. Packaged protein bars and slices are great for on-the-go, with benefits including increased energy levels, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels and reduced constipation. Make sure you read the labels and choose low-sugar and high protein options available from health food stores and most supermarkets.

STAY HYDRATED

Drinking water is crucial when flying as air conditioning and altitude can dehydrate the body. To prevent dehydration, make sure you bring along your filled reusable water bottle so you can keep track of how much you drink – and don’t be shy to ask it to be refilled! Ideally avoiding alcohol is also a good idea, as this can dehydrate you even further.

Wherever you are heading this summer, we wish you safe travels and a healthy happy holiday!

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