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Improving wellbeing

Improving wellbeing

June 29, 2017

5 ways to feel great after a flight

image credit: iStock/yuran-78

Everyone loves heading off on a holiday, however, not everyone loves going on a flight. Not only does flying mean you need to deal with more stress before you reach your destination, it can also leave you feeling tired and sore – especially if you’re on a long-haul journey.

Sitting on a plane that offers very little legroom for extended periods of time and doesn’t give you the option of getting fresh air can mean you get lethargic and your muscles start to tense. When you want to step off the plane and enjoy your holiday straight away, this is far from ideal.

Luckily, there are things you can do to make flying easier on you and ensure you step off the plane feeling as good as possible.

Stay hydrated

When on a plane, you’re likely to feel thirstier than usual because the air is so dry. This also means it is easier to get dehydrated, which can mean you feel tired. To counter this, ensure you drink water throughout your flight and avoid alcoholic beverages, as these will make you get even more dehydrated.

It’s worth grabbing a couple of bottles of water at the airport – ¬†though you need to ensure the liquids you take on board with you adhere to airline regulations – ready to take on the plane with you. Even though drinks may be included in your flight or you might have the option to purchase something when you’re in the air, it is better to be prepared.

Move around

When you don’t need to have your seatbelt on, it is worth getting up and having a little walk down the aisles to help get your blood pumping. For long flights, make sure you do this a few times, as it will help avoid health issues like deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Even standing up by your seat and stamping your feet a couple of times and stretching your back out can help you feel better. It also means you don’t need to be the person who keeps getting other passengers to move.

Stretch

Even if you can’t really get out of your seat a lot, stretching can help to keep your blood flowing, stop your muscles from getting tense and generally help keep you awake. Small stretches make a big difference, especially if you’re on a plane for a while.

Stretches like gently rotating your neck, shrugging your shoulders, back bends (lowering yourself so your chest touches the tops of your legs), bicep curls, and thigh and glute squeezes will all be beneficial. You should also stretch your legs out whenever you can, which will reduce swelling.

Loose fitting clothing

Wearing tight clothing on a flight isn’t going to be comfortable, especially if you have a few hours to get through. When you also throw in the fact that you might not have much in the way of temperature control, you’re likely to regret your clothing choice in no time.

Instead, opt for loose-fitting clothing and a few layers. This will make it easier to move, avoid fabrics clinging to you and ensure you don’t get too hot. Layers allow you to add or remove items of clothing as you need, which is also good if you’re travelling to a hot country from a cold one or vice versa.

This also goes for shoes, as your feet often swell when you’re on flights. This means avoiding things like boots unless they have laces that can be loosened. Shoes that can be slipped on and off are a good idea, especially as taking shoes off can help you cool down.

Pack snacks

Even if you’ve only got a short flight, packing snacks is always a good idea. Healthy foods that will give you plenty of vitamins and nutrients are the best idea, as snacks that are high in fat or sugar won’t make you feel great even if you’re not on a flight.

Opt for fruit, vegetables and complex carbs so they are satisfying, healthy and keep your energy levels up. However, it is also a good idea to have something to suck or chew when the plane is taking off and landing to help reduce the effect the pressure change has on your ears. Sugar-free lozenges or chewing gum are great options.

 

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