Are you and your family in the midst of preparing for a much-needed, and long-anticipated, summer vacation? If your summer vacation plans include air travel, I have found some healthy tips for a "fitter, fatigue-free flight".
"Cherry-pick Your Snacks: Combat jet lag by bagging cherries -- rich in sleep-regulating melatonin, plus a high water content to help you stay hydrated. Just rinse the fruit at home and place in a re-sealable plastic bag with a few paper towels - and don't forget a separate baggie for the pits. Other healthy snack ideas include: unsalted nuts/trail mix, mini-boxes of raisins, fruit bowls, pre-cut veggies or apple slices."
"Walk, Don't Ride: Staying fit while traveling can reduce your risk of deep vein thrombosis (sometimes called "economy class syndrome") and give your brain and body a needed boost. Start at the airport by eschewing people-movers in favor of getting to your gate on your own steam."
"Upgrade with Kiwis: the fuzzy fruit's anti-clotting activity is also a guard against economy class syndrome. Bonus: stress (including airport aggravation) can deplete your body's stores of vitamin C, while just one kiwi can provide 120% of your daily C needs."
"Exercise Your Options: Both airlines and airports are increasingly offering opportunities to tone up either in flight or during a layover. One of the airlines offers an "On the Fly" fitness kit that weighs less than a pound and includes a ball, resistance band and guidebook.
"Some airports even offer fitness centers on property, while many gyms are just a short taxi ride from the airport. Visit http://www.airportgyms.com/ for a comprehensive list of nearby fitness centers the next time you travel."
"Wage Germ Warfare: Avoid catching a cold when catching a flight by washing hands thoroughly and bringing along your own hand sanitizing gel. Boost your immune system before flight by including foods like leafy greens (support bacteria-busting white blood cells), citrus (inactivates a variety of viruses) and garlic (anti-bacterial compounds clear away toxins and germs)."
"Bypass Booze: Dry plane air doesn't need any help in dehydrating your skin. Opt for juice and water over cocktails. Skip soda too, as caffeine acts as a diuretic."
"Once you've arrived at your destination, resist the temptation to veg-out or slide on your exercise routine. Research suggests that working out helps re-set your circadian rhythms, thereby adjusting your internal clock to the new time zone. Exercise each morning at your destination. Try avoiding the mindset that calories consumed while traveling somehow don't count, so you won't bring home extra pounds along with your trip souvenirs."
(Source: Dole Nutrition)
If you are on a longer flight (more than 6-8 hours), here are some other tips that are recommended for all travelers:
* Stand up and walk around every hour or two
* Avoid smoking
* Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing
* Flex and extend the ankles and knees periodically; avoid crossing the legs, and change positions frequently while seated
* Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration; non-alcoholic beverages are preferred
* Consider wearing knee-high compression stockings
Additionally, if you have any of these conditions or symptoms when you fly, consider a few of these suggestions:
"Ear and sinus symptoms — The change in air pressure during flight may cause ear and sinus symptoms, especially for travelers with upper respiratory tract infections. These symptoms may include difficulty hearing and pain in the ears or sinuses. In most individuals, the symptoms can be prevented by taking an oral (pseudoephedrine) or nasal spray (oxymetazoline) decongestants or antihistamines (diphenhydramine)."
"Motion sickness — Individuals who suffer with motion sickness can take a medication before a flight (or before sailing if on a cruise ship) to prevent this condition. Over-the-counter drugs work for most individuals; a clinician can recommend a prescription-strength medication if needed."
"Jet lag— Travelers who cross several time zones may experience jet lag. In general, it takes longer to recover from jet lag after flying west to east than east to west. Adult travelers crossing five or more time zones are likely to benefit from melatonin, especially if they have experienced jet lag on previous journeys. It is also reasonable for people making such a journey for the first time to take melatonin, if jet lag might seriously interfere with work or leisure activities at their destination. Travelers crossing two to four time zones may also try melatonin."
"The recommended dose of melatonin is 2 or 3 mg about 30 minutes before bedtime on the day of travel and for up to four days after arrival; a dose of 0.5 mg has less effect on sleep, but can help the person to adapt to the new time zone. A test dose taken at home before travel may help determine which dose is most appropriate. Alcohol should be avoided with melatonin."
(Source: Up to Date)
Do you have any healthy tips for air travelers that you would like to share?
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