Hands up if you enjoy air travel. If you fly Business or First Class then you are probably jumping out of your seat right now! If, like most folks involved in start-ups and growing organisations, you fly Economy Class your experience may be completely different. Here are some tips to keep you healthy on your flight:
Drink as much water as you can during your flight. Especially if you are on a long haul. When you are dehydrated your blood thickens which increases your risk of blood clots and therefore Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). The low humidity within the cabin also contributes to moisture evaporating from your body at a higher rate. To combat this, I always travel with a water bottle that I refill and keep beside me during the flight. I also like to carry hand and face moisturisers with me.
Long periods of sitting result in poor circulation and again leave you at risk of DVT. By sitting in an aisle seat you have the freedom to get up and walk around the plane at your leisure. Even if you’re in a window seat you should still make a point of getting up regulary to walk up and down the aisles as this will improve your circulation during the flight – your neighbours might not appreciate you for this though!
Sitting can play havoc with your back and hips so have a stretch. Find a spot on the plane where you can stretch your calf muscles, quads and hamstrings. Take a forward fold or some twisting postures to get your back muscles and spine moving.
To improve your circulation, you can lie with your legs up the wall but you may get very strange looks if you do this on the plane. I like to do this after a flight when I’m in my hotel room. During your flight, however, you can elevate your feet by resting them on your hand luggage under your seat or if you are lucky and have an empty seat beside you, put them up on the seat.
Whilst you’re sitting in your seat clench and relax your leg muscles 15 times. This can help to get the blood moving. This is good to do if you are sitting at a window or mid-row seat and don’t want to keep asking your neighbour to let you out for a walk.
There is wide debate about the efficacy of Aspirin and whether it helps in the prevention of DVT. There are also concerns in using Aspirin as it has been associated with stomach bleeds. Consult your GP or healthcare practitioner on whether taking this drug would be suitable for you before your travels.
Alcohol dehydrates the body so when you’re already in a low humidity atmosphere it isn’t a good idea to consume vast amounts of alcohol. I do like a glass of wine with my in-flight meal though!
This little wonder fruit contains flavonoids which are already know to help with the prevention of cardiovascular disease. They’re now associated with the prevention of blood thickening. Professor Asim Duttaroy and his team at the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen carried out a study that showed that blood ‘stickiness’ was reduced by an average of 70 per cent in 220 volunteers who drank juice containing the tomato extract. The benefits of a single drink lasted for 18 hours. Even if you don’t like the taste of the drink when you are on the ground, your taste receptors behave differently at 30000 feet so give it a try with or without the vodka!