Long-haul flights generally involve flying through different time zones, and that means jet lag. Travelling on a long flight also doubles your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, which is a potentially fatal condition. Embarking on flights that last four hours or longer also involves breathing re-circulated air that other people have also breathed. Thus going to faraway places can actually be quite hazardous to your health. Fortunately there are certain measures that you can take in order to minimize the risks when you’re travelling long distances by plane.
Take Aspirin and Vitamin C before You Travel
Before embarking on a flight lasting four hours or longer, it is important to take a low-dose aspirin to thin your blood. Taking aspirin to thin your blood during the flight helps to reduce the risk deep vein thrombosis. It is also in your best interest to continue taking low-dose aspirin on a daily basis for a couple of weeks after your flight. It’s a good idea to take a vitamin C supplement before you fly for four hours or more. Breathing in re-circulated air could mean coming into contact with airborne viruses or bacteria. Taking vitamin C before you fly can help bolster your immune system so that you’re less likely to catch a cold or flu virus.
Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing
If you are seated in a cramped space for four hours or longer, the blood can stagnate in your veins. This blood stagnation can cause a blood clot (venous thromboembolism) to form in your leg. Tight clothing may increase the risk of blood stagnation in the veins. Thus when you plan to fly for more than four hours, it is wise to wear loose clothing that feels comfortable and doesn’t restrict blood flow. Wearing clothes that fit comfortably should also help to make your flight more enjoyable and relaxing. After all, it’s difficult to relax when you are wearing restrictive clothing that cuts into your flesh.
Keep On Moving
Airplane seats are not generally very comfortable unless you can afford a first class ticket. Instead seats are often cramped and don’t offer enough leg room. However there is no rule that says you must remain seated for the duration of the flight. Try to get up and walk around the plane at regular intervals, even if it is just to visit the bathroom. You should also move your feet and wiggle your toes while you are seated. This should help to improve the circulation of blood throughout your body.
During a long-haul flight you should try to make sure you stay hydrated because the air in airplane cabins is generally very dry. Breathing in dry air can lead to respiratory problems and overall dehydration. Drinking plenty of fluids on flights of long duration can help protect your health from the detrimental effects of breathing in dry air. Staying hydrated when you fly also helps to keep your blood from becoming too thick. When your blood is thicker than it should be, you are more susceptible to blood clots. Drinking plenty of water while you are flying keeps your blood thin. When you are flying, you should try to avoid drinking alcohol because it can contribute to dehydration and the associated health risks.
Stress is not good for your health. Long flights can be stressful. Thus it is a good idea to do what you can to minimize your stress levels when you are flying. One of the ways you can remain calm and relaxed during a flight is to make use of the entertainment provided. Most airlines make sure their passengers have access to movies, TV shows and music during a long-haul flight lasting four hours or longer. You can use the headphones provided by the airline to tune in to the entertainment and drown out the noise of crying babies and bored children.
Flying through different time zones can be hard on your body because it plays havoc with your circadian cycle. Thus it isn’t unusual to suffer from jet lag after a long-haul flight. You can reduce the impact of jet lag by trying your best to take short naps during the flight. Grabbing just twenty minutes rest can do a great deal to make you feel refreshed and restored.