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Flying from place to place has become a necessity, especially when it is work related travel. Entrapped in a metal tube airborne for long hours is not a very comfortable experience and is bound to put a toll on even those individuals who travel frequently. Getting jet-legged and exhausted is normal after sitting for hours in a plane. However, this experience doesn’t necessarily have to be this uncomfortable. All you have to do is take some precautions to ensure it doesn’t affect your health. Follow these tips for a comfy flight:
Sitting for long hours in a plane can result in deep vein thrombosis and blood clots. You should get up and stretch, walk around or do some leg exercises to get the blood flowing. You can even take along compression socks that help in preventing swelling and enhance circulation of blood.
Airplanes are filled with bacteria and germs. It is recommended that you keep hand sanitizers and wipes with you so you can disinfect your seat, seat belt, arm rest, tray table as well as the toilet seat and facets before you use.
Before you plan to fly, ensure that you are updated on all the vaccines. It typically takes a while to build immunity after the administration of vaccines. Consult your physician if there are any required or recommended vaccines you may need before your long travel. Furthermore, it is also important to have all your medications with you during flight.
It is normal to get dehydrated in a plane. This may worsen the leg cramps, disturb your sleep, and affect your immune system. Make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid getting dehydrated. Stay away from alcohol and sugary beverages; you can enjoy them once you have safely landed.
Deprivation of sleep can negatively affect immune system and increases the risk of various diseases. Get plenty of sleep before you are supposed to travel, try getting some sleep during flight as well, especially if you are traveling to a different time zone.
Loose fitting and comfortable clothing is always the best attire to wear when you travel long hours. Opt for fabrics that will enable your skin to breathe. During the flight, the temperature of the cabin varies in every seat. If your seat is next to a window or a doorway, it is going to be cold due to lack of insulation. Make sure you take a jacket or a wrap with you to keep yourself comfortable.
When traveling internationally, it is possible that you would have to take plenty of things with you, meaning your baggage would be heavy. Always be careful when you are handling heavy bags, especially carry-on. When lifting your bag to put in the overhead compartment or lifting your baggage off the baggage carousel, make sure you avoid bending your back but instead bend your knees to properly lift heavy bags.
Long flights can be tiring and may also affect your health – but proper precautions can help alleviate much of the discomfort. If you would like to consult with Dr. Parikh at Health One Family Medicine in Irving, TX before you flight, please visit http://www.healthonemedicine.com/ or call (469)262-5762.
Dr. Shalin Parikh, M.D. is a primary care provider offering skilled, compassionate care for patients in and around Irving and Coppell, TX.
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