How To Fly Healthy And Happy During The Holidays

6 Travel Tips to Healthy Flying

Not only ’tis the season to be jolly, but also the season for packing into airports. So often we become overwhelmed with packing and navigating through the air terminal that we forget to take care of ourselves along the way. If you or a loved one’s holiday season includes flying, check out the following tips for traveling with your health in mind.

1. Travel Pillow
Whenever you travel, you should always have a great travel pillow. Whether you’re sitting for an hour or several hours, a good neck pillow is a great way to allow you to relax comfortably without compromising your structural alignment. For maximum comfort look for a
natural latex pillow as those tend to provide the greatest amount of comfort compared to feather and foam pillows.

2. Seated Leg Exercises
Seated leg exercises are great for the times that you cannot get up to move around. Not only do seated leg exercises improve blood circulation, but they also improve levels of Antithrombin 3 (a protein that helps to prevent blood clots). Simply flex your toes and ankles toward yourself, and then point them away from you. Another exercises is to draw circles with your foot, using the entire ankle. The exercises should last about  3 minutes and repeated 3-4 times within an hour.

flying-people-sitting-public-transportation

3. Walking Around
When flying a common mistake is to NOT stand up and walk around when you can. Just as sitting at a desk can be detrimental to your structural alignment and your health, sitting on the plane for extended periods of time can have similar effects. Giving your body a break from sitting can help to increase circulation (prevent blood clots too), hydrate the spinal discs, and allow for your body to be in a more neutral position. As recommended by
hematology.org, try standing up at least once every couple of hours for a few minutes.

4. Compression Socks
In addition to moving your legs around, you might want to consider compression socks for the times that you are at rest. When you walk around and move your legs the muscles act as a pump  to squeeze the blood back to the heart. Compression socks help to aid in this circulation by preventing the blood from pooling into the legs and possibly forming a clot.

5. Walking Around
When flying a common mistake is to NOT stand up and walk around when you can. Just as sitting at a desk can be detrimental to your structural alignment and your health, sitting on the plane for extended periods of time can have similar effects. Giving your body a break from sitting can help to increase circulation (prevent blood clots too), hydrate the spinal discs, and allow for your body to be in a more neutral position. As recommended by
hematology.org, try standing up at least once every couple of hours for a few minutes.

6. Stay Hydrated
Another common mistake while flying is not drinking enough water. Preferably drink filtered/distilled/reverse osmosis water if you can, but any water is better than no water. Be prepared and carry an empty BPA free bottle with you through security to fill up and have on hand. If you know that the airport doesn’t have filtered water, consider a water filter bottle with a filter for tap water.

How much water? The rule of thumb, as described in
U.S. News & World Report, is to take your weight (in pounds) and divide it by 2.

Example: A 180 pound person should drink 90 ounces of water daily. (180 ÷ 2 = 90)

Fun Fact: The most common comfortable airline travel position found among researchers was the chest-turned-head-forward position.