For most of us taking a holiday is a good time to relax and recharge our batteries. Some people however find as soon as they take a break and try to relax they get ill. Our immune system is stimulated by stress so when you are busy and under constant stress your body knows it has no time to get ill. When you take a holiday and the stress of everyday life begins to lift, your immune system relaxes and often we can find ourselves fighting off a cold or flu.
Long haul flights can lead to dehydration, tiredness and jetlag, all of which can play a toll on our stress levels and immune system. Follow these simple tips to ensure you stay hydrated, rested and super healthy during your travels.
Eat well before the flight
To calm the nerves and reduce anxiety before flying choose tryptophan rich foods such as salmon, turkey, chicken, milk and bananas. Healthy options such as a salmon or turkey salad or a banana smoothie will help calm the nerves without the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
Reset your watch
As soon as you get on the plane reset your watch to the time of the country that you will be visiting. Aim to eat and sleep at these new times so you are not sleeping during the middle of the day or eating during the middle of the night. This will help to quickly reset your body clock and alleviate any feelings of jetlag.
Ensure you drink plenty of fluids, particularly water to avoid the dehydrating effects of flying. Take a large bottle of water, electrolyte tablets and fresh fruit with you on the plane to keep you hydrated. Fruit provides fibre for healthy digestion, potassium for hydration and antioxidant fighting nutrients to keep your immune system strong. Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee, sugary drinks and salty foods as these exacerbate the effects of dehydration and can leave you feeling sluggish, prone to bloating and lacking in energy.
Protect yourself from germs
Lack of moisture, air conditioning and sitting with hundreds of people in close proximity is a quick and easy way to spread airborne germs and bugs. Take a hand sanitiser with you and use a nasal spray such as Fess throughout the flight to keep the nasal passages hydrated. If the nasal passages become dehydrated they are more prone to invasion from germs so using a nasal spray is one of the best ways I have found to ward off sinus congestion and cold or flu germs when travelling.
Close your eyes
Pop on an eye mask to dim out bright lights to aid the production of the relaxation and sleep hormone melatonin. Listening to relaxation music or a guided meditation can also help you to relax. Be sure to take ear plugs with you so that when you are ready to get some zzz’s you can shut off from outside noise such as loud engines or snoring neighbours!
Boost your circulation
One of the best ways to prevent puffy feet and legs during the flight is to keep moving. Even regular gentle movements such as ankle rotations and calf stretches are enough to keep the circulation and lymphatic system moving. Compression flight socks may not look attractive but will prevent swollen ankles, cold feet and guard against DVT.