5 ways to stay healthy when flying
There’s no getting around the fact that flying can take its toll on your body, and the last thing you want is to arrive at your destination feeling less than stellar.
With so much emphasis on health and wellbeing in the media, it’s no surprise that some people feel stressed and anxious at the thought of spending ten hours or more on a plane. But fortunately we’re all expert long-haul flyers at Air Mauritius, and over the years we’ve nailed down all the best ways to keep your body and mind in optimum condition when onboard. Read on for our five failsafe ways to make sure you land in great shape…
Keep on moving
Those of us with desk-based jobs spend much of the day sitting down, and the health risks of being too sedentary are getting a lot of attention in the news right now. Flying long-haul is another situation where the options for keeping active are fairly minimal, but there are still plenty of ways to keep your circulation in check.
The most important thing is to keep the blood pumping from your lower extremities up to your heart, so anything involving leg movement is good. Of course, getting up and moving around the cabin is the most ideal, but when you’re eating or watching a movie, or when the seatbelt signs are on, try doing some repetitions of the following: - lightly and quickly tapping your feet on the floor
- lifting your knees up to your chest and down again
- keeping your toes on the floor and moving your heels up and down
- lifting your feet and rotating them in circles
- clenching and unclenching your toes
- You can also try wearing compression socks, which help to increase circulation.
Get some sleep
While this might seem to contradict the previous point, you’ll feel more rejuvenated on arrival if you manage to get some sleep during the flight. Just make sure you do a few sets of the above exercises when you are awake and alert.
A few hours of sleep during a long-haul flight can help you to adjust to your new time zone and lessen the effects of jet lag. If you’re not tired, or it’s the middle of the day, the key to nodding off is to create the right conditions.
First of all, make sure you’re warm. Use your complimentary blanket, or bring an extra jumper or shawl on board with you. Next, you need to shut out light and sound. Noise cancelling headphones are a great idea, but good quality silicone ear plugs will do a good job too, and an eye-mask is essential. Finally, it’s worth investing in a travel pillow or other product that properly supports your neck and keeps your spine in alignment, such as the supremely comfortable Trtl Sleepscarf which contains strengthening ‘ribs’ to prevent your head from lolling sideways or forwards.
Keeping yourself hydrated will really help to stave off headaches, dizziness or feelings of sluggishness and fatigue, which can be common issues when flying due to the low levels of humidity on board. Sipping water throughout your flight – and holding back on the alcohol and caffeine – will ensure you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed. And remember, alternatives like herbal teas, coconut water and foods with a high water content like watermelons, tomatoes and cucumber all help too.
Other parts of your body can suffer as well, particularly your skin, so remember to bring along your favourite hydrating moisturiser and perhaps some saline drops and non-medicated spray for your eyes and nose.
Look after your ears
Some people – particularly children – may develop ear pain when the plane makes its final descent. This is caused by changes in pressure between the air in the middle ear, and the air outside the ear.
Although the pain is temporary – normally disappearing within minutes of landing – it can still be uncomfortable, but fortunately there are many tried and tested ways to literally ease the pressure.
Try sucking a sweet as the plane begins to descend, or give children a drink or a dummy. This encourages swallowing, which encourages air to flow up the Eustachian tube, helping to equalise pressure. Or, try ‘popping’ your ears by breathing out gently with your mouth closed and nose pinched, until you feel a ‘pop’ in your ears. This often cures the problem immediately. You can even purchase special balloons for children to blow up using their nose, which equalises pressure and relieves symptoms in the middle ear.
If you want to feel your best when you land, then what you eat before and during your flight will have a big impact. As we mentioned above, it’s important to keep hydrated so drink as much as you can, and consider avoiding carbonated, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. Foods rich in fibre take longer to digest and are more filling than other types of foods, so fruits, nuts and vegetables are all good ways to ensure you’ll remain sated in flight, as well as being nutrient-dense.
Here at Air Mauritius we draw inspiration for our cuisine from all corners of the globe, and offer a diverse range of meals onboard. Our menu features dishes full of Creole, European, Indian or African flavours, and we can also offer vegetarian, vegan, and other special meals as long as they are ordered at the time of booking.
Remember too that Mauritius makes an excellent stopover destination regardless of whether you’re travelling for business or leisure. To keep your body and mind in tip-top condition when travelling, a one or two day break between long haul flights is the best solution of all!
Ready to fly? Book your flight with Air Mauritius or visit Air Mauritius Holidays to organise a tailor-made vacation from the experts. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter, so don’t forget to follow us for all the latest news.