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Travel Health – Flying Happy!

Travel Health – Flying Happy!

Thursday, 15 September 2011 20:42

Most people greatly underestimate the effect travel (particularly flying), has on their body. The combination of being out of routine, pressurised (dehydrating) cabins, poor food (if you can call airline food, food), being seated for extended periods & possibly added stress of rushing for flights/flight changes etc, can really take it’s toll – especially if you have to travel regularly.

I would put regular/long air travel (without the below measures to reduce to negative effects) as one of the top ways to ‘age’ your body prematurely. From the ‘pulse reading’ assessment, I used as a consultant, by far the most out of balance physiologies I ever felt, were those of Flight Attendants.

So we’ve put together 10 Top Tips for Healthy Happy Travel – How to travel without compromising your health.

1. Avoid it where possible (unless for pleasure): Often we travel – across town, interstate, overseas – for work etc when we really don’t have to. Always ask yourself/your partners/boss etc, if you really do need to go through the hassle of travelling somewhere (travel for enjoyment is obviously fine). Is it possible to get the same/nearly the same result over the phone, via video conference etc etc. Imagine even 1-2 less trips a year – & instead spending that time on your health / with your family etc.

2. Prepare Well: If you do have to go, appreciate that lengthy or consistent air travel (especially across time zones), is a serious concern for your health & be prepared to take the time to offset the negative effects.

3. Arrive Early: Rushing for planes can be one of the biggest stresses – and it’s so easy to avoid. Expect something to delay you, so leave extra early – spending an extra 30 minutes at the airport is not going to kill you – take some work to do/read a book/make some calls etc while sitting ‘calmly’ in the departure lounge & make the whole experience more relaxed & enjoyable.

4. Stay Well Hydrated: The pressurised, dry air in planes can quickly ‘dehydrate’ your body tissues causing dry skin, fatigue, constipation, poor concentration etc. Drink plenty of ‘warm/hot’ water (‘sweet’ teas are great), before, during & after the flight. * Note: alcohol & caffeine are both diuretic in nature & therefore can increase dehydration of your body.

5. Eat Light: The movement/irregular nature of travel makes it much harder to digest/assimilate/absorb food properly. Try to eat a decent meal a good 1-2 hours before travelling. Otherwise, eat very light just before or during. ** Eating airline food is good…if you don’t want to live for long! Only kidding, it’s okay now & then, but if you have time to take something ‘fresh’ with you, that’s even better.

* Fresh juicy fruit is ideal for flying etc – as it’s both light & high in fluid/water content.

6. Oil Massage: Massages (either by yourself or by a masseur) should almost be considered ‘compulsory’ before &/or after long journeys. The main benefit is through putting the oil on the skin itself. This offsets the tremendous ‘drying’ of the skin/superficial tissues & provides like a protective barrier to the body. Oil (e.g sesame or almond oil) in the ears & nose before/during air travel also keeps these delicate tissues well lubricated which greatly helps the sinuses, reduces the effects of noise on the nervous system & nourishes/settles the mind.

7. Warm Baths: A warm bath (or shower) following a quick self-massage, on arrival, is a great way of re-balancing & re-energising your body after travelling.

8. Move Regularly: Don’t sit for more than an hour at a time – move/stretch regularly & get up out of your seat every hour or so.

9. Good/Regular Routine: The more you can keep your regular routine, the better. When crossing time zones, start aligning your daily routine to the new time zone as early as possible. e.g eat your main meal (lunch) around midday – sleep at 10 – 10.30pm etc – at those corresponding times in the place you are travelling to.

10. Rest More/Meditate: Arguably the No.1 antidote to the rigours of travel is it’s direct opposite – GOOD REST. Being well rested before you leave and ensuring you rest on arrival (commensurate with travel time) is ideal. If you can sleep or meditate etc while on the plane/in car etc, this is the best. Especially where crossing time zones, the more you can ‘transcend’ sensory experience, the more you minimise/avoid the effects of jet lag.

Speaking of Plane Travel:

A Priest was seated next to a Lawyer on a recent airline flight. After the plane was airborne, the flight attendant came around for drink orders.

The Lawyer orders a Gin and tonic, which is brought and placed before him. The flight attendant then asked the Priest if he would also like a drink.

The Priest replies in disgust, “Ma’am, I’d rather be sexually abused by a bunch of depraved women, than let liquor touch these lips!”

The Lawyer politely handed his drink back to the attendant and said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know there was a choice.”

Mark Bunn

Mark Bunn – is a leading natural health researcher specialising in Ayurvedic medicine, author of the three-time best-selling ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health‘ and one of Australasia's most popular health and performance speakers