Have you ever arrived after a long flight and thought you looked older? Flying can beat up on the body, so here are some remedies to help you arrive refreshed and energized!
Travel Trouble #1: Dehydration causing constipation and deeper wrinkles.
The pressurized, dry air in planes can quickly 'dehydrate' your body tissues causing dry skin, fatigue, constipation, poor concentration amongst other things.
Tip 1: Skip the Plane Food. The most influential cue on the body clock is light, yet scientists have discovered that a second master clock in the brain responds to the time we eat (and don’t eat). A brief bout of fasting puts the clock on hold, and it comes back to life with the reintroduction of food. A team from Harvard tested a more elegant remedy; fasting during the plane ride!
The Argonne Anti-Jet-Lag protocol was developed in the 1980s at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory. Many travellers swear by it, and a military study in 2002 found those who went on the diet were seven times less likely to experience jet lag when traveling west and 16 times less likely when traveling east.
The international traveler, they counsel, can avoid jet lag by simply not eating for twelve to sixteen hours before breakfast time in the new time zone—at which point, break your fast. Since most of us go twelve to sixteen hours between diner and breakfast anyway, the fast is not too painful.
Tip 2: Drink plenty (1L is ideal) of warm water (maybe with a soothing tea) as you travel and arrive to the airport. By the time you deliver your luggage, you’ll be ready to use the washroom before security.
Tip 3: Clear security with an empty 1 L mason jar. Once through, place a bag of nettle tea in the jar and find a café or restaurant to fill up your jar with hot water. Let is steep as you wait to board the plane.
Tip 4: Ask the flight attendant to refill your jar at least once for every 3 hours of travel time. Many people prefer the window (better for sleep), but I prefer the aisle as it is good for getting to the loo more regularly and for standing up each hour.
Travel Trouble #2: How to reduce swollen ankles (aka edema). Help your kidneys cope with air travel!
Tip 1: Wear compression hose or socks. They put pressure on your limbs to prevent too much fluid from collecting. Compression garments may be found in most medical supply or drugstores, or you can talk with your doctor about getting one through your insurance. If you don’t like wearing uncomfortable hose then wearing compression yoga tights are a fashionable answer. CompressionZ Women's Leggings are fun!
Tip 2: You can also use a wireless compression unit while in flight like this.
Travel Trouble #3: Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
It is extremely important to move while travelling. There is quite a bit of evidence that suggests extended periods without body movement during flights can result in conditions like deep vein thrombosis ... and even fatal blood clots!
Tip 1: While waiting in long airport lines, do some gentle stretches to keep limber. If you are travelling alone, bring a skipping rope and find a quiet corner. Even 5 minutes is enough to work out the kinks and it elevates your mood at the same time! If you are travelling with someone, partner up and do some squats or lunges together.
Tip 2: Garlic is shown to thin your blood to prevent DVT. Garlic boosts the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS). NOS converts L-arginine into nitric oxide in the presence of other cofactors such as vitamin B2 and B3. Garlic can also lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and thin the blood through preventing the platelet aggregation that increases DVT. I like to travel with garlic stuffed olives but you can take it in tablets if preferred.
Travel Trouble #4: Lack of Sleep
Jetlag is the result of a disruption of your 'body clock', an internal regulator that governs the timing of certain biological/circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycle etc.). It can result in general fatigue and imbalance due to flying caused by disrupted routines, dry pressurized cabin air, and unstable movement for many hours.
Tip 1: Tryptophan is a great amino acid for sleep and an easy travel snack containing lots of tryptophan is pumpkin seeds. If you need to shift time zones, then I like to use 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) instead of melatonin as it a building block of melatonin (instead of taking the hormone itself). A study shows it increased REM sleep by up to 50%. (1)
Tip 2: Plan your light exposure. Your sleep/wake cycle is partially governed by changes in light (day to night). Once settled into your accommodations, you can help your body get to sleep quicker and more profoundly by keeping bright lights off. On a plane, it may not be possible, so consider wearing your sunglasses and using a red filter on your phone. When you need to wake up, LED Light therapy has been shown to help reduce the effects of jet lag (and for shift workers). If you are sleepy when you arrive, you can pump up the brightness on your phone and hold it in front of your eyes. It wakes you up FAST!
Tip 3: Protect your neck. Look for this new type of neck pillow constructed with high quality memory foam that actually supports your neck without the awkward positioning and discomfort.
Bon voyage-Have a great flight!