Ryan Adkins, Spring Intern with Forum-Nexus Study Abroad. Looking forward
to his travels this summer in South Africa, here are some ways to stay healthy on the plane.

Most of us will be spending a full day on an airplane traveling to our international destinations, which means plenty of sitting and close congestion with others. Here are some tips on how to sustain wellness in the air.

Ear Pressure

Everyone experiences the popping of their ear drums while up in the air. To minimize the discomfort of pressure building in your ears, here’s how to make them pop: Pinch your nostrils closed and inhale deeply. Then exhale through your nose, blowing out in short, firm bursts until you feel your ears pop. Yawning, drinking liquids, and chewing gum also help.

Jet Lag

Grogginess and sleep deprivation are no fun once you arrive in your new city, here are some tips to combat Jet Lag:

  • Adjust your sleeping and eating patterns to the new time zone a couple days before your flight–usually one day per time zone.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, keeping yourself as hydrated as possible. While trying to knock yourself out with a couple glasses of wine or wake yourself up with coffee may seem like good ideas while flying, think again–alcohol and caffeine dehydrate the body, making your even more tired when you arrive at your destination.
  • If it’s daytime in your destination, take a walk after you get settled. The exercise will stimulate your body and help convince it to stop producing sleep-inducing hormones.

Keeping the Juices Flowing

Travelling in such cramped conditions for several hours is terrible for your circulation, and can cause swollen ankles and muscle cramps. To avoid such extreme measures, here are some helpful hints on how to keep your blood pumping solidly throughout the flight:

  • Wear slippers or no shoes at all–not only will freeing your feet increase your comfort, but also circulation in your feet.
  • Take frequent walks up and down the aisles.
  • Try to keep your legs elevated while sitting.
  • Drink lots of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Practicing some in-seat exercises several times an hour will help–flex and point your feet, do round-the-clock ankle rotations, move your legs in stair master motions, or practice seated knee lifts.
  • Doing a bit of stretching also does wonders for your circulation, as well as the nasty cricks you might develop from sitting for so long.
  • Aspirin helps to thin the blood.

Ryan Adkins  For more visit http://dest.travelocity.com/Tips/Item/0,3295,215_AOLSVC,00.html

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