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In-flight health

Let’s be honest, no one feels good after a long-haul flight: cramped conditions, lack of movement, recycled air and hours without sleep all add up. Luckily, there’s a few simple things you can do on a flight that will not only make you feel better, they’ll help ward off health issues such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and back pain.

Hydrate

Both in the lead up to your flight and during it, regularly drink water to stay hydrated. You’ll feel much better for it at the end of your trip, but it also helps ward off blood clots and DVT.

Cabin walks

Once an hour, go for a little walk around the cabin. You’ll feel better, it helps ward off blood clots and DVT, and it helps you stretch out a stiff back.

Skip the sugar

Skip orange juice and other sugary in-flight drinks and snacks. The inevitable sugar crash will leave you cranky. Choose water instead.

Dress to compress

If you’re particularly worried about a flight of four hours or more, you may want to consider buying compression stockings for DVT. It’s important that compression stockings are worn properly, as badly-fitted stockings can increase the risk of DVT.

Avoid the alcohol trolley

The low cabin pressure on a flight limits your body’s ability to absorb oxygen and it can produce light-headedness. Combining this with alcohol can have unpredictable consequences.

Simple stretches

Stretching out can also make a big difference. Start by giving yourself a long bear hug for up to 10 seconds. Once you’re done, raise your feet one at a time and keeping your leg still, slowly rotate your foot in four or five complete circles.

Next, twist in your seat. Put your right arm on the outside of your left knee and twist your shoulder towards the right. Now with your left arm, do the exact flip of this.

Next, put your left foot on your right knee. Hold this position for ten minutes then swap feet.

While sitting, tap your feet (as quietly as possible) for a couple of minutes, to get the blood flowing.

Finally, if you’re off to the bathroom, while you’re standing in line, grab each elbow with the hand of the other arm and bend over from the waist. Then wait for all your other muscles to relax.