The idea of a vacation seems to invoke pleasure and a sense of delight to every human yearning for a break from the rigorous routine. And, its just a flight away to your dream destination from the troubles of pressurizing office work/home chores. In words, the idea seems simple and executable in a jiffy but if you are not prepared for the impending flight journey (which might take a couple of hours or almost a day depending on your choice of location) the travel can become your ticket to inferno.
Become Fit to Travel Thousands of Feet Above Sea Level
Millions of passengers take up flight travel across countries but do you know that the airplane cabin is not really something we must look forward to as it’s really not a healthy environment. High up in the air the oxygen availability is very low and this adds pressure on the human body to supply the required amount of oxygen to the bloodstream. Humidity in the air is lesser than 25% compared to 35% in our land environments which makes breathing a tad difficult. Long flight journeys are sure to invoke health concerns specifically in passengers who are old or suffering from health concerns. Women especially have bigger health concerns and needs while travelling due to different reasons:
The flight journey might cause a few discomforts for which it is always advisable to take precautions:
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): Though widely spoken about not may experts agree to the connection between DVT and air travel. Dry cabin air, less space for legroom and inactivity (this slows circulation) can cause DVT. DVT causes clots to form affecting arteries that supply blood to the lungs. Avoid DVT by wearing loose-fitting clothes, avoid sitting cross-legged, drink a glass of water every hour, keep the space under the seat in front of you empty to help you exercise and walk down the passage every hour to stretch your body and stay active.
Decreased oxygen and pressure: As mentioned before air pressure is lower than normal and blood oxygen saturation during flights can be 5-10% lower than average. A healthy person can easily accommodate this but for someone with a lung condition (such as COPD) the need for supplemental oxygen might arise. It is better to talk to the airlines beforehand and keep it ready to use it during the journey (if the need arises).
Ear pain: Many adults and children feel a strong pain in their ears especially during takeoff and landing as the air cabin pressure changes rapidly during these times. Swallowing, yawing, chewing gum or opening your mouth wide open can release the ear block and alleviate pain. Termed as barotrauma almost 5% of adults and 25% children suffer from this problem which has been elaborated at www.firsteatright.com.
Start getting fit-go for a walk, hit the gym or do exercises at the comfort of your home-before you board the flight for your travel. Happy journey and best wishes for a wonderful time ahead in your dream place.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.