Whether for business or pleasure, flying can be stressful. Making your flight on time, hoping you remembered to pack everything, changing time zones, long layovers, crowded airports and long security lines can all induce stress. Take note of these expert tips and you will step off the plane feeling relaxed and ready for whatever awaits you at your final destination.
• Wear comfortable clothes when you travel. Tight-fitting clothes may naturally cause some discomfort and it is advisable to wear loose-fitting clothes instead.
• Drink plenty of fluids, a lot of water, juices and soft drinks with no caffeine to keep hydrated during the flight. Too much caffeine beverages are not recommended. Alcohol is especially harmful to proper hydration. Instead, fruit juices of all kinds are excellent for your health and in-flight comfort. It also helps to moisten the face from time to time as cabin air tends to dry the skin.
• Eat lightly. If you want to reduce in-flight discomfort, we recommend that you try lighter meal options. If you have special requirements — vegetarian, diabetic or other, let the airline company know well in advance so they can meet your needs.
• Gentle, low impact exercises at least 5 minutes every hour is recommended. While seated stretch your legs, rotate your ankles and flex your feet to push blood toward the heart. Avoid crossing your legs at the ankles or knees.
Here are some simple exercises that you can perform on-board:
• Ankle exercises: Lift your feet off the floor and draw a circle with your toes moving one foot clockwise and the other foot in a counterclockwise motion. After a few repetitions, reverse the direction of each foot.
• Foot exercises: Keep both heels on the floor then point the feet upward as high as you can. Put your feet flat on the floor again and then point both feet up again, repeating the cycle a number of times.
• Knee exercises: Lift your leg with the knees bent while flexing your thigh muscles. Lift each leg alternately and repeat at least 20 times for each leg.
• Arm exercises: Hold out your right arm, elbows down, then lift up your hands to your chest, then back down again. Do the same with the left arm repeating the motion a number of times, as desired.
• Overhead stretch: Raise both hands high up over your head. Grab with one hand the wrist of the other hand and pull it gently to one side. Hold the position for 15 seconds and repeat with the other hand.
• Shoulder stretch: Stretch right hand sideways over the left shoulder. Place the left hand behind the right elbow and gently press the elbow towards the shoulder. Hold the position for at least 15 seconds then perform the same routine with the other hand.
• Neck stretch: Relax your shoulders then drop one ear to the shoulder, then gently roll the neck forward and to the other side. Hold the position for about 5 seconds then do it on the opposite direction.
• While landing: The changes in the air pressure when the aircraft is landing may cause discomfort to the ears and sinuses. To minimise discomfort: yawn or swallow a number of times and pinch your nostrils together then blow into your cheeks with your mouth closed.
It may also help to chew on a hard candy — sugar free if you are concerned about sugar intake. If you are experiencing more than mild discomfort, please do not hesitate to talk to the cabin crew, who will be pleased to assist you further.