How to Combat Jet Lag and Other Side Effects from Flying
Bellow is an article from USA Travel Today I recently came across listing all the things that happen to your body when you fly. From jet lag, to swollen feet, mood changes, lack of apatite, etc., flying to your destination can actually take a real toll on your body. So I thought I might make a list of some of my tips I use to combat some of the more common side effects.
Possibly the worst side effect is jet lag. Jumping time zones really throws your body for a loop and can really put a damper on your trip. My trick to combat a new time zone is to stay awake as long as possible the first day, then getting a full nights sleep the first night. Without that full nights sleep the first night, you're more likely to spend the next few days struggling to get back on a regular sleep pattern. Fight that exhaustion for just a little while longer when you get to your destination so you really conk out and get some deep sleep.
That pressure in your ears during taking off and landing is super common. I'm a swimmer so I can "pop" the pressure in my ears pretty easily, but for those who can't, I suggest plugging your nose with your fingers, close your eyes and mouth and blow out without letting any air out of your mouth or nose. You will hopefully hear/feel that "pop" in your ears that releases the pressure from the altitude change. Chewing gum or swallowing can also release that pressure in your ears.
Change in Taste Buds or Lack of Appetite
The food on airplanes is already bland, and now you're exposed to less oxygen that alters your taste buds. Thankfully airlines will give you a salt and pepper packet with your food and I definitely suggest you use it. Also, before your flight, I would suggest eating and drinking things that are more mellow to the palate, and avoid foods like coffee or exotic foods that your body is not used to.
Dehydration and Skin Becoming more Sensitive
The air in airplanes is dry dry dry, so hydrate hydrate hydrate. I like to bring my own large water bottle I can refill in order to stay hydrated. I also like to pack a little sample size of my favorite moisturizer in my purse or carry-on bag to keep handy when my skin feels especially dry on longer flights. Recently I've taken to packing sheet masks as well. They are not regulated like liquids are and take up little to no room among your other things. You can get some great hydrating sheet masks at your local drug store or Target.
Swollen Feet and Ankles
Another common side effect, and why I never wear jeans or other tight clothing when flying. On long flights, make sure to get up and walk around frequently to stretch out your legs. I used to be a window seat person and would hardly ever get up and walk around. Now i prefer the aisle seat so I'm more free to walk around without disturbing the other people in my row too much. Some swelling is inevitable however so I recommend wearing clothes that keep you comfortable. Leggings and maxi dresses are great clothing options for when this swelling occurs.
Change in Bowel Movements and Bloating
"Vacation constipation" is a real thing and is the absolute worst. Staying hydrated can help combat this as well as consuming foods high in fiber and probiotics. Yogurt and apples are some of my favorite snacks while traveling to help with this unfortunate issue.
In conclusion, the biggest pieces of advice I can give you for your next flight is get plenty of rest and drink lots of water. Staying hydrated has so many health benefits, especially while traveling. Make your next trip as comfortable and successful as possible and drink that H2O and get some sleep!