Sitting in Dubai Airport halfway through a long haul flight back to London I thought this was a good opportunity to pen down some simple tips to help people get through long flights. Looking after your body on a long haul flight can seem a challenge, but it is really very simple. Here are my top 4 tips.
Make sure you drink a decent amount (of water!) during a flight. The pressurised cabin of an aeroplane provides for a very dry and dehydrating environment. Don’t wait for the cabin crew to come around if your thirsty – press the assistance bell.
Get into the zone (time-zone that is)
One of the biggest things to overcome in long haul travel is jetlag. Traversing multiple time zones in a single day really plays havoc with your body clock. One simple way to assist with your body’s transition and is to change your watch to the time zone of your destination as soon as you get on the plane. From that point forward throughout the flight operate as if you were in the time zone of your destination. This means trying to get some sleep if it is night-time, or trying to stay awake if it is daytime at your destination. Make sure you pack some earplugs and an eye mask to help with this.
Maximise your comfort
We all know that aircraft seats are not the most comfortable things in the world, and that can mean you get to your destination with neck or back pain that can really interfere with your trip. Packing a neck pillow is essential and placing the small pillow provided by the airline behind your lower back will place your lumbar spine in a more neutral posture. Also, pack your own headphones. It doesn’t matter if they are over ear or in ear, generally speaking they will be infinitely more comfortable and than airline headphones.
This is the most simple of all. Humans are not designed to spend long periods in static posture – we are designed for movement. Get up once every hour that you are awake on a flight. Go to the bathroom or go for a wander down the aisles. It might not feel like much but you’ll feel a lot better on the other end.
Check out the blog next week for more useful tips on travel and exercising in different conditions.