Experts reveal how you can avoid jet lag altogether and arrive at your destination fully refreshed
There's nothing more exciting than an upcoming trip. But whether you're jetting away to some exotic locale, or taking a mini-break in a picturesque European city, one thing is for sure: the travelling portion of your vacation is seldom enjoyable.
Sure, the top one per cent are able to travel in luxury, on the exclusive other side of the grey curtain where they're served cocktails and gourmet meals. Us scrimpers and savers, on the other hand, have to contend with knocking our knees against table trays, eating food with plastic cutlery and standing in never-ending bathroom queues.
But in one regard, we're all equal. Regardless of how great your fortune is or how influential you are, we all have to deal with jet lag when travelling long distances. However, two experts in the field, Dr Ginni Mansberg and physiotherapist Ann Fong are here to ensure that we hit the ground running.
According to senior physiotherapist of Boost Physiotherapy, Ann Fong, reclining your seat while flying could actually worsen the symptoms of jet lag. She explained how having the seat angled slightly, rather than totally reclined helped to alleviate pressure on the spine, and also helped with fluid control.
"Maintaining a near spinal neutral position helps the muscles, blood vessels, organs and nerves rest in as near neutral alignment as possible," she stated, before adding "And only ever use a small cushion to support the spine."
And while it's well known that flying is actually a relatively safe mode of transport, there are health risks associated with it, especially on long-haul flights. One such risk is reduced blood flow from the lack of movement and having to sit in a confined, cramped space. In some scenarios, this can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which happens when a blood clot forms deep in the body, most commonly in the legs. This blocked blood flow to the lungs, heart, and brain can lead to a vast cohort of serious health problems including heart attacks and stroke. And in some cases, it can even be fatal.
Dr Ginni Mansberg's research has revealed that long-haul flights can be the most problematic for those at risk. Her studies show that for every hour you fly over 10 hours, the risk increased by an eye-watering 10 per cent. "The longer you are on the flight, the higher the risk, particularly if you sit for a long time with your legs in one position," she asserted.
Those most at risk of DVT are people who have just had major surgery, pregnant women, or those suffering from cancer. Obese or elderly travellers, as well as smokers also had a higher risk of contracting the blood clotting.
Her advice? Travellers should ensure to stay well hydrated throughout the flight and move their legs by either walking on the plane or doing the recommended exercises. She also added that if you think you may be at a higher risk of clotting, there is evidence that compression socks are effective. However, she stressed that people shouldn't rely on old ones as they lose their elasticity and should be replaced every three months.
And for those who need to travel and fall into the high-risk groups for DVT, Dr Mansberg said that there are now medications available to prevent the health condition from developing.
Well, there you have it. You have no reason to dread that upcoming long-haul flight, after all.