16 DEC 2014 - BY JOSEPH TYSON
Staying occupied isn't an issue either, with most major airlines now providing a full suite of games, films, music and television series to keep passengers entertained for long periods of time.
However, as convenient as longer flights are, they can still take their toll on the human body and so you should always be thinking about your health when travelling in this way. To get you through your next big trip, here's a guide to staying fit on the plane.
As tempting as it might be to snuggle into your seat and watch film after film until you land, you should make the effort to move around as much as possible. The main reason for this is to keep the blood flow circulating around your body, reducing the risk of blood clots forming.
As well as walking up and down the aisles to the bathroom, you can also get up and stretch and perform exercises such as leaving your toes on the floor and raising your ankles. Hip & Healthy recommends walking around at least once an hour.
Virgin Atlantic also recommends regularly changing your seating position and avoiding crossing your legs.
Plane cabin air is notoriously dry, making it much easier for you to become dehydrated. Lower humidity levels and re-circulated air all contribute to this and so you must make extra effort to drink plenty of water.
This is even more important when you consider that a lot of long-haul flights now provide free drinks (of the alcoholic persuasion) and so it can be tempting to drink away until you fall asleep. By all means, enjoy a few beers but make sure you aren't over indulging.
It's best to start hydrating before the flight, so make sure you are drinking regular amounts of water the evening prior to your trip and in the airport. Drinking plenty of liquid will inadvertently help you stay active as well - all those trips to the bathroom are really good for you!
Gaseous foods and altitude are not a good mix. According to Skyscanner, bodily gases expand by a third when you are at such heights, causing significant uneasiness and discomfort. Also, if your airline does not provide fresh fruit, buy some in the departure lounge as these help boost your immune system.
Eating light is the best way to avoid bloating and so you might want to consume smaller quantities over a period of time rather than a big meal all at once.
Skin-tight jeans and stiletto heels may look fabulous out and about, but on a long-haul flight you could regret your wardrobe choice very quickly. Wear loose-fitting, gentle fabrics to avoid chafing and constriction while you fly. This will also help when you are moving around the cabin and in your seat.
The same goes for shoes. Anything too tight will only cause you discomfort during your flight. In fact, when you are seated, just take off your shoes. You ankles will thank you for it (these tend to swell slightly at altitude).
A strong immune system is a must for staying healthy on a flight. Being confined in a sealed space with a large number of other people can mean that you stand a high chance of catching a cold or illness. Take a few multivitamins and minerals in the days leading up the flight to ensure your system has a boost.
This also coincides with eating well on the flights so make sure you have plenty of fruit in your snack pack!
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