By Steve Taggart
Being confined to the cramped space and stuffy recirculated air of an aeroplane for several hours can have a number of detrimental effects on our bodies, leaving us feeling tired and drained when we eventually reach our destination. Here, wellness holiday experts Health and Fitness Travel, round up 10 travel tips and their top 3 wellness escapes, so you can travel healthy, no matter how far your journey.
1.Stay stress free and plan ahead. Preparing for and enduring a long-haul flight is hard work, so start preparing for your trip long in advance. Organising passports, travel insurance, transfers to the airport, luggage and documentation early on will help avoid the anxiety of cutting your schedule too close and leaving everything to the last minute. This is especially relevant if you are planning a solo holiday, as you won’t be able to rely on a friend or family member to be organised for you
2.Bring your own pillow. Sitting on a plane for an extended period can be extremely uncomfortable and make it difficult to get to sleep, so packing a small travel pillow in your hand-luggage will prevent extra discomfort and ensure you get your forty winks as and when needed.
3. It may be only a minor and more temporary nuisance, but many people suffer from motion sickness when travelling. It has been suggested that taking ginger supplements or ginger ale before you take-off can help prevent the symptoms of nausea and leave you feeling more settled.
4. Dress comfortably. You could be on the plane for a very long time, so restrictive and tight jeans may not be the best option. Loose fitting clothes and comfortable shoes that you can slip on and off will not only be more snug, but won’t impede blood flow around the body; a factor which can contribute to the risk of deep vein thrombosis .
5.Many people suffer from cabin pressure during a flight owing to congested sinuses. For certain people, it can be excruciatingly painful, so using over-the-counter nasal decongestants may help to alleviate the symptoms before you fly. Additionally, using a saline nasal spray will ease nasal discomfort and dryness provoked by low humidity on the plane and will protect against cold and flu germs.
6. Stay hydrated. Cabin air is exceedingly dry and will dehydrate your system, as well as putting you at a higher risk of catching a cold or infection. Drink plenty of fluids and eat snacks with high water content such as peppers, cucumber and apples, and avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, as these too can exacerbate dehydration.
7. During long flights, it is vital to be active and keep moving about to minimise the threat of deep vein thrombosis and relieve cramped muscles. Walking up and down the aisle when the seatbelt sign is off and flexing and stretching your legs when sitting will encourage blood flow around the body and limber up swollen ankles or feet.
8. Travel lightly. Checked baggage fees have rocketed, encouraging many people to jam-pack their cabin bags. The extra weight you lug around before you board the plane can cause an early onset of the imminent aching muscles on top of heightened stress levels before your flight even takes off. What’s more, anything stowed under your seat will just leave you feeling more cramped and is taking up valuable space where you could stretch out your legs.
9. If your flight crosses multiple time zones, it is inevitable that your internal body clock will be disrupted, so it is important to reduce the effects of jet lag as much as possible. If you start to drift off, go with it. Conversely, when you arrive to your destination, try to adapt to the local time zone as best you can and resist the urge to sleep or eat meals at the wrong time of day. If you arrive during the day, going for a stroll outside will help you adapt more easily and the natural light will encourage your body to acclimatise. Likewise, if you arrive in the evening or night, adopt the local bedtime and try to go to sleep.
10. Eat Well. The meals offered by airlines are usually loaded with sugar and starch and can cause you to feel bloated and sluggish. Bring your own healthy snacks which will give you an energy boost such as dried fruits, nuts and seeds- minus the additives and preservatives of the processed meals on-board.
Whether you are travelling near or far, the journey will always be worthwhile, just think of what awaits you when you arrive! With Health and Fitness Travel’s top 3 wellness escapes you can stay healthy no matter how far you travel, with rejuvenating spa treatments, fitness classes and healthy cuisine.
Europe: Antara Palace Optimal Wellness
If you’re looking for somewhere close to the UK, improve your health through a tailor made itinerary at Antara Palace in Cyprus. Take part in private classes including yoga, meditation and fitness training, before indulging at the spa. Relax with a traditional Thai massage, take part in a holistic crystal healing session and soak in a revitalising hydro bath. With antioxidant cuisine, cleanse your system for optimal well-being and return home refreshed and revitalised.
Health and Fitness Travel offers 9 nights at Antara Palace from £7,655pp or £8,480 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a wellness programme, return flights and transfers.
Asia: Vana Malsi Estate
If these health tips have inspired you to travel to a more distant location, discover a holistically healthy holiday at Vana Malsi Estate in India. Achieve your wellness objective with soothing Ayurvedic treatments, such as Abhyanga, and stimulating activities, like meditation and yoga. Soak up the peaceful atmosphere with a few laps in the outdoor pool and nourish your body with delicious cuisine featuring organic locally-sourced ingredients.
Health and Fitness Travel offers 7 nights at Vana Malsi Estate from £2,295pp or £2,875 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a wellness programme, return flights and transfers.
Caribbean: The BodyHoliday Optimal Wellness
Jet off to the Caribbean for an all-encompassing wellness experience with The BodyHoliday in idyllic St. Lucia. Covering all aspects of fitness, nutrition and exercise to achieve optimal wellness, rejuvenate with Pilates and sleep enhancement spa treatments. This programme includes various holistic practises, lifestyle, nutritional consultations and personal training sessions along with spa therapies to ensure you return home feeling fully rejuvenated and with ready to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Health and Fitness Travel offers 7 nights at The Body Holiday from £2,775pp or £2,775 for single occupancy. Price is all-inclusive, with a wellness programme, return flights and transfers.
For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com