Frequent Flyers Beware!!
A Frequent Flyer is a person who travels by air more often, due to professional commitments or personal issues. These include people who are in the airlines business and corporate, and diplomats who have to travel frequently due to work commitments. Though the Frequent flyer program in most airlines comes with a lot of frills and fancy, what is not highlighted is how harmful this practice actually is for the normal human metabolic processes.
Health problems are quite common for people who travel and fly often. Besides the usual jetlag which wrecks havoc with your body clock and eventually your immune system, in a flight there may be a lot of people around and that can be one big reason for getting infected with various diseases. Problems of flying frequently can also make you feel nauseated by the air movements.
Frequent flyers should be wary about the following common problems
- Cold – One of the most common frequent flyers health problems is common cold. Common cold is because of viral infections that can spread in the flight easily. This problem of flying frequently happens to most of the travelers. Apart from getting viral infections from any other passenger in the flight, other reasons that can cause common cold are the change in atmosphere, air conditioner in the flight, and so on. Therefore, every frequent flyer must carry a medicine for common cold with them. To avoid the ill effects of chemical medications, there are numerous natural alternatives to cure cold as well. A hot herbal tea or chicken soup may work wonders for starters. It’s also advisable to gargle salt water and keep yourself hydrated. Taking steam and adequate rest is also advised and works wonders.
- Stomach Infections – Stomach infections are also common when it comes to frequent flyers health problems. Stomach infections are generally because of eating in the plane. The food in the air planes might be stale or may not suit your health. Therefore, every traveller must be careful not with the food alone but also with the water they drink. Opt for mineral water only and this will help you keep your health intact while travelling. It’s always healthy to use some natural alternatives to cure your stomach ache rather than taking chemical drugs. Ginger, pepper, chamomile, cinnamon and Cumin seeds, when taken regularly, cure stomach related ailments to a great extent. Lemon juice also helps the body to break down complex food and aids the stomach. Probiotic yoghurt is also a healthy and tasty option.
- Air borne diseases – Air borne viral infections are quite common among people who tend to fly a lot. This is because the air conditioners circulate the same stale air over and over again, and are devoid of natural air. Thus, the air borne viruses tend to get more active in such conditions. Air borne diseases like flu, fever, typhoid are some of the most common frequent flyers health problems that every traveller must look out for. It’s always advisable to wear a mask as a preventive protection. The most effective prevention to use is washing hands at regular intervals.
- Motion Sickness – Nausea, vomiting and dizziness are some side effects of being a frequent flyer. It happens because of continuous traveling to which the body cannot adapt. Therefore, frequent flyers health problems include motion sickness as the most common one. Motion sickness can be controlled naturally to a great extent by the Chinese practice of acupressure. Ginger and peppermint is also a great option to get rid of motion sickness. Fenugreek especially helps cure the nausea associated with motion sickness. Fennel, garlic Rosemary, Chamomile tea and chewing clove also helps alleviate motion sickness.
- Headache – Blockage of ears and breathing problems in the high altitude can cause severe headaches to many frequent flyers. The head ache gets worse for people who fly regularly and have a previous history of migraine or sinus. Such flyers must take extra care of themselves whenever they are traveling. If there is any problem in breathing while in the flight, make sure you report it to the flight attendants. The low supply of oxygen can make you feel sick and your headache can worsen. Acupuncture and massage is effective in treating headache as it realigns blood flow to necessary areas of the brain. Lavender oil, peppermint oil and basil oil are also effective home remedies to cure headache and migraine. Ginger tea (yes, grandma was always right!) is very useful to cure headache and get a feeling of freshness.
- Jet lag- Jet lag happens when you quickly cross multiple time zones, leaving no time for your body’s internal clock, called circadian rhythm, to adjust. Once jet lag sets in, you may feel sleepy during the day yet find it impossible to sleep at night. You may also get hunger pangs at odd times of the day.
If you’re a frequent flyer, jet lag can prevent you from getting the sleep you need. Over time, sleep deprivation increases your risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and even some cancers, suggests Dr Limin Wijaya, Consultant at the Travel Clinic, and Department of Infectious Diseases, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group.
How To Prevent Jet Lag?
You can prevent jet lag with some advance planning. A few days before a taking a trip westwards, adjust your body’s internal clock by progressively pushing back your bedtime. If you’re flying eastwards, you may go to bed an hour earlier than you normally do, for a few nights. The idea is to ease into your future time zone.
- Drink water: During the flight, drink plenty of water. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages and alcohol as they can disrupt your sleep and cause dehydration.
- Get some sun and exercise: If you arrive at your destination during daytime, spend some time in the sun as the sun rays will help adjust your circadian rhythm.
Following these simple tips and exercising basic precautions can come a long way in preventing fatigue, illness and infections. Wish you a happy journey!