Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Health and wellness tips for your next long flight

With the aid of an expert from Nestle SHIELD, a client focused on advancing the conversation on skin health. These are six surefire tips to help you arrive happier, healthier and positively glowing when you next you go on a long-distance flight.

1.) Run, baby, run. I realize this doesn't pertain to the physically-challenged or couch potato entrepreneur, but I make it a point to run before, and after, every long distance flight. I do so beforehand to suck in as much oxygen as possible before boarding the horrific, recirculated air environment in every jet. And, I force myself to go for a light jog wherever I arrive to exhale the crap and inhale fresh air.

2.) Sleep, baby, sleep. I have huge problems sleeping on overnight flights. But I also know sleep is critical to my being semi-coherent when I attend meetings on the day I arrive. So, while it may be politically incorrect to suggest this, I highly recommend you score some Ambien. It's a game changer for this airborne insomniac.

3.) Avoid, baby, avoid. I'm anti-social by nature, so I aggressively avoid engaging with Bob, the insurance salesman sitting next to me. Eight hours of listening to the benefits of term life insurance will drive anyone mad (and suck the very life out of you). So, slap on your mobile device headphones as soon as you sit down. They ward off talkers the same way a scarecrow protects wheat fields.

And, now for the expert's advice. Didier LeClercq is managing director of SHIELD at Nestle Skin Health and he recommends you:

4.) Drink, baby, drink. It's critical to continually hydrate (Columnist's note: Didier is suggesting water, not bourbon on the rocks). Constant hydration is especially critical on any fight that's eight hours or longer. It also helps avoid jet lag, which is thought to be caused by a desynchronization of circadian rhythm (CN: That cannot be a good thing). And while you're hydrating, be sure to eat light a meal before traveling. Not relying on salty airplane peanuts for fuel will keep you energized and comfortable all flight long.

5.) Skin, baby, skin. Low humidity in air travel causes drying of the skin, especially on long flights. In the air, skin surface hydration decreases rapidly resulting in skin tightness and itchiness. Aircrew members routinely suffer from dry or flushed facial skin and dermal hand symptoms (CN: That explains why United pilots and flight attendants are so cranky from liftoff to touchdown). Use a topical skin moisturizer on the entire body before and after flying to help lock in moisture and keep your skin looking its best.

6.) Walk, baby, walk. Sitting for long periods of time can cause blood to pool in the legs which, in turn, can lead to varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. In fact, according to a recent study, deep vein thrombosis increases by 12 percent if you only take one long flight a year! So, get up and walk. And, try wearing elastic stockings (CN: always a favorite with me) and prophylactic use of low-molecule weight heparin, which helps to prevent harmful blood clots forming in blood vessels. If you're susceptible to blood clots, talk to your doctor about the use of heparin before long flights.

So, there you have it.

I can't suggest anything to help you avoid the endless delays, rude in-flight personnel or inedible food, but I do know these health tips will make your next flight a tad more palatable.

And, remember to shut down Bob before he begins asking you how much life insurance you're carrying.