Thursday 22 December 2016

What Exactly Flight Does To Your Body?


Flying can be a strenuous event for even the most level-headed person.

From getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport to trying to drag your five kids through security – the whole affair can be pretty stressful.

And once on the plane – if it's a long-haul flight – you face the prospect of annoying seat mates, broken sleep.

All of this takes a toll on your body and you end up arriving at your destination feeling tired and cranky.

But what does flying really do to your body? Lets find out what are they:

1. Your feet swell

If you've ever gone to put your shoes back on after a long flight and found them to be more uncomfortable than when you took them off this is because your feet have swollen during the flight.

When you sit, gravity causes a fluid build up in your legs and feet which is usually combatted by the muscles in your legs pumping the excess fluid through your body when you walk around.

Yet, because you are sitting for an extended period of time, the fluid build up causes swelling in your feet and legs.

This is why it's important to get up from your seat and walk around once every hour or so, and if you're stuck in a window seat, make sure to stretch and flex your feet, ankles and cables while sitting.

2. You get bloated and gassy

As the air pressure in the plane is much lower than at ground level, this causes the gasses in your gut to expand. This results in bloating and a gas build up in your stomach.

To minimise this uncomfortable feeling, steer clear of gs-inducing foods like broccoli and beans in hours before your flight and during.

3. The dry air will make you feel sick an is unforgiving on your skin

Unsurprisingly, the air at 35,000 feet is much drier than the air at ground level, and as the plane is pumping this air through the cabin, this will dry our your skin and eyes.

The dry air can also sap moisture from your lungs, making it harder to breathe which can be a problem if you suffer from asthma.

To combat this, make sure you stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of water on you and avoid dehydrating drinks like alcohol and coffee. To keep your skin hydrated, bring a carry-on sized moisturiser with you on to the plane and apply throughout the flight.

4. You will get constipated

Whoever said flying was glamourous obviously hasn't flown 14 hours in a middle economy seat. And it gets worse than just being in a cramped space. Much worse.

Due to the change in schedule, if your regular bowel movement is usually after eating breakfast while scrolling through Instagram then an early morning flight is probably going to mess with your body.

A change in routine can trigger constipation and dehydration - sitting still for hours also doesn't help.

To avoid this, make sure you eat high-fiber foods like porridge the morning of your flight and stay hydrated.

5. You will get a headache when you land

Just when you thought it was all over, when the plane is landing, the tub behind your eardrum is forced to work overtime to adjust to the rapidly changing air pressure - hence why you find your ears popping.

However, occasionally popling won't equalise the the pressure alone and congestion can cause a vacuum to form in your middle ear. This can result in ear pain and a throbbing headache.

So hold your nose or take a pack of gum with you to help ease the discomfort.



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