Four Tips for a Healthier Trip
The last thing you want to think about now is getting sick. Stay healthy by taking a few precautions.
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Stay healthy by taking a few precautions:
- Avoid "economy-class syndrome." Sitting still for long periods of time in a cramped seat can cause deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots in the veins of the legs. (In rare cases, a clot can break off and lodge in the lungs, causing death.) Lower your risk by walking around the cabin once an hour, says Russell B. Rayman, M.D., executive director of the Aerospace Medical Association, in Washington, D.C.
- Don't let jet lag get you down. Preliminary research suggests that a new supplement, called ENADAlert, may reduce the effects of jet lag. You can also ease symptoms by eating light, frequent meals before and during your flight, drinking plenty of water and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake. The best remedy? Get to bed early the night you arrive.
- Ease allergies and ear pain. If you come down with a cold and have any ear pain, it's best not to fly because the small but real risk of doing so can cause the ear drum to rupture. If you must fly, Bradley A. Connor, M.D., a clinical associate professor of medicine at Weill Medical College at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, and medical director at Travel Health Services, a New York City-based travel clinic, suggests using a fast-acting decongestant nasal spray a half hour before take-off and landing to avoid ear pain and sinus discomfort.
If your stuffy head is caused by allergies, pack your regular medication, as well as antihistamines, in your carry-on bag. "Being in a crowded plane can exacerbate allergy symptoms," says Connor. "You may have a reaction to the pillows, seat covers -- or even your neighbor who just said good-bye to her cat."
- Don't rush back to work."It's natural to feel let down after a vacation," says Margaret Backman, Ph.D., a psychologist in New York City. "To smooth the transition, give yourself a day to get back to your routine," suggests Backman. Then, start dreaming about your next vacation.