The place to find holistic information about your health

7 Flight Hacks For A Comfortable Trip

There is literally NOTHING natural about hurtling above the clouds in a metal tube packed to the brim with strangers with Baby Elvis infant in arms. And whether it’s an hour-long commute or a transcontinental journey, it can be incredibly uncomfortable and stressful on the body and mind. After two cross-country flights to Santa Barbara and then two weeks later to San Diego, I knew I needed to up my flight routine game. Here are a few flight hacks to keep yourself in tip top shape while you’re in the air.

  1. Make leg room. Don’t underestimate the importance of leg room. If you can spring for a seat in the front of the plane or in an emergency exit row (if you are sans baby), jump at the chance. More leg room equals more comfort. Stretching your legs can prevent knee pain, tight hips, and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is actually a life-threatening condition. It will also promote circulation in your lower body, encouraging you to get up and move around since you won’t have to wiggle past your seat mate. Can’t afford the roomier seat assignment? Be sure to use the overhead bin for your carry-on bag. Your legs will thank you later.
  2. Drink tons of water. The air in the cabin of a plane is dry as a bone—about 6 percent humidity on average, which is more arid than the desert. In-flight hydration is crucial for keeping your muscles loose, your eyes, nose and throat from feeling irritated, and your immune system on point. Lack of humidity is one of the primary reasons for a higher risk of getting sick while flying. I also like to hydrate from the outside in, I’m kind of obsessed with Joanna Vargas products. I use a combo of the Rejuvenating Serum and the Daily Serum and then the Forever Glow Mask. I look like a mummy with a mask and serum dripping all over me, but I tell myself, “I don’t care, I’m over being embarrassed, I have a child.” And here he is, getting his own hydration.Flight Hacks
  3. Move around the cabin. Wait for the seatbelt light to go off, but then go for it. Any reason to stand up and walk will do—use the bathroom, grab something out of your bag that’s tucked into the overhead bin, or just go for a stroll up the aisle and back down. Now that Baby Elvis is running and a total flirt, walking up and down the aisles has been a must. Being sedentary is rarely a good thing, and on a cramped airplane, it’s even worse.
  4. Be kind to your lower back. Roll up your coat and use it as a lumbar support. Or grab the neck pillow to use instead as a low back support. Even in that whopping three-quarters of an inch recline, our bodies are pitched forward. So grab whatever you have and place it at the small of your back to neutralize your spine. One day I will  design an ergonomic plane seat, but until then, a down coat will do.
  5. Fly prepared. Pack a pair of compression socks, a tennis ball, noise canceling headphones, and a healthy lunch. Your neighbor won’t be looking at you weirdly when he’s the one hobbling down the jet way and you’re gliding like a gazelle.
  • Compression socks will do wonders for your circulation—helping deoxygenated blood pump through your legs back to your heart.
  • Tennis balls are perfect for breaking up any knots that may have formed in your muscles from sitting for extended periods of time.
  • I can’t live without my Bose noise canceling headphones, comfortable on the ears and great for arriving at your destination with a calm mind. Read more more on how Bose pushes the boundaries of the noise canceling technology.
  • Pack as many vegetables as you can into a fresh salad or try sushi. Being cooped up with so many people in such close quarters can be a real strain on your immune system. And since your diet is essential to how your immune system functions, be sure to get enough vitamins A, D, and C, plus zinc and glutathione to keep your immune system strong.

Your breath is a powerful tool that’s always at your disposal

  1. Breathe and meditate. The stresses of flying can wreak havoc on your psyche. Breathing techniques can help keep the nervous system in check. Slow, measured breaths can keep your fight-or-flight response at bay. By breathing deeply, slowly, and calmly, you can actually slow your own heart rate. Your breath is a powerful tool that’s always at your disposal. It’s one of the only automatic processes in the body that can also be regulated by the mind. I like to make my exhale twice as long as my breath in, this regulates the nervous system putting it into a state of calm. And, since there’s not much else you can do on a plane, it’s a great time to meditate. Start small. Five minutes at most. But bringing mindfulness to your inner being can stimulate a welcomed feeling of relaxation and peacefulness. Wildflowers is my favorite mindfulness app, but Headspace is also very popular.
  2. The Ultimate Neck Pillow 6 different ways to wear this badboy, The Face Cradle, I haven’t played with all ways but so far its great. I’d like to try the OstrichPillow, so if anyone has other recommendations please send them my way!

 So there you have it—7 flight hacks to keep your body functioning at its best during air travel. Doing just one will have some great benefits. But do your best to incorporate them all. Your body will thank you when you land at your destination.

For more tips on how to keep your body working like a well-oiled machine, be sure to check out Urban Wellness Clinic.

Best in health,

Dr Emily Kiberd