by John Ayo
Air travel can be very stressful to the body. Traveling across multiple time zones in a matter of hours can wreak havoc on anyone’s internal clock. Stale cabin air, unfiltered water and prepackaged airline food can often leave travelers feeling tired and sick when they finally arrive at their destination. With a little advance planning, we can arrive feeling rested and energized. Nutritional supplements, filtered water, healthy food and gentle exercise can all help eliminate jet lag.
Nutritional supplements: No Jet Lag is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved homeopathic remedy taken at two-hour intervals in flight. It uses a combination of homeopathic remedies to help the body balance nausea, muscle aches and anxiety. Melatonin is often used to help balance our body clock and can aid with sleep and recovery. St. John’s wort, an herbal remedy, can help to balance some of the symptoms of jet lag.
Filtered water: Water is our best friend when traveling because most people become dehydrated after a few hours in dry cabin air at high altitudes. Always bring filtered, bottled water on the plane, purchased after getting through airport security. The best choices are reverse osmosis filtered and spring filtered water.
If the attendant is pouring water from a pitcher, just say no. Usually, this means that they’ve run out of bottled water and are serving tap water from the airplane’s main tank, which is not filtered and can be contaminated with bacteria. Avoid coffee and tea on airplanes, as they are usually made with tap water.
Healthy food: Healthy food can also help keep our immune system strong. This is very important in the crowded, stressful conditions of an airplane cabin. We can’t count on airlines to provide healthy food, if they provide any food at all. Good choices for bringing our own include healthy snack bars, trail mix and fruit. For optimal health, it is best to avoid sugar, dairy, and wheat, as they all tend to weaken your immune system.
Gentle exercise: Don’t stay in the seat for the entire flight. Make sure to get up and walk somewhere at least every two hours to stimulate the circulation. Yoga is a great in-flight option. Do breathing exercises, neck rolls and stretches to ease stress and reduce muscle tension.
John Ayo is a traditional naturopath, certified biofeedback specialist, owner of LifeBalance, in Plano, and author of Travel Balance. For more information, call 972-612-4900 or visit JohnAyo.com.