Modern transportation is wonderful. It used to take a month for a ship to sail across the Atlantic Ocean and now you can take a flight from New York to London that lasts only 7 hours. But while the speed of transport has gotten faster, the process of traveling has started to take a greater toll on our bodies. A flight or a long drive requires that you stay seated for hours on end and then there’s jetlag which didn’t exist until… well we invented jets. Fortunately, Gizmodo has a great article with suggestions on how we can minimize the negative effects long distance travel can have on our bodies:
Start your travel day well rested – Go to bed early the night before and make sure you get plenty of sleep. Without a good night’s rest any stress that your body feels is going to be magnified. Being sleep deprived will only make you more tired and more stressed.
Choose your luggage carefully – Don’t bring too much with you. Carrying heavy, abnormal, and unnecessary luggage around will only put more stress on your arms and back. Packing light can also save you some money by not having to check a bag.
Wear compression socks– Compression socks will improve blood flow and reduce any swelling and soreness caused from sitting for long periods of time.
Eat right and drink water – Drink enough water and eat plenty of healthy food like fruits and vegetables. Try to avoid the fast food options at the airport unless you want to spend half of your flight in the airplane bathroom.
Sit up – Try to align your back with the back of the seat. Slouching puts a lot of unnecessary stress on your lower back and can lead to back problems down the road.
Stand up if you can – During a long flight you usually have ample opportunity to stand up an stretch your legs. Our bodies aren’t meant to remain in one static position for a long time. I try to get an aisle seat on a flight for exactly this reason.
Exercise at your destination – When you make it to your destination. do some stretching and some light exercise like walking or jogging. Just moving your body will get your blood flowing better and you will likely feel better the next morning.
Get another good night of sleep – This is easier said than done when you factor in jetlag but getting a good night’s sleep will relieve most of the stress your body faced from travel. With that you should be ready to do what you set out to do at your destination feeling good.
I’m pretty sure economy seating violates the eighth amendment.
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