Don’t Let your Tummy Spoil Your Holiday
Long-haul flights can often take a bit of a toll on your health, especially when you consider the lasting effects of jetlag and tummy discomforts.
A few connecting factors include:
- Disruption to the body’s circadian rhythms – Changes to times zones, different climate, foreign beds can disrupt sleep and throw the body’s system off balance.
- Suppression or delayed bowel movements due to time-zone and meal times changes plus less familiar foods can eventually leading to our bowels rebelling, becoming sluggish and constipated or have diarrhoea.
- Sleep disruption can contribute to lack of appetite, poor digestion and tummy discomforts
When you are jetting off on a far-flung adventure, you’ll want to make sure that you arrive at your destination feeling well and ready to make the most of your escape. To help you do just that, check out our top tips to help avoid jet lag en-route and keep your tummy up to scratch and ready for your adventures while travelling.
Prep For Success
It helps if you are able to get flights that land in daylight giving you a full day ahead of you to get tired in time for bedtime. If you usually adhere to rigid schedules, try to start being a bit more flexible with that schedule a few days before your flight to help gradual adjustments.
The night before you fly, eat a healthy, balanced meal. You are most probably not going to get your usual quantity of antioxidants, fibre, and vitamins during your initial journey hence, getting a lot of that just before you fly is highly recommended.
Get enough sleep or go to bed nice and early, where necessary. You can also try getting up a few hours earlier if this is more in line with the time at your holiday destination. This way, you’ll feel refreshed and will have already started to get your body to adapt to your new sleeping pattern when you arrive.
Resist meals on airplanes if it is not served or timed to a natural mealtime and bring or ask for food when hungry. It is best to listen to your body’s signal and not attempt to acclimatise to destination time, as this adaption will come gradually on arrival. For some people, flying makes them ravenous so eat if you are hungry.
Caffeine And Alcohol
Many people turn to caffeine to help them stay awake or alcohol to help them sleep on flights, but this is an unnatural way of forcing your body into an irregular state.
Using caffeine or alcohol may well serve to make you feel worse during a long-haul flight, and both can dehydrate the body. Listen to your body and by all means have a coffee or some wine with your food, if you body is not too fussy but always try to get some rest and drink as much water as you can to stay hydrated while on the plane.
Fruit Before Unhealthy Snacks
Long haul flights are famous for their continual offerings of snacks and refreshments, but during a typical day there’s no way that you’d munch your way through several chocolate bars, packets of crisps, popcorn and nuts – so don’t do it on your next flight!
Filling up on unhealthy snacks because they’re on offer is a sure-fire way of getting an upset stomach, so reach for a piece of fruit instead, if you have to snack.
Set Your Watch To Local Time
As soon as you get seated ready for take-off, it’s not a bad idea to set your watch to the time at your destination. It will help you get psychologically aligned and enable you to try and adjust your sleeping patterns by taking a nap during the evening and help your body begin to adjust to a normal sleeping pattern before you arrive.
Physical activity triggers the release of chemicals that will aid digestion and facilitate a good digestion process. We are usually seated for hours while in transit, and on the plane journey itself. Long hours of sitting or being immobile slow down our metabolism making digestion a long and cumbersome process. So move around as much as possible.
Opt for healthy fats for satiation to resist temptation for snacking. Fats also help lubricate the intestines and allow for an easier removal of waste from the body on arrival.
Choose dishes that are rich in herbs and spices, whether on the plane or on arrival. Herbs and spices stimulate the body’s system and help promote circulation and healthy bowel movements.