(Natural News) The U.S. Travel Association reported that in 2015, at least 1.7 billion people traveled for leisure, while about 459 million flew for business. However, while air travel is one of the most convenient modes of transport, it’s also that poses the most harm to your health.
How to prevent health problems linked to frequent travel
When you’re always traveling by aircraft, you’re constantly exposed to re-circulated toxic air fumes within airplane cabins. Other common health problems linked to frequent air travel are impaired sleep and difficulty finding fresh, organic food, especially across the U.S. where highly-processed junk food is king.
NaturalHealth365’s Talk Hour’s host Jonathan Landsman and Dr. John Ayo, a naturopathic doctor and author, discuss some of the best ways to maintain your physical and mental health while traveling.
Follow the tips below to prevent issues like jet lag and sleep problems.
Jet lag, muscle stiffness, and travel stress
Before you board your plane, active during the pre-flight section of your trip. Ayo advised that as soon are you find the gate for departure, you can minimize your travel stress and prevent muscle stiffness by walking briskly from one end of the terminal to the other.
Use your backpacks and carry on bags as makeshift weights. If you don’t mind getting some stares from the other passengers, do some mini-curls while you’re brisk walking:
- Stand up straight and keep your shoulders back. Carry a bag in each hand.
- Keep your upper arms still, then curl your arms up towards your chest. Squeeze your biceps as you curl your arms.
- Slowly lower your arms back to the starting position. Start with three sets of as many reps as you can until you need to board the plane.
When you’re not in a hurry, don’t use the elevators, escalators and moving sidewalks. Walk and use the stairs whenever you can at the airport, and keep walking even if you’ve already reached your hotel.
Once you’re settled in your room, visit the hotel’s fitness room whenever you can. If your hotel doesn’t have a fitness area, check out some tai chi or yoga workout videos online and exercise inside your room. (Related: Simple ways to stay healthy while you travel.)
How to get proper sleep if you’re a frequent traveler
Getting enough sleep while you’re traveling is essential to maintain your overall health. To avoid insomnia, address two of the most common causes of poor-quality sleep:
- Insufficient exposure to natural light during the day
- Excessive exposure to “blue light” from electronic devices at nighttime
According to health experts, when you spend most of your day exposed to artificial light, you can suffer from “light deficiency.” Once this happens, your body will have a hard time using the melatonin, the sleep hormone, properly.
On the other hand, night-time exposure to “blue light,” the light emitted by computers or laptops, smartphones, or TV sets, may negatively affect your sleep. Blue light can make the brain think that it’s still daytime, which can mess if your circadian rhythm. Keep your phone and other gadgets out of reach so you can get enough sleep at night.
Blue light, which can be useful during the daylight since it boosts attention, mood, and reaction times, can have a disruptive effect at night. When you’re exposed to light, the body’s melatonin secretion is suppressed. However, blue light suppresses the secretion of this crucial hormone more than other kinds of light.
According to data from a study by Harvard researchers, exposure to blue light can suppress melatonin secretion at least twice as long as other kinds of light. Research data also showed that blue light could shift your circadian rhythms by twice as much, or around three hours, compared to other types of light (1.5 hours).
Keep these tips in mind whenever you’re traveling so you can avoid jet lag, muscle stiffness, and sleep problems.
You can read more articles with tips on how to stay healthy while traveling at Health.news.