Travel is not just about a sense of being wayworn. Think about long flights. As you transit from one continent to the other in a rather short period of time, you witness a change in time zones and even climates. Therefore, at the end of such a journey, your body can feel stressed due to various factors such as sleeping cycle, air pressure, climate, and temperature. Some recent studies reveal that traveling, and of course flying, can negatively affect your immune system.
However, it’s also possible to boost your immune system to prepare your body for flying. According to a research published in the medical literature magazine Science, diet and lighting are the most important parameters affecting the immunity cells in your body.
A regular sleep cycle also bears great significance to a healthy immune system. A lot of research has proven that lack of sleep weakens the immune system. For instance, a research conducted by the University of Washington observed twins with different sleep cycles and revealed that the one sleeping less had a weaker immune system than the other. You need at least six hours of a good night’s sleep. Other research points out that men need seven or eight hours of sleep while women need six or seven.
Flying can also affect your digestive system due to cabin pressure and lack of movement for long periods. During long flights, you should primarily opt for low-fat proteins, whole grains, and aqueous food in your diet. To preserve your fluid balance, you should refrain from sugary or carbonated drinks and caffeine before or during your flight. Replace salty snacks with salad, fruit, or aqueous food. Another hint is to drink a glass of water for every hour of your flight.
I think we all know how dry it is inside the cabin. In a dry atmosphere, the parts of the body that are exposed to the lack of humidity in the air lose liquid and become defenseless against germs. To prevent dry skin, you can increase your liquid intake and put lotion on your hands and face. In addition, lack of attention to hand hygiene is another important reason why we get sick after flights in winter. Therefore, hand sanitizer gels could come in handy.
Regular movement is another significant factor in having a strong immune system. A light workout routine after a long flight will increase the oxygen intake of your muscles, and help your body regulate its rhythm and adapt to new time zones.
Stress is another factor that negatively affects your immune system. It has been observed that people who make an effort to practice spiritual relaxation by meditating or doing yoga become sick less often and, due to lower levels of stress, have a stronger immune system. And you can do all this while flying!