Keeping Safe While Flying
There’s a love-hate side to travel. Being there is great but getting there not so much. Long distance flights are usually no fun at all, especially if you are like us and fly coach. With a price difference on international flights as high as ten times we feel the pain is worth the price.
We’re told to get up and walk around to help our circulation but that is just not practical on night flights where you are stuck between two or three people on a wide body jet. The cabin crew isn’t pleased either with isle walkers getting in their way.
You can find some relief if you plan ahead on those long flights, especially if your cramped in coach. One area of particular concern is the toll it can take on your circulation. It isn’t unusual to discover that your ankles swell and maybe even hurt on and after a long flight. While the risk of developing blood clots on a flight is pretty low, it does goes up with age and as travel length increases.
A lot of athletes and seniors already know the solution. Ask you doctor and he’ll tell you to wear compression socks. These stockings help increase circulation and reduce the risk of swelling or worse, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and clotting on long flights.
An excerpt from the Mayo Clinic explains, “Compression stockings steadily squeeze your legs, helping your veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. They offer a safe, simple and inexpensive way to keep blood from stagnating.”
Another item that has come to my attention is a travel pillow that isn’t that half donut. I’ve been traveling with my inflatable half-donut for a number of years and the only thing I have to recommend it is everyone else is using one too. My experience has been that while it provides some help at supporting my neck and head it really doesn’t provide support for keeping your head up straight and that seems to be where the strain is.
Recently I found a straight line, bendable pillow that has a rigid center. It allows you to bend it so there is a higher point on one end that does seem to support your head when wrapped behind the neck. Available HERE.
Another problem with flying is getting trapped in that enclosed environment that recirculates the air along with a number of people sneezing and coughing. I know we’ve come down with a flu or cold within a few days of a flight on a number of occasions. One approach is to do what a lot of Japanese flyers do and wear a face mask. While it may seem odd to see an entire group exiting a plane wearing surgical masks, it does have a practical side. We discovered this item a few years ago on an episode of Shark Tank. We ordered them and have used them often. They’re discreet little adhesive pads with HEPA filters that you stick to each nostril called First Defense and you can find them on Amazon and Ebay.
Now there are a number of competitors out there including 3M and WoodyKnows (also available from Amazon ) that claim to offer the same protection.
Be safer and more comfortable on your next flight by planning ahead.