Your Body On Flights!

So what actually happens to your body when you’re on a long haul flight? Sure you might know the basics but there’s a few extra things you may not know that can get you feeling better sooner.Global Flights

Your Nose– Nasal passages dry out due to the lack of humidity in the planes air supply by stripping the protective mucous layer. This allows germs to enter the body more easily. The recycled air is filtered but the germs and virus’ still spread through the plane and in confined space. (Remember incubating pet chickens?)

Your Stomach– Norovirus is a powerful and highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It lives in bathroom taps, door handles and even tray tables (basically anywhere touchable) Keep your hands to yourself, wash regularly and avoid touching your face or eyes.

Your Blood– Low air pressure on planes and inactivity (restrictions on star jumps) causes circulation to slow and potentially clog up your veins otherwise known as deep vein thrombosis.

Your Ears– The inner ear is responsible for balance and is the cause of that motion sickness feeling. Ear popping from pressurisation changes also affects the ear and can last for a period of time after the flight. We joke about attending festivals or concerts and returning with that ringing noise in the ear, saying ‘ oh you will be deaf by the time your 60’ well, it’s maybe not so funny as true. Playing tunes and movies over the sound of plane engines is frying those nerve endings even further. Unfortunate for us frequent flyers.

Your Cells– Getting crazy now but us fliers are exposed to higher levels of cosmic radiation. Not only the x-rays at security give radiation but in the sky, the earth’s atmosphere is thinner above 30,000 feet letting in more cosmic radiation. Flying returns from the east-west coast of America is equivalent to the radiation received in a chest x-ray? This is something for mainly flight crews or pregnant women to be concerned about but interesting and something I never considered.

Your Sleep– Forget your circadian rhythms especially crossing multiple time zones. Jet Lag is the most commonly known side effect of long distance flights. The lack of sleep and light sleep you do get on the plane leaves you feeling exhausted, drained and of course tired.

Your Mind– Combine all of the above into one and your EXHAUSTED. For the next few days, even a week or more whilst your body will begin to adjust, rehydrate, recover and catch up on sleep. Expect lapses in concentration, forgetting things and potentially bad moods 😉


Nose-Tissues handy.

Stomach-Baby wipes and Dettol hand sanitiser, there’s also those strange toilet seat covers on planes, strange but genius for health.

Blood– ‘Old people’s socks’ or travel compression socks along with a pair of 2xu or skins to help circulation. Stretch and walk as much as possible, it is recommended 5 minutes every hour.

Ears– Seat over the wing is steady against motion sickness. Minties or gum to chew prevents your ears from blocking during take-off and landing.

Cells– Avoid excessively going through security, otherwise not much you can do.

Sleep-There’s many recommendations for jet lag, personally I sleep when I can, as much as I can and simulate time zone of destination as soon as possible.

Mind– Deal with it! Unfortunately just do your best and cut yourself some slack for a few days.

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