Traveling can wreak havoc on your body. Stiff joints, sluggishness, and dehydration are byproducts of travel that we all reluctantly subject ourselves to. But why does all this happen and how can you combat it? Here are some fun things to be aware of while traveling.
Traveling in airplanes can:
Dehydrate you. Dry skin, red eyes, and a parched mouth come from the low levels of humidity inside a plane. This is caused by the way air is pulled into the cabin and mixed for breathability. Dehydration is uncomfortable, and can also have serious effects on the health and performance of your muscular and cardiovascular system.
Increase joint pain. If you’re someone who suffers regular joint pain, the changes in air pressure inside an airplane can trigger an inflammatory response that causes pain in well-worn joints. So if you’re like me, whose younger athletic glory has led to some pretty crappy joints, flying can be downright painful.
Increase back pain. If you sit for long periods of time anywhere, you’re going to experience some stiffness. If you sit crammed into a tiny torture chair for an entire flight, then your stiffness levels can rival your grandpa on the dance floor. This puts a lot of pressure on your lower spine and can increase back pain and tension. Sitting like this can also lead to poor circulation and swollen feet.
Make you feel Bleh. Air pressure inside a plane at altitude is much lower than it is at sea level. This means you body takes in less oxygen when you breathe, and can result in a feeling of sluggishness, drowsiness, or downright crankiness.
Stress you out.The whole experience (rushing to the airport, waiting in long lines, dealing with luggage fees, noisy neighbors, and that awkward armrest situation) can raise your cortisol levels and leave you feeling stressed. And stress has numerous negative side effects on the way you feel, not only mentally, but also physically.
So how can you combat all of this? Make sure to maintain a great wellness practice on the road.