Published On: Mon, Apr 1st, 2024
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Tourists risk health issues by not exercising when flying – expert tips | Travel News | Travel

The online physiotherapy supplier GulfPhysio has given tourists advice on how they can prevent health risks during long-haul flights.

Whilst flying allows tourists to reach the other side of the world in a matter of hours, many planes make it incredibly difficult for passengers to move around once they are up in the air.

Kieran Sheridan, physiotherapist and co-founder of GulfPhysio, warned that staying still for such a long amount of time can cause serious health risks.

He explained: “Prolonged immobility, especially in an upright position such as sitting, can increase DVT [Deep Vein Thrombosis] risk. If the clot breaks loose and goes into the lungs, it can cause a condition known as pulmonary embolism which can result in chest pain, shortness of breath or death.

“This is why you need to stretch or perform excercises during travelling, especially for the calf muscles. If it remains immobile, it will result in limited or poor blood circulation in your lower leg and will make you prone to DVT.”

To avoid the health risk, GulfPhysio suggested that passengers should make sure to exercise before and after the flight.

Typically, these are stretches which can be done during quiet periods, such as whilst passengers are waiting in the airport or in their hotel room.

In particular, travellers should focus on stretches that exercise the legs, feet and back, which are not often used whilst sitting down.

In addition to this, GulfPhysio also recommended that tourists try to remain as active as possible on long distance flights.

Primarily, this includes some small stretches and exercises whilst the passenger is in their seat, such as by rolling their neck and rotating their ankles to reduce pain and improve circulation.

However, if it is possible, travellers should also try to get out of their seat to visit the bathroom or simply walking along the aisles at least once every two hours.

Finally, Kieran highlighted that passengers must remember to drink plenty of water during the flight to avoid dehydration and cramping.

He continued: “Whilst on the plane, there is low humidity which can cause dehydration. If you can’t bring water [on board], you could get headaches and fatigue.

“Dehydration can also cause cramps and, if you combine that with no exercise during a flight, the body will start to suffer so much.”

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