There are many benefits of traveling. It can help you to meet new people, explore the world, and experience new cultures. However, there are also some negative aspects of frequent traveling that can be harmful to your health. Frequent travelers are more likely to suffer from jet lag, fatigue, and other ailments that may cause discomfort and even a serious illness. This is because our bodies need time to adjust back into a normal routine after being in an unfamiliar environment for long periods of time.
There are also some safety concerns with frequent travelers as they may be more prone to being robbed or assaulted while on the road. We should not think of traveling as a cure-all for our health woes. It is important to be conscious about what we are putting into our bodies and how we are taking care of ourselves when we are away from home.
Frequent traveling is good for your mental health, but there are some downsides as well:
- Jet Lag
- Sleep Disruption
There are a lot of things to take into consideration before traveling. Anyone who has traveled across time zones knows how terrible jetlag can be. You feel tired, lethargic, and spaced out. All you want is to sleep. But your sleep cycles are so messed up that it is difficult to get sleep. All of your body’s natural cycles are intact. It’s possible to feel hungry, but it could be the middle of the night in a new environment. Many people view jet lag simply as a result of traveling. Jet lag can have far worse health effects than just being a result of travel. It has been shown that disruptions in your body cycles (broken circadian rhythms cycles) can be linked to cancer rates being higher, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, insulin resistance (leading towards diabetes), and resistance to Leptin.
Jet Lag can also disrupt your gut health, according to studies. Researchers noted that their microbes became distorted when they were exposed to jet lag. The researchers could clearly see that the transfer of gut microbes to the place where jetlag was highest led to more obesity and glucose intolerance.
Your body’s internal clock, the circadian rhythm, controls many of its functions. Our internal clock is responsible for hormone secretion, sleepiness and alertness as well as hunger sensation. We can get thrown off when we travel to another time zone. That’s called jet lag. Our internal clock needs to be reset. For every hour we travel across a time zone, we need to wait around 6 days before our cycles are fully synchronized. This means that after a six-hour transatlantic flight, we would need six days. What can you do when your trip is less than a week? It is often better to not try to adjust to a new time zone on a business trip. This would make it difficult from a physiological standpoint. If we want to make the most of our touristic stay, we should try to adapt as quickly as possible. This can be done by getting outside and being active in the sun. Flying from east to west is more convenient because we can adapt to a longer day than a shorter one.
Technology and human ingenuity have enabled us to travel the globe in record time, but it is not natural for our bodies to hurl through the air above Earth’s protective ozone layers. Your body is exposed to a variety of unusual environments, which can cause it to experience many challenges when flying. Maintaining proper hydration is one of these challenges. There are many reasons why travel dehydration can occur. Understanding the causes is the first step to resolving it.
- Water loss. Research shows that an airplane’s conditions can cause 1.5-2 liters of water loss per 10-hour flight [ *] regardless of water intake.
- Lower air pressure. Although the aircraft cabin is tightly controlled, altitude shifts can still occur. Low air pressure is a common feature of aircraft. This can lead to dehydration and requires increased respiration (ie breathing).
- Very low humidity levels. Cabins are dryer than the Sahara Desert. Seriously. A typical passenger plane will have around 12% humidity. Sahara experiences about 25% humidity. This is the only way it can be. To maintain a higher humidity level, the aircraft must carry heavy, costly water. Excess condensation could cause damage and corrosion to aircraft parts.
These drivers of travel dehydration may not seem like a huge deal to you, but consider this: water makes up around 60% of your body. Water is essential for the proper functioning and development of every body system. If you lose only 1.5% of your body’s water, mild dehydration may occur. Normal water levels are approximately 43 liters for a 70kg body. This would mean that you would lose almost 5% of your fluid volume if you lost 2 liters of water from water loss when you fly. This is more than three times the water loss that qualifies as mild dehydration. This does not include other sources of aircraft dehydration. You’re likely to feel dehydrated while flying. You’re likely to feel side effects when you fly.
Before you fly, make sure you talk to your doctor about any underlying medical conditions. Also, plan when you will take routine medication. It’s possible to get lost in a new time zone, so be sure you know the time in your destination city.
Second, it is a good idea to walk at least once every two hours while you are flying. Also, drink 100ml water per hour to keep hydrated. This will encourage you to get up every hour and go to the lavatory.
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