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Friday, August 10, 2012

OFW guide: How to cope with stress from traveling abroad

International traveling can be burdensome and may cause stress and illness.
Even fit and healthy persons like the world's top athletes can become ill because of international travel, a report of the news site British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) said.

Citing a study, the BBC said "elite athletes who travel across more than five timezones to compete, more than double their risk of illness."
A study tracked the health of 259 rugby players who competed for the 2010 Super 14 Rugby Tournament over sixteen weeks in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
There were 15 reported complications for matches played on home turf in a span of 1,000 days played.
On the other hand, there were 33 complications that rose when players competed in areas more than five hours’ time difference away from home.
Most of the complications were respiratory conditions, gut problems and skin irritations.
Some of the triggers of these complications are:
  • Air pollution
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Allergens
  • Altitude
  • Culture
  • Germs
  • Food
Professor Martin Schwellnus, one of the authors of the study said: “It is a common perception that international travel increases illness - due to organisms in aeroplanes.”
“The stresses of traveling seem not to affect the players because when they return home the risk of illness does not differ from normal,” he added.
However, the study explains that when a person is out of their normal environment the tendencies for catching illnesses increases.
How to cope with stress
Meanwhile, the blogsite Stress and Health Online lists some helpful tips on how to avoid possible complications during a dragging international flight.
(1) Rest when you can.
Due to the jetlag and the different time zones that you enter which you aren’t used to, your body will feel extremely exhausted.
Whenever you feel like drowsing off, don’t fight it. Your body needs all the energy it can store but make sure you don’t miss out on your next flight by oversleeping.
Tip: Have a mobile phone or watch with an alarm feature.

(2) Keep moving.
Sitting still for a couple of hours straight will definitely be dangerous to your health.
This may result in blood clots and might even lead to a heart attack so make sure you move around whether in the airplane or the airport.
Tip: Go to the comfort room every now and then to wash your face or just do your thing.
(3) Entertain yourself.
Watch a few movies, listen to feel-good songs and read magazines to avoid stress.
Tip: If you have nothing better to do then this is the perfect time to bum around with movie marathons.
(4) Wear loose clothing.
Remember that you will be stuck in a plane high above any mountain peak and there is no way that you can get off whenever you please so be sure to wear loose clothing.
This will help you go into a relaxed mindset, making it easier to pass time.
Tip: Don’t dress to kill, the plane is not a social venue to impress.
(5) Be a picky eater.
The farther you travel the more time zones and countries you traverse. As the plane soars border by border, food will become weirder since it tends to be more appealing to other cultures.
Don’t splurge on food even if you like how it tastes or you are hungry. Just eat a decent amount that will be filling for you so you could avoid an upset stomach.
Tip: Always taste food first before putting a huge serving on your plate. Don’t finish something that you don’t like.
- VVP, GMA News

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