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Sit in bulkhead or exit row
aisles. Bulkheads offer extra legroom and no
one can recline his seat back into your face.
Remember that you have to store your carry-on
luggage in the overheads. Exit rows have the
luxury of extra foot room, but you must be able
to open the emergency door, if needed.
Dress for duress. Wear
flat-soled, lace-up shoes so you can loosen them
if your feet swell. Rubber soles my catch on the
exit slide during an emergency, and dress shoes
don't adjust for swelling.
Protect your bags. Checked
bags can get lost. If you have to check, use
curbside skycaps to avoid lugging heavy bags
through the terminal. Always use luggage locks;
some baggage handlers get over-curious about
what's in your bag.
Entertain yourself. Bring
plenty of magazines; they're lighter than books
and disposable. Don't forget your Walkman,
either; it's the perfect way to catch up on
those motivational tapes you've been meaning to
listen to or to avoid unwelcome chatter from the
person sitting next to you.
Do "air-aerobics". A number of airlines offer in-seat exercise
routines to help reduce swelling and pain from
cramped muscles and reduced circulation. A
number of airlines offer in-flight tips.
Fix your posture. Airline
seats don't adjust for relaxed spinal posture.
Support your lumbar spine with a rolled-up
blanket and your head and neck with a pillow.
Another pillow or blanket to prop up your feet
will relieve pressure on the backs of your
Sit up front. A recently
released Harvard study found air quality in
aircraft cabins didn't meet minimum standards
for office buildings. You'll find less carbon
dioxide in forward seats. During layovers, get
off and take a walk; breathe deeply.
Drink eight ounces of water
every hour. Airplane air has only 1% to 10%
humidity, even less than most deserts. You'll
need more than the two small cart drinks offered
on most flights. Bring your own bottled water,
and avoid coffee, alcohol and carbonated drinks,
which are dehydrating diuretics.
Eat light. Even if you
order vegetarian meals, everything but fruit
plates contains too much salt and fat. Bring
your own healthy snacks, like dehydrated soups
or nutrition bars. Don't overeat, since your
internal organs naturally swell due to cabin
Use daylight to adjust to a
new time zone. The Association of Flight
Attendants said the secret is to follow the same
wake-up, bedtime, work and meal hours in your
new location as in your old time zone. Don't try
to catch up on sleep by going to bed right after
you land or trying to stay up just because you
gained a few hours. You'll adjust more quickly
if your follow the clock.
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