Health and First Aid Tips

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Jet Lag

Flying long distances over several time zones can be very hard on your body, disrupting your internal clock, and resulting in a condition known as Jet Lag.

Travelers with Jet Lag can suffer from a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, headache, anxiety, indigestion, disorientation, cold like symptoms, and irregular bowels. All of which are guaranteed to put a damper on the first few days of a trip.

The general rule is that a human body takes about one day to recover for each time zone crossed. Since most travelers do not want to waste any valuable vacation time on Jet Lag recovery, there are a few things that they can do to help diminish the effects Jet Lag.

  • Several days prior to travel, slowly adjust your sleep schedule to match the time zone you will be traveling to so there is less of a transition.
  • Hydrate before traveling, and be sure to drink plenty of water while on the plane. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, because these will only dehydrate you.
  • During the flight, try to stretch and move around frequently. Some flights have a short video at the beginning of the flight that shows how to stretch and get the blood moving a little while sitting in your seat.
  • Try to avoid flying over night. Overnight flights are more likely to disrupt regular sleep patterns and can make it harder to recover.
  • Bring along anything that will help you sleep better on the plane. Comfortable clothing, pillows, blindfolds, neck rests, earplugs, and headphones are some tools that can make it easier to sleep.
  • Many suggest that diet can have a lot to do with Jet Lag. There are Anti-Jet Lag diets that follow detailed regimens that have worked for some.
  • Some people take sleep aids to fall asleep on planes, however most health professionals suggest avoiding this. Sleep aids can help you fall asleep, but you won't necessarily stay asleep. Instead travelers awake feeling groggy and disoriented.
  • Medicines like Melatonin and No-Jet-Lag claim to fight Jet Lag, however there is no solid research to support this.
   

First Aid Kits

Keeping a first aid kit in your car, luggage, boat, or home is always a good idea in case of a minor medical emergency. Regardless of the situation, there are some basic essentials that should prepare you for most accidents or illnesses.

Addresses and phone numbers to local hospitals

Medicine for upset stomach or diarrhea.

Cough and cold medicines

Pain medicine, ibuprofen for anti-swelling

Antihistamines for allergies

Nasal decongestants

Sunscreen

Antibiotic ointment

Bandages

Lip balm

Hydrocortisone cream

Motion sickness medicine

Antiseptic wipes

Electrolyte packs

Tweezers

Mole skin for blisters

Laxatives

Insect repellent

Anti-malarial medicines (depending on where you go)

Urinary tract infections meds

Throat Lozenges

Prescription Medicines

   

Seasickness

Seasickness can turn any exciting water adventure into a nightmare. Seasickness presents itself in a variety of very unpleasant ways such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and an overall feeling of malaise. People who have a tendency towards motion sickness are more likely to suffer from seasickness, however it can strike anyone.

When it comes to treating seasickness, the best defense is a good offense. Taking certain precautions before getting out on the water can make a world of difference. Some of the most successful preventative measures:

Try to get a good night's sleep

Don't drink alcohol beforehand

Eat a healthy meal, try to avoid greasy food

Drink plenty of water

Take prescription or over the counter motion sickness medicine

Eat ginger, a natural seasickness medicine

Place motion sickness patches behind the ear

Acupressure bracelets

If you find yourself out on the water without a chance to prepare, there are a few things that can relieve symptoms a little and make the boat ride more pleasant.

Stay close to the middle of the boat where there is less movement

Look at the horizon

Do not lie or sit down

Stay up on deck, and try to avoid confined spaces

Keep busy to take mind off of the sickness

Sleep on back

Sip water or eat fruit to stay hydrated

Eat soda crackers to help upset stomach

Avoid fumes from boat if possible

Motion sickness medicine can help after the onset of symptoms

Taking a few simple preventative measures before going out can mean the difference between having an enjoyable time on the water and spending your boat ride hanging over the side.

   
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