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Avoid Jet Bloat

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Flying doesn't have to mean walking off the plane with that all-too-familiar puffy feeling: jet bloat. Three experts tell you how to beat it.
The doctor says...

"Take bathroom breaks whenever the fasten-seat-belt sign goes off to keep blood and other body fluids circulating," says Sandra Fryhofer, MD, a clinical associate professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. "Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and salt -- all of which cause water retention -- and drink at least 8 ounces of water for every hour in flight. Once on the ground, drink a cup of hot green tea and take 500 milligrams of vitamin B complex; both are natural diuretics."

The trainer says...

"When you can't get up and stretch, shift position in your seat at least every half hour -- cross your legs, prop your feet on your carry-on, or lean forward and interlace your fingers in front of you," says Keli Roberts, creator of the Time-Saver DVD workout series. "When you land, walk for 15 minutes at a comfortable pace to get blood moving in your lower limbs."

The scientist says...

"The day before a flight involving a time difference of six hours or more, eat your meals and go to sleep three hours earlier than you normally would. This will lessen jet lag and its side effects, like bloating, by helping your body get into sync faster in the new time zone," says Hava Siegelmann, PhD, director of the biocomputation laboratory at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Trying to acclimate before you leave can help you get better adjusted -- and feel less bloated -- when you land.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, December 2006.

 

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