As summer vacations draw near and travel plans are in full swing, maintaining an active lifestyle during long-haul flights is crucial, as emphasized by doctors in the UAE. The discomfort of cramped seating, minimal legroom, and the tedium of being in a confined space for extended periods can tempt one to sleep. However, the key to thriving rather than just enduring long flights often lies in staying active and engaged, which helps combat the challenges of air travel and prevents the body from becoming overly stiff.

Healthcare experts have outlined common health issues associated with long flights, such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), back and neck pain, shoulder injuries from improper lifting of heavy luggage, dehydration, and motion sickness. Dr. Mahesh Cirasanambati, Managing Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Burjeel Holdings, highlighted these concerns. Medical professionals stress that staying active can significantly reduce stress, enhance blood circulation, relax the body, and uplift mood.

Medical advice suggests that once the seat belt sign is off, passengers should walk for three to five minutes whenever possible. Dr. Laiba Ashfaq, a Physiotherapist at Aman Lil Afia Clinic, recommends simple exercises like controlled breathing, foot circles, and ankle lifts to prevent stiffness. She also suggests knee lifts to the chest to maintain flexibility.

Proper hydration is also crucial, as it helps prevent clots and cramps. Dr. Hina Salam Siddiqui, Specialist in Family Medicine at Zulekha Medical Centre, Al Khan, advises drinking plenty of water and performing neck stretches to alleviate muscle tension. Engaging in shoulder rolls and arm stretches, along with wearing compression socks, can further enhance circulation and reduce the risk of DVT.