As the winter season is on its way closer and closer, you might have booked your plane tickets for your Courchevel Holiday, accommodation and so on.
Traveling by plane is a hard experience for your body. As I m flying soon back to europe for my Courchevel winter season on a long flight, I did a bit of research after reading an article about Qantas airways.
Some of you may fly really long hours to come to Courchevel , but Qantas will hit a 17 hours record flight in 2018. It’s gonna be the longest commercial single flight in the world, departing from Perth to London. I ll fly longer to come back home to Courchevel, but I will connect flights.
Physical effects are well studied by aeronautical medecine. The first effect appears straight from take off, others after 4 hours. And your body will recover after a minimum of 48 hours.
First effect and most common, as you gain altitude your ears are popping, you need to equalise the cabin air pressure and your internal ears Air pressure. An easy way is to force yourself yarning, or chew a gum, or block your nose and blow “in your ears”. Be careful if you got an ear infection as the process might be painful.
You might suffer from your teeth, gaining altitude expands the gas within your body. We all got in our theeth micro cavities that contain air, when it expands the bubbles of gas press on your teeth. Some passengers then experience teeth pain.
Talking about gas being expanding, you may feel a bit farty I would say... Before the flight ask your physiotherapist about abdominal exercices, it will help realease what got to be realeased.
Cortisol is a really important chemical for our body, it decreases and increases during our 24 hours cycle. It’s vital for our body, it helps our body for physical and mental coordination. Long flights are totally disturbing for this cycle, not mentioning jet lag that is induced by melatonin disturbances. Your body is not balancing well, your moves on the slopes of Courchevel are not precise and even your mood can be quite bad, and making decision can be difficult. This symptoms usually disappear after 48 hours as your body is setting its clock quite quickly. I ve seen many times, patients coming to me for a ski injury after a crash on the slopes that accured during that 48 hours interval.
In courchevel, you can ask you physiotherapist for a session of gymnastics, body exercices that will help recover faster, and avoid a bad injury.
Deep Vein Trombosis or DVT can be deadly, as the blood stays in the calfs ( triceps) it can coagulate, the bloc travels then to your heart, lungs and at that point you likely to be dead. It can happen as soon as 4 hours of being seated. The main symptoms are usually a sharp pain in your calf and a lack of motion in you calf muscles. To avoid that talk a walk in the plane at least every 2 hours,and circle your feet as much as you can. Ask your physio in courchevel, for a circulatory Massage as you arrive. Your legs will feel great and your leg muscles will be ready and detoxified for a hard day on the slopes of Courchevel .
We all love to watch movies during a long flight, mind your ears !! A jet engine produces 140 decibels noise, enough to be deaf in a matter of minutes. So on top of the jet engines, don’t put the headphones volume too loud.
You will be dried out. The relative altitude inside a jet liner is about 2000 meters. Physics laws are making water escape from our body at this altitude. So drink plenty of water and avoid coffee, tea, and alcohol during the flight as they are diuretic. Keep in mind, once you arrive in Courchevel you stay, sleep, eat, ski, party at 2000 meters, so keep drinking water. I personally drink 3 liters a day during my physio osteo work.
Diseases are carried by the air flow of the cabin. Despite getting fresh Air from the outside via the engines, we got higher chances to get that flu that your seat companion got.
Physiotherapy as you see can help ease the effects of long flights. So if you are coming from Australia on that breaking record 17 hours Qantas flight from Perth to ski in Courchevel , ring my phone !!
(the pictures were taken during my flight from Sydney to Taiwan)