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Traveling can be exciting for some, but, whether it's for pleasure or for business, it wreaks havoc on our bodies all the same.
The lack of sleep and jet lag result in pure exhaustion, while cramped seats leave our muscles aching and backs sore. Mix in crankiness from never-ending security lines and greasy airport food, stress and weariness from travel are almost never worth the trip itself.
While we can't do much about changing time zones or minimal legroom, there are ways to minimize the toll your body takes when flying. We caught up with Ashley Matsumura, a flight attendant with Emirates with over seven years of experience under her belt, about her top health hacks, how she combats muscle fatigue and her go-to beauty essential she uses mid-flight.
THE MID-FLIGHT SAVIOR
"I typically have nine flights a month. Our schedules change weekly, but flights can last anywhere up to 16 hours," she explained to AOL Lifestyle.
"My skin tends to dry out from spending so much time on the aircraft. That being said, I make sure to stay hydrated and keep my face as clean as possible to avoid drying out or breakouts. Sheet face masks are perfect when I’m on the go as they’re easy to put on mid-flight, and only take 15 to 20 minutes to help rejuvenate and rehydrate my skin."
Experts explain that while your skin is best in humidity that is between 40 to 70 percent, humidity in most airplane cabins is at around 20 percent.
Matsumura even uses sheet masks on long flights, with her favorite being the best-selling Luminous Dewy Skin Mask from Tatcha, made from the antioxidant-rich botanical Uji green tea, mozuku algae for water retention and Akita rice, the last of which is rich in essential proteins.
"One of the best ways to experience a culture is through its food. That being said, it’s easy to get carried away. A tip I’ve learned is to share a few small plates with my travel partner to avoid overdoing it. Another tip is to ask for the rest of the food to-go and get two (or three) meals out of one, saving calories and cash."
"Hydrating is a key element to staying healthy while on the road (or in the air). As mentioned before, it not only helps to keep your skin hydrated, but it eases jet lag, increases energy levels and flushes out toxins."
"With a packed schedule, unfamiliar beds, quirky layovers and time-zone changes, it’s easy for my sleep schedule to get thrown off while traveling. My number-one recommendation is to make sure you’re getting enough quality rest. Not only is it the ideal complement to a solid diet and exercise regimen, but it helps to improve your mood as well."
Avoiding salty foods
"When flying, I also recommend staying away from any foods that cause indigestion or a bloated feeling, as this will ultimately leave you in discomfort and struggling to snooze. For example, avoiding sodium in processed snacks such as chips and pretzels."
BEST TIME TO EXERCISE
While Matsumura 's passport is most definitely packed with enviable vacation spots, her first to-do after almost any flight is to work up a sweat.
"I almost always exercise after a flight as it helps to reduce muscle fatigue and encourage blood flow," she told AOL. "The biological clock requires approximately one day per time zone crossed to fully adjust, so if I can’t sleep on arrival, I try to do a light exercise, such as a brisk walk, to help adjust my body clock!"
Sometimes, she opts for a workout in the gym at her hotel. Other times, it's a run outside, which is also opportune for her to get a taste of a new city.
"The good thing about working out is that you can do it anywhere! The hotel gym isn’t an option, I opt for a run outside -- this is an awesome way to explore a new destination -- or work out in my room. Thankfully, there are thousands of workout videos online, so I have the option to switch it up every once in a while to ensure I’m never bored and getting a full-body workout."
WELLNESS ESSENTIALS MATSUMURA NEVER FORGETS
1. A reusable water bottle
"Staying hydrated is a key element to staying healthy while on the road (or in the air). I always pack a reusable water bottle to ensure I’m never without H2O. Not only does it help to ease jet lag, but it increases my energy levels, flushes out toxins and keeps my skin hydrated. I personally like the Que bottle as it’s collapsible and easy to fit in my carry on."
"I always make sure to pack resistance bands or a jump rope for simple workouts I can do anywhere. Not only do they help to enhance my workout but are small enough to fit in my suitcase without taking up too much room."
Cindy Mackenzie, Air hostess and public face of Qantas.Millions of television viewers know her as the face of the new Qantas. But for Cindy Mackenzie, it was a case of deja vu.Two years ago, the attractive flight attendant made her screen debut in another airline advertising campaign - for her then employer Australian Airlines.Few outside the group would appreciate the significance of her re-appearance in the past few weeks in the first TV ads for the combined Qantas and Australian.It was not, however, lost on the Qantas chairman, Gary Pemberton, and his board. The choice of Cindy has been a deliberate ploy to pep up the morale of her Australian colleagues, still hurting over the $400 million takeover. August 23, 1993. (Photo by Bruce Milton Miller/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Britannia Airways stewardess, Viv Donnelly, at Newcastle Airport. 14/06/1989. (Photo by NCJ Archive/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Ms Susan Nixon - a clerk with All Nippon Airways - speaks Japanese, is an Australian citizen and was knocked back by Qantas for a position as a flight attendant. May 31, 1989. (Photo by Greg White/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Martine, a flight attendant, serving meals on a British Airways Concorde, UK, 31st August 1983. (Photo by M. McKeown/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
TAA Airhostess Sharyn Parkes at her flat in Monterey.Story about how glamorous image of Airhostess's has changes.Sharyn Parkes, has been a TAA flight attendant (domestically they are not called hosties anymore) for about five years, wouldn't change it for anything, is full of praise for the lifestyle it affords and has recommended it to her friends and sisters.She doesn't see it as particularly glamorous, it's rather more like hard work but is certainly worth it: "Now I couldn't imagine getting up at 7.30 each morning, getting the 'bus, then rushing home in peak-hour traffic and doing my shopping on Thursday nights or Saturday morning and going to the beach when everyone else is there." September 29, 1982. (Photo by Gerrit Alan Fokkema/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Chris Mitchell, 21, of North Epping, The first male flight attendant with T.A.A.Bronwyn Wright, Chris Mitchell, Dane Hul, aboard A T.A.A. Aircraft. September 30, 1980. (Photo by Antony Matheus Linsen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
TAA's airhostesses began wearing a new uniform today. The airline's 700 hostesses will be progressively changing over to the new uniforms during the next few months. Their current uniform was introduced nearly six years ago.One the tarmac the girls quickly change into some of the many ***** of the uniform which will be worn aboard aircraft.Left to right: Ann Farmer, Sandy Walsh and Cathy Storic.The girls make a quick change on the tarmac into some of the many combinations of uniform they will be able to wear in flight. September 21, 1976. (Photo by Barry James Gilmour/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
TAA's airhostesses began wearing a new uniform today. The airline's 700 hostesses will be progressively changing over to the new uniforms during to ***** next few months. Their current uniform was introduced nearly six years ago.Left to right: Cathy Storic of Kirribilli, wearing the winter uniform of long coat and boots; Ann Farmer of Bexley, wearing the white summer uniform and Sandy White of Brighton, wearing the navy blue all-seasons uniform. September 21, 1976. (Photo by Barry James Gilmour/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Air Hostess Story - T.A.A. Air Hostess -- L to R: Betty Clarrson of Rosaille Leonie Broun of Willoughby Jane Morgan of Rose Bay Sandra Matheson of Neutral Bay. April 08, 1976. (Photo by Antony Matheus Linsen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Flight Hostesses Modeling the New Aer Lingus Flight Hostesses uniform, 18/03/1975 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection). (Photo by Independent News and Media/Getty Images).
22nd March 1973: Two models wearing new stewardess uniforms which have been designed by Mary Quant, at Luton Airport, Bedfordshire. (Photo by Frank Barratt/Keystone/Getty Images)
Left to right: Flight Hostess Cathy Cray, 25 of Los AngelesFlight Hostess Sharron Taylor, 22 of Oakland.Three female members of Pan Ams' Flight Service recruitment department in New York arrived today to commence interviewing 360 Australian girls which have recently applied for Air Hostess positions with Pan Am. July 17, 1972. (Photo by Trevor James Robert Dallen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Qantas Air Hostess Pat Wood. November 02, 1971. (Photo by Trevor James Robert Dallen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
View of passengers and a flight attendant in the cabin of a United Airlines plane during a flight, March 4, 1974. (Photo by Marion S Trikosko/US News and World Report Photo Collection/PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
TAA today released its "New Look" -- three colour air hostess uniforms. The aim of the multi colour design is to "freshen and make the airline's image even friendlier.Three air hostesses wearing the new uniforms. (Left to right) Kerry Broughton, of Perty, Rhiannon Jones, Broken Hill and Sherrin Sumner, of Katoomba.New hostess uniforms are part of T.A.A.'s move to project a friendly image of service and efficiency. June 02, 1970. (Photo by Trevor James Robert Dallen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Family picture taken on January 13, 1970 of the aircrew of the first commercial flight of the Boeing 747 from New York to London for Pan American. On September 30, 1968, the first 747 was rolled out of the Everett assembly building before the world's press and representatives of the 26 airlines that had ordered the plane, and first flight took place on February 09, 1969. The Boeing 747, called also "Jumbo Jet", entered service on January 21, 1970, on Pan Am's New York�London route. (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
A Pan American (Pan Am) airhostess serving champagne in the first class cabin of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Passengers boarding the aircraft.A Qantas Boeing 707 charted by TAA to fly to New Guinea left today with a Qantas flight crew and TAA hostesses.It will be the only Qantas aircraft to operate today as all other the company's aircraft have been grounded due to the stewards strike. April 4, 1968. (Photo by Trevor James Robert Dallen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Une hôtesse de l'air de la Pan American World Airways, dont l'uniforme -créé par Evan Picone- se compose notamment d'un tablier en coton polyester blanc à poches bleues ou beiges, servant des rafraîchissements aux passagers à l'aide d'un chariot repas lors d'un vol, en 1968. (Photo by KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Les hôtesses de l'air de l'UTA (Union de Transports Aériens) présentent leurs nouveaux uniformes créés par Pierre Cardin : jersey marine pour l'hiver et gabardine beige pour l'été, en France, le 9 mai 1968. (Photo by KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Deux hôtesses-bébés, hôtesses de l'air spécialisées, diplomées de l'école de puériculture, accompagnant les enfants voyageant seuls, en France, le 30 juin 1966. (Photo by KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Air Hostess at Renfrew Airport escorts Celtic players Johnstone, Lennox & Gallagher, who are on their way to Spain to play Barcelona in a Fairs Cup match November 1964. Celtic lost the match 3-1 (Photo by Daily Record/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
The Beatles in Liverpool for the Premier of a Hard Day's Night. Paul McCartney pictured here talking to a Flight Attendant on the journey to Liverpool for the Premier. 10th July 1964. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Deux hôtesses de l'air d'Air France présentent leurs nouveaux uniformes, d'été et d'hiver, créés par le couturier Marc Bohan pour Christian Dior à Paris, France, le 23 mars 1962. (Photo by KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
12th January 1959: Swedish stewardess Birgitta Lindman, who is with the Swedish SAS airline, examines a showgirls costume. (Photo by Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
An air stewardess serving food to passengers on board a Qantas Boeing 707 plane at London airport. 7th August 1959. (Photo by Daily Herald/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
14th October 1958: BOAC air hostesses in training are taught in a mock-up of an aircraft cabin at London Airport. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Passengers eating their meals. (Photo by Joseph Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)
1958: Two businessmen and three female flight attendants pose on the boarding ramp for the first Irish Airlines flight from Dublin, Ireland to New York City. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1958: A stewardess serving drinks whilst passengers have lunch aboard a BEA Vickers Viking passenger plane. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
A stewardess serves a meal to a couple on an American Airlines flight, mid to late 1950s. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
9th October 1957: BOAC DC-7C airliner crew, left to right, front to back, 1st Stewardess Faith Sisman, Captain Gordon Store incommand, co-pilot Captain E C Miles, 2 Stewardess Velma Brown, pilot First Officer C A Moor, pilot First Office I R Phillips, Navigating Officer G H Brown, Engineering Officer R Smith, Chief Steward H H Craik, 2nd Steward F H Ross and 3rd Steward L J Miller. (Photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
23rd January 1956: The BOAC pilots and aircrew who will fly the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to West Africa in an Argonaut Atalanta. The crew on the left, led by Captain R C Parker, will be on duty from London to Tripoli, while Captain Ballantine and crew, on the righht, will be responsible for the final stage of the flight to Lagos. (Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MID 1950's: Passengers on a Transocean Air lines Boeing 377 Stratocruiser in the mid 1950's. Transocean Air lines flew between 1946 and 1962 and was a pioneer discount airline. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MID 1950's: An air hostess serves passengers in the observation area of a Transocean Air lines Boeing 377 Stratocruiser in the mid 1950's. Transocean Air lines flew between 1946 and 1962 and was a pioneer discount airline. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)
19th October 1953: A model wearing a Kay Bee suit with a hat and gloves unwittingly achieves the look of an airhostess. (Photo by Chaloner Woods/Getty Images)
circa 1955: An airline stewardess smiles as she holds a metal coffee pot while standing in the aisle of an airplane. She wears a uniform with an American Airlines crest. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Brigadier Mary Coulshed, CBE (1904 - 1998, left), Director of the WRAC (Women's Royal Army Corps) leaves Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire for a tour of the Middle East, 5th January 1952. On the right is Air Hostess Patricia Fitzgerald from Rathdowney in Ireland. (Photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Jane Wyman goes over bulletins with American Airlines stewardess Ethel Wells and Ellajane Bishop prior to starting her role in the film 'Three Guys Named Mike', 1951. (Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)
B.E.A. air hostess Susan Cramsie returns to work after being hospitalized in a BEA air crash in Paris, Northolt Airport, 17th November 1950. (Photo by George W. Hales/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
19th January 1950: Trainee air hostess, Claire Swan, during a training session in a BOAC mock aircraft. (Photo by George W. Hales/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Two air hostesses standing near a BOAC Comet, circa 1950. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
circa 1950: Two hostesses stand in front of a new monorail service in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images)
7th June 1949: BSAA Star Girl Poppy De Hagerton. (Photo by Express/Express/Getty Images)
An American Airlines stewardess prepares a meal for a passenger, mid to late 1940s. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
15th February 1947: Jean Murphy, a trainee air steward, offers a selection of newspapers and magazines to a passenger. Original Publication: Picture Post - 4330 - A Girl Becomes An Air Steward - pub. 1947 (Photo by Merlyn Severn/Picture Post/Getty Images)
A United Airlines stewardess gives a baby a bottle on the airplane while the mother looks on, mid to late 1940s. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
23rd December 1946: Air hostess Patricia Palley attends to passengers in the decorated cabin of a Pan-American air liner over the Atlantic. (Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
April 1946: Miss B Midgley of Northolt aerodrome stands under the nose of a BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) aircraft. She is one of ten 'air traffic girls' currently taking part in a course at Hurn airport, to learn how to deal professionally with passengers. (Photo by George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 11: Baby Traveling By Plane In New York On July 1945 (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
circa 1945: British and Overseas Airways air stewardess Peggy Keyte brings a tray of coffees to the passengers in her aircraft, during a World War II flight. (Photo by Fred Ramage/Keystone/Getty Images)