1. Go with ginger.
En español l If you're susceptible to motion sickness, taking powdered-ginger capsules right before you travel both delays the onset of nausea and helps you recover faster. In one study, in which people were spun in a motorized chair, taking up to 2,000 milligrams of ginger 20 minutes earlier kept them from getting sick for twice as long as those who took drugs.
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2. Try an app for jet lag.
You may think of jet lag as a mere inconvenience, but British scientists found that it can cause "profound disruption" to over 1,000 genes that regulate your body's clock. To help you adjust faster, several iPhone apps analyze your trip's time zones and offer ways to alter your sleep cycle. Try Entrain, Jet Lag Rooster and JetLag Genie.
3. Bottle up.
Every year, some 10 million travelers acquire a stomach bug, so if you're traveling abroad, the rule of thumb is "Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it," says Jenny K. Lee, M.D., an infectious disease specialist with Northwestern University in Chicago. That means eat nothing raw and drink only bottled beverages to reduce your risk of traveler's diarrhea.
4. Pack wipes for the plane.
Wailing babies are the least of your problems when flying. A new study from Auburn University in Alabama finds that disease-causing germs can live for more than a week on surfaces that passengers typically touch. The worst is the seat pocket, but you need to wipe down your tray table and window shade, too.
5. Stretch often.
Dangerous leg clots are a risk on flights longer than eight hours because of dehydration, the cabin's low oxygen and crowded seating conditions, says Omid Jazaeri, M.D., director of vascular surgery at the University of Colorado Hospital. To reduce your risk, Jazaeri suggests flexing your legs frequently and drinking plenty of water.
Candy Sagon writes about health for AARP Media. See more of her health reporting on the AARP Blog.
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