So I’m headed to CA this weekend for my 20 year high school reunion…can I just say how insane that is to me…anyways, I know that air travel is always hard on a healthy lifestyle, the immune system, etc. and thought I would pass on my best tricks to stay healthy and happy while in the sky!
My flights are always super long because I’m from California and live in Florida, so almost every time I fly it’s cross country with a big time change! Between the long flights, germy planes, and lack of sleep, it’s a recipe for getting sick, BUT I never do! I’ve learned how to protect myself and my immune system in order to feel great while I’m traveling.
Being prepared is always a key to success no matter what you apply it to. Flying is no different! Make sure that you strengthen your immune system before flying, eat yogurt or take probiotics every day up to a week before flying. Continue this routine until a week after you return home to maximize it’s effectiveness! Keeping your “gut” healthy is a large part of your body’s ability to fight off all those germs!
Just because you’re in an airport doesn’t mean that your eating plan should fly away too! While at times you might not eat perfectly, stay as close to it as possible…which means you shouldn’t be eating a Starbucks scone, burger with fries, and frozen yogurt, just because they’re all in the same place. Especially now, there are healthier options available almost everywhere. So skip the extra sugar, carbonation, and high fat foods. You can also bring your own food, there are no security rules against it. I don’t bring meals, but I ALWAYS bring plenty of snacks, and a meal replacement shake, just in case the options are really dismal. I want to feel and look great when I do eat my cheat meals on vacay, and airport food isn’t worth ruining that!
I will admit that I am wildly inconsistent when it comes to sanitizing. One minute I won’t let my daughter touch anything, and the next she’s eating something off the floor of a restaurant, and I chalk it up to building her immune system…go figure! However, on flights I tend to err on the side of caution. Wash your hands A LOT! Use hand sanitizer after touching your luggage, using the restroom, and before eating. If you have a sensitive immune system, I would also carry lysol or alcohol wipes and wipe down your seat area.
I think that staying hydrated and sanitizing are the two most important things to do. I know that flying is stressful for some and a stiff drink might ease the pain, but alcohol is a severe dehydrator, so avoid it if your nerves can take it. Buy water before boarding the plane, the small amount that they are going to serve you is not enough for a long flight. You can also take an empty refillable bottle with you through security and fill it in the food court if you don’t want to pay $10 for a bottle of water :). I also try to drink some kind of electrolyte replacement during or right after my flight to boost my hydration levels. Coconut water is full of natural electrolytes, but sometimes can be hard to find in an airport depending where you are, so I always travel with a couple packs of rehydrate.
It’s also important to keep your eyes and nose “hydrated”. We tend to rub our eyes when they’re dry, and this can instantly insert germs into our body. Be careful with contacts, and take eye drops if you tend to have dry eyes. You can also take saline spray, your nose is able to filter out germs much more efficiently when it isn’t dry!
If you follow my advice on staying hydrated, you won’t have a problem being active on the plane because you will take plenty of restroom breaks! Bonus! Moving around displaces germs, keeps your blood flowing, and your brain functioning. All good things for staying healthy and happy! Now, I will admit your fellow passenger in the aisle seat might not see it the same way, but just know that secretly you’re doing them a favor. 😉
I know it gets hot, but blowing that recycled air in your face isn’t doing you any favors! The drastic temperature change is hard on your body, and your re-breathing air that’s circulating in the cabin. You really want to have the air on low, and aim it so that it hits your lap, this clears the air of germs in front of you, without it blowing directly on you.
We all know that stress is hard on the body and the immune system, so try not to! Yes you paid $100 for them to load your bag on the plane, your child had a meltdown through security, your flight is delayed, and you think you may have lost your sanity, but for the sake of the rest of your trip…relax. Do some deep breathing, remember it’s only a few hours out of your trip, and imagine how much fun you’re going to have once you reach your destination!
Now that you’ve made it through your flight healthy and happy, try to stay that way during your trip as well! Remember to drink plenty of water, eat every 3 hours, don’t lose too much sleep, and try to eat at least one healthy and nutritious meal per day!
Safe, healthy, and happy travels!