How to stay healthy and happy while flying

Apr 16, 2014

By Laura Teti, Health Coach at Freelancers Medical

Traveling on a plane these days can be stressful in more ways than one. Make your next inflight experience a healthier and more enjoyable journey by taking these health precautions during your flight. Bon voyage!

Boost your immune system

Be well: healthy food, exercise and relaxation may help your immune system be ready for a trip. Many find that taking supplements of vitamin C and zinc a few days before your flight can also boost your immunity. Since most pathogens are transmitted by touch, wash your hands and avoid touching your face and eyes while traveling.

Stay hydrated

Dehydration can leave you susceptible to infection.

Bring an empty water bottle and fill it up with water before boarding your flight once you are past the security checkpoint. Skip the alcoholic beverages during your flight. The air in the plane is dry enough without alcohol further dehydrating you. The same goes for caffeinated drinks.

Instead, pack some herbal tea bags and when the flight attendant comes around with drinks, ask for a cup of hot water and make your own tea.

Travel in Comfort

Even if you can’t justify splurging on a first class seat you still deserve to feel totally comfortable. Bring a neck pillow to avoid neck discomfort and do some toe taps, shoulder shrug and neck rolls throughout the flight to keep your body loose. Tennis balls are great at getting those knots in the lower back and shoulder area too!

Some simple breathing exercises can go a long way at calming travel jitters. Herbal tea can also help you unwind and relax enough to catch a few zzzz’s allowing you to arrive at your destination feeling refreshed.

Pack Portable Snacks

Pack some healthy snacks such as fruit (fresh or dried), granola, trail mix, or even cut up veggie sticks in your carry-on bag. Few airlines these days serve food and the ones that do provide food loaded with added sugars, salt and excess fat. Having even a couple of healthy snacks can hold you over long enough until you get to your destination even in the case of an unexpected delay.

Moisturize and Protect

Before your trip, dab a few cotton swabs or Q-tips with sesame oil and seal them up in a zip lock baggie. You can use the oil to combat dry air by moisturizing the inside of your nostrils. Also, sesame oil naturally has antibacterial and antiviral properties that will help relieve congestion and fend off any lurking germs.

Dealing with Air Pressure

It is normal for feet to swell during your flight, so wear loose fitting shoes. Chew gum, swallow vigorously, or yawn widely when the plane is taking off or landing to help equalize the pressure in your middle. Pressure regulating ear plugs are a great option for this as well.

Freelancers, do you travel often? What do you take on the plane?