Here are 10 quick tips for staying healthy when flying. These points are good any time of the year, but especially during flu season and the colder months when we tend to catch more colds and feel ill more often. Take note of these 10 tips for your next flight. Be prepared!
Get Your Flu shot
Traveling during flu season, you’re surrounded by coughs and sneezes. The small, invisible particles we spread when sneezing and coughing can go as far as 6 feet. And, because many people do not cover their mouths when sneezing and coughing, we can be in direct contact to catch germs. Help your immune system by getting a flu shot.
Choose your seat carefully
Most of us have a favorite spot on the airplane. However, seat location can make a big difference. Aisle seats place you in a place where passengers walking by may need to lean on your headrest to steady themselves or may sneeze and cough as they pass by. The window seat is a better choice for avoiding germs. It takes you away from viruses spread by passing passengers and those who stand in the aisles for stretching or going to the toilets. If your seat is near the bathroom, you’re more likely to have people standing near or over you.
Control the air vent
Stagnant air keeps germs nearby. Open your air vent to allow air to circulate around you and move flu bugs away. Avoid pointing it directly at your face. Turn on the air vent to create an air circulation around you and move those germs away.
Airplane conditions are dry. Research has shown humidity on the airplane can drop as low as 10% after take off. Dry air affect the mucous membranes in your nose and airways, and they need to be hydrated to do their job. Nasal sprays can help with that. When flying, drink at least eight ounces for each hour of flight. That may sound like a lot, but hydration is also essential to help you feel refreshed and ready to go when you arrive. A great idea is to bring along your own water canister, have it empty as you go through TSA.
Another note – if you are taking medication, staying hydrated is especially important. Many medicines can cause dehydration. It is not noticed at home because you’re in an area that isn’t so dry. But on an airplane, the effects will be stronger.
One of the most important things you can do when traveling is to keep your hands clean. Each opportunity you have to wash your hands, you should take advantage of that. In between washings, use hand sanitizers to keep the germs away. During our travels, we touch so many hard surfaces from door handles to railing to ticket counters, there are germs all around. Everything you handle has been touched by 100’s and 1000’s of others.
Clean surfaces around you
If you’ve ever talked with a flight attendant about things, they see onboard the aircraft you’d bring along your handi-wipes every time. Although cleaning crews are hired to do the job cleaning between flights, it is a good idea to bring along a packet of Clorox wipes. Use them to give your tray tables and the window area another rub-down before you settle in.
Stretch your legs
No sitting around! Stand up, move around, walk up and down the aisles to keep the blood flowing and decrease any chance of blood clots forming. Moving keeps swelling down and certainly helps keep deep-vein thrombosis for developing. While you’re up – stretch and reach to keep muscles from becoming tight and stiff.
Rest, rest and rest some more
Planning and preparing for a trip is stressful enough. Get your rest before hitting the road. When you’re well-rested, your body is ready for what’s ahead, and that includes not only being prepared for the next day but also tackling the germs that come your way.
Eat your fruits and veggies
Our first defense in staying well is how we nourish our bodies. We all know the importance of getting the proper vitamins and nutrients, and we do that with the things we eat. Take a long, your favorite fruit for snacks and start your day with fruit and lunch, and dinner will taste great with veggies. And your body will say thank you!
Walk around town
Bring along your comfy shoes and walk to as many places as you can. Everything you do won’t be in walking distance, but take advantage of any opportunity to walk. Use an app on your phone or watch to count the steps. You’ll be amazed by how many steps you take in a day. That’s a great encouragement to make walking a part of your day-to-day life.
Stay fit, stay healthy, and keep traveling.