Staying healthy while flying long distances can be a challenge. You are forced to sit in a small, enclosed space with hundreds of strangers. You are surrounded by germs and dirt. You have limited options for food and water. And your sleep cycle is disrupted. You can’t eliminate all risks, but you can take steps to minimize your exposure to illness-causing bacteria and viruses and help your body stay strong.
Ventilate: Air circulation is the key to staying healthy on a long flight. Especially if you are concerned about spreading germs, it’s important that you ventilate the air around you as much as possible. On an airplane, this means keeping the air vents open above your seat or even using two or three at a time so that the air will constantly be moving around you. If you’re traveling with someone who is sick, consider booking seats on opposite ends of the plane so that you can avoid breathing each others’ air for hours on end.
Wash your hands: Another way to avoid getting sick on an airplane is to keep your hands clean. This means washing them before eating and after using the bathroom (and not just lavatory), but it also means keeping them away from your face whenever possible. Most colds are transmitted
Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to stay healthy on a long flight, let’s talk about why it’s important to do so.
For starters, you’ll look and feel better when you arrive at your destination. No more puffy eyes, dry skin and tangled hair. And who wants to start off their vacation sick?
Long flights can also be tiring, so you’ll want to do everything in your power to stay energized and alert.
You can’t control turbulence or crying babies or being stuck in a middle seat between two strangers. But you can take steps to prevent jet lag and illness by staying hydrated and eating well during your flight. This means avoiding alcohol, caffeine and processed foods as much as possible.
Most people can find a flight that suits their needs, but if you’re looking for the lowest fares, then a long-haul flight is best. However, there’s no doubt that with all of the amenities available on flights, it can be difficult to stay healthy on a long flight.
From the food and drink options to the air quality in the cabin, there are many factors that affect your health when you’re flying. So what can you do to help stave off any ill effects? Here are five ways to stay healthy on a long-flight.
1. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol and caffeine dehydrate you at high altitude, so avoid drinking coffee and alcohol altogether. But don’t skip out on water completely! You should drink at least eight ounces of water per hour of your flight to stay hydrated.
2. Walk around during your flight. Sitting for extended periods of time is proven to be bad for your health; it can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots in your legs, which can travel through your body and end up blocking an artery in your lungs or heart. To avoid this dangerous condition, get up from your seat every hour or so and walk around the plane.
3. Don’t sit
Long flights are increasingly common, with some nonstop flights lasting more than 13 hours. Long flights can lead to health concerns for travelers, especially for people with pre-existing illnesses or those who have trouble sleeping on airplanes. Passengers should take special precautions and practice good hygiene to ensure that they stay healthy while traveling.
Airplane cabins are not sterile environments, and illness can spread in the close confines of a plane. Passengers may contract infections from fellow passengers or from contaminated surfaces within the plane itself. Illnesses such as colds and flu can spread quickly on crowded planes, especially during flu season.
Cabin air is often dry in airplane cabins; about half as humid as typical desert air. Dry air can increase the risk of dehydration, leading to fatigue and headaches among passengers. Dry air can also irritate the nasal passages, causing congestion and sinus infections among passengers.
Travelers should be sure to drink plenty of fluids while flying, especially water; alcohol and caffeine can contribute to dehydration. Sleeping on planes can also be difficult; many travelers find it hard to sleep while seated upright in a chair, particularly when they are surrounded by strangers. It is important for travelers to get enough rest before their flight so they will be well-rested and alert
Never fly with a cold. If you have the sniffles or a scratchy throat, your body is already fighting a battle against viruses. Add in the drying effects of recycled airplane air and you are setting yourself up for an even more miserable flight.
Eat light. A heavy meal on the plane will just make you feel tired and sluggish. You might feel the urge to take a nap, but you aren’t getting any quality sleep on the plane, so it’s best to avoid sleeping altogether.
Wear comfortable clothing. Tight fitting clothes restrict blood flow, making it harder for your body to fight infections while flying.
Stay hydrated. Airplane cabins are very dry, which can dehydrate your mucus membranes and make them more susceptible to infection. Drinking water can help keep your mucus membranes moist, helping prevent infection.
You’ve probably heard the general recommendation to limit alcohol and caffeine intake during a long flight. It is important to consume plenty of water or rehydration drinks (like Gatorade). You can also try to avoid heavy meals and stay away from strong odors.
If you are traveling long distance, you want to arrive at your destination fully recovered. To do this, it is important that you get enough sleep during the flight. If you have a hard time sleeping on the plane, it may be beneficial to take a sleeping pill (if prescribed) or some melatonin (available over-the-counter).
Before getting on the plane, you should make sure that you are up-to-date with your vaccinations and medications. For example, if you are traveling to Africa or Asia it is important that you have had a yellow fever vaccination. In addition, you should be on malaria prophylaxis and typhoid prophylaxis depending on where in Africa/Asia that you are going.
Flying is not an enjoyable experience for most people, but it is a necessary evil. The most annoying part of flying is the fear of getting sick while traveling. To stay healthy and safe while flying, here are a few tips to follow:
1) Drink plenty of water
2) Try to get some sleep
3) Don’t touch your eyes or mouth
4) Wash Your Hands Regularly