Sitting in a pressurized metal tube for more than 10 hours, breathing recycled air and germs, and eating high calorie snacks is not the healthiest way to spend your time. But sometimes flying is essential, whether you are heading to a Caribbean vacation or on a business trip. How can you stay healthy during long flights?
Good flying health starts before you get on the plane. The day before you fly, exercise by walking, jogging or swimming. Aim for a good night’s sleep before – don’t leave all your packing to the last minute. On the day of your flight try to get some sunshine, if this is possible, and some fresh air. Be the last to board so you minimize your time in the cabin as much as possible.
On board, drink lots of water to keep hydrated and avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and sodas. You could try herbal teas – peppermint is good for your digestion and chamomile is relaxing. Avoid heavy meals on the plane or right before you board, and stick to light meals that are low in sugar and starch. Avoid foods that make you gassy like onions and lentils. Once you’re in the air your digestion slows down and these foods are hard to get rid of.
Wear your clothing in loose fitting layers and remove your shoes before your ankles swell. Keep active during the flight by regularly getting up for a walk and following the leg exercise information sheet they usually give you in your seat back.