Keep the Friendly Skies Healthy

There are so many things to love about the holidays: big comfy sweaters, hot chocolate, crackling fires… But let’s face it. Holiday travel is for the birds. As a barrage of people head for their local airports to trade locations with some another set of people, mayhem strikes, stress levels rise, and patience runs low. Not only that, but planes are known to harbor nasty germs and viruses. As that aluminum tube speeds through the air at 600 mph, it also harbors a crowd of sniffling, sneezing, and wheezing passengers. There is no escape.

So how can one stay healthy under such harsh conditions?

Although you are unable to get liquids past security, I always bring an empty water bottle and fill it from the water fountain once I’m through. Believe it or not, hydration can ward off the flu and other ailments. Mucous that lines the nose acts as a barrier, so pesky germs have a difficult time making it through. When one is dehydrated, the mucous breaks down. I’m sure you can guess what that means. That’s right – A greater risk of getting sick.

Prep Before Take-off:

Pretend your flight is a workout. Before we sweat it out, it behooves us to get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, and eat a sensible meal. The same goes for flying. And, just to add some extra insurance, load up on vitamin C a few days before take-off. Be super proactive and throw an orange in your carry on for a mid-flight snack.

Sterilize It:

I recently read an article about the secrets of air travel that nobody tells you. One really grossed me out. Apparently, those tray tables are rarely cleaned. People touch them all day long, food and drinks are spilled, and some people even lay their heads on them to sleep. Be smart, and bring some antibacterial wipes to cleanse the tray table and armrests before you settle in.

Stay Active:

This holds true, especially for longer flights. Being stuck in the same cramped position for too long can cause blood clots to form, and that’s a big no-no. Blood clots can dislodge and travel to the lungs which causes pulmonary embolism and is potentially fatal. If your flight is 4 hours or longer, take a stroll up and down the aisle every hour or so. It’s fun to watch people sleeping upright anyway.

Although traveling during the holidays can be stressful, it’s also a time for celebrating with friends and family. Don’t let a flight ailment ruin your time off from work. As long as you are prepared for a crowded flight, you should have a healthy time overeating, celebrating with friends…and perhaps an argument or two with family. Let the festivities begin!

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