Are you afraid of getting sick while flying?
You can’t wait to get away from the hustle and bustle of work, kids, annoying coworkers, and endless traffic. But you may not realize that you’re also taking a break from many of the things that keep you healthy; like well-balanced meals, regular exercise, and transportation that doesn’t involve being cooped up in re-circulated air with hundreds of other people. Enjoy your vacation without getting sick by following my top rules.
Spray away germs
The Sahara-like air on planes may spell trouble for your immune system. Dry nasal membranes are very susceptible to germs. The cells in your nose have hairs that move germs along but if the air is too dry the hairs don’t work efficiently. An hour before your flight use a nasal saline spray or gel and then follow-up once an hour until you land. This helps prevent germs from making their way into your lungs and throat where they can cause an infection.
Stick to carbonated water
Diarrhea can affect about 70% of travelers in foreign countries, which is most often caused by bacteria from tap water. When I am on a trip I only drink bottled water with the seal intact. Carbonated water is the safest because carbonation kills intestinal pathogens by reducing the water PH levels.
Take Magnesium before bed
Roughly 48% of women do not get enough magnesium in their diet. The low levels of magnesium can cause increased menstrual cramps, migraines, and irritability; all which can keep you up at night. Magnesium is a natural relaxant and therefore taking 400 milligrams of magnesium citrate the first two nights of travel may not only help you fall asleep; it also acts a laxative by pulling water into the intestine. This is key because of a change in time zones, sleep patterns, and diet while on vacation can lead to sluggish bowels and bloating. I drink smooth moves hot tea before bed to ensure I’m not bloated and everything is working properly.
Take a probiotic
About 70 percent of your Immune system is in your gut, so I always take a probiotic when I travel.
Fast before a long flight
Unfortunately, airport dining options — like greasy burgers or oily pizza are the norm now in airports across America. If you’re disciplined, try avoiding grease, alcohol, and carbonation which can all contribute to bloating and the uncomfortable feeling on a long flight. There are even a few surprisingly nutritious foods on our “don’t eat” list that are best avoided before you take to the sky. If you can’t find something that’s healthy; then do not eat anything at all.
It isn’t “air quality” that you should be concerned with when you are flying, it is your body’s compromised ability to deal with normal bacteria and viruses that puts you in danger of getting sick after a flight.
That is not to say that the general environment on a plane doesn’t add to your risk of getting sick. Recent studies have found that the water coming out of aircraft sink faucets is often filled with bacteria from sitting in murky holding bins; that the seats, pillows and blankets on planes are more germ-ridden than your laundry basket, the tray table is probably dirtier than your own bathroom floor; and that the seatback pockets — well, just don’t put anything in the seatback pockets and you might survive your flight without picking up the flesh-eating bacteria Necrotizing Fasciitis.
Do you worry about getting sick when you travel? What are some of the things you do before flying to prevent you from getting sick?