You may have experienced leaving for a trip feeling happy, healthy and energized when you began your air travel only to find yourself, sluggish, low energy and irritated when you arrive at your destination. Most of us know the stresses of air travel all too well: low oxygen, inferior air quality, cramped seating, high frequency noise, cabin and the dehydrating effect of flying. Add to this more serious health risks flying poses, such as sinus problems, radiation exposure, blood clotting and perhaps the most serious of all, the stress of air travel itself.
Our risk to infection is also increased when we fly, so follow the suggestions for protective supplements before and after your trip. This said, you are not alone; everyone needs the following information for healthy air travel:
Ginger: Carry powdered ginger capsules, ginger extract, or tea bags with you. Take capsules or extract an hour before boarding, and after you land, or drink ginger tea while in flight. Ginger calms nerves, relieves nausea due to motion sickness, is an overall digestive soother, and acts as a gentle decongestant to ease sinus irritation.
Drink: Carry at least 2 bottles of pure spring water to through your flight. Drinking supports the next important tip.
Move: Drinking will make it so you must get out of your seat to use the bathroom, hopefully at least every half hour. Each bathroom trip, stand and stretch, raise up your arms, wiggle your feet, jump up and down. The jumping helps to compensate for the absence of muscular activity in the calves from sitting for extended periods, which severely slows lower limb circulation.
Mist: Carry a small spray bottle to mist your face while flying. Misting hydrates the skin, and helps keep nasal passages moistened.
Supplement: Double up on your daily doses of vitamin C, zinc, antioxidants, green foods such as chlorella and spirulina, whole food multiple vitamins, and vitamin E, along with your usual supplement program, which should include specific nutrients geared towards your personal needs.
Bring food, or at least Snacks: Fresh fruit, raw nuts and seeds, organic food bars, a sandwich made on whole grain bread; make sure to bring enough food to keep you from eating the salty, fatty, roasted peanuts and cheap preservative-filled pretzels served on flights these days.
Do not drink alcohol: It will dehydrate you, dull your senses, keep you from drinking enough water, as well as leave you prone to infection due to the immune-lowering effects of alcohol; and, for men, the ingestion of alcohol is now linked to increase of heart attacks on long air flights.
Rest: Travel well rested. This commonly overlooked aspect of healthy travel sets the stage for a stress cycle that can last your entire trip. Hard as it is to get out the door, be sure to sleep well before you travel.