Stay Healthy: How to Flu-Proof Your Flight
I just returned from a flight to Jacksonville, Florida. I don’t know who had the cold, or when I was infected… but I’ve been down and out for nearly two weeks! Stay healthy as you travel. Don’t let this happen to you!
The holidays are a time of celebration and family togetherness. The last thing you want is to catch the flu on your flight to the festivities. Luckily, there are some things you can do to avoid illness when flying.
Ten Tips to Flu-Proof Your Flight
1. Wash Your Hands The number one rule for staying healthy anywhere and at any time is simple: wash your hands. Everything you come in contact with, from other people to the surfaces around you, is a potential breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Keep that in mind and wash your hands with soap and water whenever you get a chance.
2. Irrigate Keeping your nasal passages free and clear will help you to avoid getting sick. Irrigating your sinuses, either with a nasal passage clearing spray or a NetiPot, before and especially after your flight, will help flush away germs that you come in contact with.
3. Don’t Touch Your Face No matter how much you wash your hands, it is important to keep them away from your face. When you touch your face, germs are getting direct contact with your nose, mouth, and eyes.
4. Protect Your Hands You might have gathered by now that your hands are a major key to avoiding or contracting illness. To avoid germs on a flight, protect your hands by wearing gloves or using shirtsleeves or a napkin to touch surfaces or open doors.
5. Hydrate Make sure to drink plenty of fluids before and during your flight. If you can, avoid coffee, sodas, and teas and stick to water and juice. Keeping your body hydrated before and during a flight can not only help you avoid getting sick, but it will also help you conquer jet lag.
6. Get Some Beauty Sleep Keep your immune system strong by getting plenty of sleep. It can be hard to sleep in the days before your flight, either because of nerves or excitement, but do your best to get eight hours of sleep a night. Also try to nap on the flight to catch a little extra immune-boosting snooze time.
7. Wipe Down You won’t just catch a cold by breathing the same air that someone three rows ahead just sneezed into. The surfaces on an airplane are rampant with germs and bacteria, simply because so many people have touched them. Bring some antibacterial wipes and wipe down the trays, arm rests, and other surfaces around you.
8. Come Prepared To avoid sharing germs with the people that flew before you, it doesn’t hurt to bring your own pillow or other such items.
9. Keep Your Distance Try not to get too cozy with the people around you, especially if you see anyone cough or sneeze. If someone is obviously sick, ask politely to switch seats or choose to sit in an exit row where there are a couple of extra inches between you and the person in front of you.
10. Prep Work Staying healthy in temporary situations like flights also comes down to staying healthy in your daily life. Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and stay hydrated every day of your life to avoid getting sick in almost any situation.
Airplanes are certainly the most convenient way to travel long distances, but being stuck in a small area with so many people has its risks. With these simple tips and techniques, you can make it home for the holidays happy and healthy.