First of all, I don’t do any of the things you are supposed to do to stay healthy when flying. I tend to turn into a hamster the night before a flight which means I’m busy into the wee hours of the morning nesting and packing, packing and nesting. It helps me relax.
What I do do that is offered as a staying healthy tip while flying is drink plenty of water. Jane Brody, in her article in the New York Times, also suggests the following:
- Take 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C and echinacea right before flying. Brody swears by this. Why not? It couldn’t hurt.
- Prepare for the trip well in advance and get plenty of rest to lessen stress. Like I said, I don’t do this, but it sounds sensible.
- Don’t drink alchol and limit caffiene intake to keep membranes designed to protect you moist.
- Wash hands often and keep them away from your mouth and nose. Also sound advice. I do this most of the time.
- Book an aisle seat in order to be able to walk around easily and avoid blood clots.
- Wear compression stockings when on long flights also prevents blood clots.
Brody developed her methods after she caught bronchitis along with several of her fellow travelers. She was with a group, so was able to track who became ill.
In the article she also highlights why knowing how to stay healthy is particularly important. Flights are becoming longer in some cases which ups the risks. Also, passengers are becoming older. Because older people have more health risks, they need to be more aware of precautions to take.
For example, people who have heart or respiratory problems need to know if they may need supplemental oxygen while flying. People who have cancer, are overweight or who have had surgery also need to check with their doctors to find out their fitness to fly.
Although I haven’t become sick from a flight that I know of, Brody’s article is a good reminder that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Still, if it’s an international flight, I most definitely will keep drinking the wine–just one glass–maybe two. If it’s free, it’s mine. I’ll also drink coffee, but not as much as normal. I love coffee, even if it’s not all that good and in a Styrofoam cup with white powder with scary ingredients instead of Half and Half that I normally use.