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10 Commandments for a Healthy Flight

You finally made it to Australia, a country you’ve wanted to explore your entire life, but the 20-hour flight has left you sick in your bed. This unhappy scenario occurs often for passengers whose bodies can’t handle the hardships of long flights.

Between the dehydration, restriction of movement, food temptations and nasty germs at every corner, it’s a wonder every flight doesn’t result in every passenger laid up for a week. You can combat the harm long airplane rides can inflict on the body with these 10 commandments for a healthy flight.

1.) Stay active
It’s tempting to just put on headphones and try to wait out the flight in our seats. But the extra effort to walk around every hour to promote circulation. Blood clots are the last thing you need on a tour. From your seat, be sure and also rotate your ankles and feet and flex your toes whenever possible to assist circulation.

2.) Choose food wisely
It’s tempting to grab the extremely unhealthy fried foods available all over airports. However, make a conscious effort to avoid high salt foods, or take a gamble regretting your food choices for the duration of you lengthy flight.

3.) Pack healthy snacks
Almonds, fruits, veggies and other healthy and portable snacks will help you avoid being at the mercy of the airplane’s offerings. Almonds and other nuts especially carry needed protein and stave off hunger.

4.) Beware the booze
Although the “Mad Men” image of sipping an Old Fashioned sounds romantic in theory, in reality alcohol is extremely dehydrating. So your tasty cocktail, combined with the low cabin humidity lowers your resistance to cold and flu germs. Heavy drinking also suppresses the immune system, which you want to be functioning perfectly on a long flight.

5.) Embrace the water
Drink as much water as possible before, during and after your flight as possible. This combats the dehydration, which is one of the most common problems of a long flight. Bring a filled water bottle or two on the flight with you so you don’t have to wait for the next round of refreshments offered by the airline.

6.) Hydrate your skin
So you don’t show up at your destination with cracking skin, be sure and moisturize with lotion or essential oils whenever you can.

7.) Hydrate your eyes
Contact wearers often have a difficult time of flights, because the lenses can dry your eyes and make them vulnerable to microbial invaders. Either wear glasses or keep a bottle of solution in your hand luggage (under 100 ml). Use it to rejuvenate tired eyes throughout the flight.

8.) Wear comfortable footwear
Heels make your outfit pop, but they can take a tool on your feet if your gate connection lies on the other side of the airport. Don’t choose any restrictive footwear either, since it will cause great discomfort if you experience swelling. Compression stockings are also recommended for anyone with a greater risk factor for blood clots.

9.) Stay ever vigilant for germs
Sanitize your hands after touching any germ hot spots, such as the ticket kiosk, ATM, security-line bins, door handles and anything in the bathroom. If you don’t feel comfortable using antibacterial constantly, just make sure you don’t touch your hands, nose and mouth before a thorough hand cleaning.

10.) Bolster your immune system
One of the most important things to combat all the stresses you have to face during a flight is to preemptively work to boost your immune system before the flight. Two weeks before the flight, eat more Greek yogurt, stay away from sugary foods, up your vitamin C intake and consider taking a multi-vitamin.