Tick Tock…Only a few days away from jet setting again across the globe. Nothing gives me quite as much joy as trying new foods in exotic places; hiking a new, difficult trail; and exploring new areas! But trying to stay healthy while on the go can sometimes be challenging. For many of us, we put our healthy routine nutrition and fitness-wise on the back-burner during the chaos of preparing to travel and while traveling. Not what I’d recommend! I’m not suggesting you don’t miss a workout or over-indulge now and then — just be mindful that it’s important to keep your healthy habits in check so you can enjoy your travels.
In a previous blog I shared Five Ways To Stay Healthy While Traveling. Now, I’m building on that by passing along Three Tips to Have a Healthy Flight, which includes ideas for what you can do prior to boarding and while flying the friendly skies.
A Week or More Prior to Flying
Research has found that people consistently report higher rates of cold symptoms after plane travel, with 3-20% complaining of symptoms a week after a two and a half-hour flight. The best way to boost your immunity is to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens like kale and brightly colored fruits such as berries. However, let’s be honest, many of us only get a fraction of those leafy greens in our daily diet. While I grab my berries and greens, I always begin my regimen of Activate (like Emergen-c) a few days prior to my flight. And I mix my packet of Activate in my water bottle on the airplane too. With that added degree of benefit from vitamin D, echinacea and zinc, my immune system is armed for pennies a day.
I also load up on an extra dose of my probiotics (Florify is my go to choice for cost, savings and over 10,000 live CFU’s) because gut health is so important to keep in check. The presence of beneficial bacteria strengthen the digestive system and the entire immune system. The one I take doesn’t require refrigeration and travels with me wherever I go. Studies have shown that a probiotic a day reduces susceptibility to colds by 25% and other research has shown that the beneficial bacteria may help the immune system resist other viruses.
Preparing to Board
Did you know while flying on a plane the lower cabin air pressure, dry cabin air and the loud engine noise all contribute to our inability to taste and smell food and drink? Seriously! Plus that the food we consume needs 20-30% more sugar and salt to make it taste like it would on the ground. No joke. Research suggests that the average person consumes nearly twice the recommended daily intake of calories while traveling to their destination. Even the in-flight entertainment can contribute to people eating as much as a third more.
To avoid eating in-flight and the risk of overeating or dealing with an upset stomach while on the plane, either eat a healthy meal before boarding at a restaurant in the airport or bring your own food for the flight.
I also have a few other things I routinely do. I always mix up a healthy protein shake in my blender bottle to have on the ride to the airport. It keeps me full and satisfied. My staple go-to shake is a non-GMO, yummy vanilla protein sweetened with Stevia and 30g of whey that I purchase from my favorite online wellness store. A drinkable yogurt, also known as kefir, makes a super healthy and convenient pre-flight or in-flight snack if you need to grab something quick grab at one of the coffee stands at the airport.
And after I finish my shake, I turn that blender bottle into a water bottle to keep me hydrated. A critical practice because if you become dehydrated during the flight you are more likely to catch a cold or illness due to the lack of humidity in the plane causing your mucous membranes to become more dry.
I also pack my favorite Attain bars that have a patented crave blocker in them that tells my brain that my stomach is full. It’s a great bar to snack on plus it can be used as a meal replacement. My other new favorite to munch on is Simply Fit granola bars filled with wholesome, satisfying grains, fruits, quinoa and a selection of organic ingredients and they’re soy free, vegan, GMO free, gluten free and contain no artificial sweeteners.
While you might be tempted to close that air vent that is blasting down on you as you first get into the plane — don’t! The lack of circulating ventilation is one of the main reasons airplanes are great for acquiring and storing germs. Actively recirculated air is filtered, so planes equipped with good ventilation systems have lower cold and flu transmission rates than those that don’t. And the blowing air can help push away the germs that might float into your space from a nearby passenger.
If you prefer to turn those vents off, wait until you are ready for take off. In flight, remember that you can protect yourself with natural defenses of essential oils. It may sound overly precautionary, but I always use the restroom prior to my flight to apply my essential oil roller ball (travel size) of Armor essential oil (with a coconut carrier oil) on the bottom of my feet, around my neck and on my wrists. This is a fantastic oil for extra cold and flu protection as it’s an excellent blend of essential oils that is specifically designed to support the body’s natural defenses. No synthetics, research tested, 100% pure, budget friendly, this proprietary essential oil blend is proven for its cleansing abilities. It includes eucalyptus essential oil, which may help maintain a healthy respiratory system. It truly promotes instant wellness — it’s a staple that goes with me on all my flights!
Test out these tips so when you arrive at your destination, you’ll be relaxed and ready to go into your travels with a healthy body and mind. Remember that total wellness is a choice and those simple habits repeated day after day become part of our normal routine — even while traveling. In addition to my tips here, one more piece of advice: keep busy and comfortable. Your time in the air is a great opportunity to catch up on work, relax guilt-free, or even cut the cords and enjoy a little time away from technology. With electronics restrictions, flights are a good opportunity to be totally switched off—make the most of letting a few texts and emails wait, take a few breaths in (you can now that you are armed with immunity boosting essential oils) and out and give a little gratitude for all the good things in your life.