It’s vacation time and so many of us are planning trips that include air travel. While the recent crashes and missing Malaysian flight may be frightening, the truth is, according to statistics, commercial airline transportation is the safest way to travel. If you are a fearful flyer – those stats may not help much – but if your concern is about the negative health effects, then I want to suggest my top 7 ways to address them.
First of all, here are some of the worst health dangers of flying:
Radiation from EMFs, also known as electromagnetic fields. This article explains what these are, where they come from during flight and why they are dangerous.
Exposure to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria – studies found 60% of the flip-down tray tables testing positive and it lasted longest on the seat-pocket material that houses the magazines!
E. coli was found to live up to 96 hours on the armrest material.
Not surprisingly, bathrooms (toilets and sinks), because they are used by so many people, are a breeding ground for bacteria and norovirus.
The highly filtered, pressurized air is low in humidity which dries out mucous membranes such as eyes and the inside of the nose. So, if you rub your eyes after you’ve touched the tray table, you have a better chance of getting sick. It can also result in dehydration, which can weaken your immune system.
So how do you avoid getting sick when you have to fly? Here are my top 7 tips:
1. Ordinarily I don’t recommend using hand sanitizer – washing thoroughly with soap and water is sufficient – but carrying hand sanitizer with you and using it when coming into contact with the germ-laden surfaces mentioned above is a good idea.
2. While most of us prefer an aisle seat so we can easily get up and down, people sitting in those seats were found to get sick at higher rates because if there is a problem with people feeling sick, those getting up to go to the bathrooms touch the aisle seats to steady themselves and deposit the germs there.
3. Be sure to stay well hydrated before, during and after your flight and avoid dehydrating beverages like coffee, sodas and alcohol as well as salty foods or snacks. Drink a bottle of water per hour. Saline nasal spray may help keep your nasal passages from drying out and causing pain and problems.
4. Get up from your seat and walk up and down the aisle at least once an hour, especially during long flights, to keep your circulation moving and avoid developing DVT (deep vein thrombosis), blood clots in the legs.
5. The pressurized air also makes breathing more challenging. So pay attention to your breathing – take long, slow, deep breaths periodically. Besides keeping you better oxygenated, it will help relieve stress and make you feel calmer.
6. Chlorophyll-rich foods like seaweed, kelp, blue-green algae like Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), spirulina, and chlorella are rich in minerals, including iodine, that reduce the amount of radiation that may harm body tissues. All of these also contain potent antioxidants to prevent free radical activity. I recommend getting them in capsule form and begin taking them 2 weeks before the flight, as well as during and after.
7. And make green tea which is high in a potent antioxidant called EGCG your morning beverage of choice as it can also help protect cells from free radicals and radiation. You can also get green tea extract in capsule form that you can take before, during and after your flight.
Do you have some good tips for staying healthy when flying?
Want to see more articles like this? Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader. To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D as well as getting exclusive information on giveaways and special offers, be sure to like me on Facebook, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report and follow me on Twitter!