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Well(ness) Travelled

Well(ness) Travelled
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No one wants to get sick, ever, but its especially loathsome when you are traveling. Unfortunately, air travel is the perfect recipe for catching a cold or flu bug. While it isn’t possible to completely avoid illness while traveling there are a few things you can do to substantially increase your chances of staying healthy. Whether traveling for leisure, a competition or work, showing up sick is just not an option we are willing to accept. Here are the best ways to prevent getting sick and showing up feeling fresh while traveling this season.

Step 1: fly private. Less stress, less people, less germs. Ok, now onto reality.

Stay Hydrated
Showing up feeling great starts with hydration.  Airplane cabins have notoriously dry air, in fact most cabins have less humidity than the Sahara Desert, think of that when you order a drink on your next long-haul flight! Skip the booze and sugary drinks and load up on water! Take your weight and divide it in half, drink that many ounces of water a day and increase it if you are exercising that day. I like to bring along a refillable water bottle and add a Pedialyte packet, which helps prevent dehydration by quickly replenishing fluids and electrolytes.

Another way to protect yourself is to use a nasal saline spray, if you let your mucus membrane dry out you are at a much higher risk for viruses since most thrive in low humidity environments. The dry air can also wreak havoc on your skin, eye drops, hand lotion and a facial mist are staples in my carryon to help stay feeling my best.

Avoid germs
Okay, so avoiding germs is actually impossible but you can reduce your risk by using antibacterial wipes and some germ avoidance strategy. Start boosting your immunity by taking vitamin C the days leading up to and day of your trip. Tray tables, seatbelt buckles and seatback pouches are some of the dirtiest places on an airplane. While flight staff does their best, these places simply are not cleaned very often causing them to be full of germs left by previous passengers. Bring a packet of wet wipes and wipe down your personal area at the beginning of the flight. It is also recommended to avoid the seatback pouch since this is a natural place for other passengers to have stashed their dirty tissues and trash. The good news is that airplanes actually have great air filtration systems with HEPA filters (the same thing used in hospitals) which you can use to blow germs away from your mouth and nose by angling the air flow so that you can feel it on your hands when they are in your lap. Having hand sanitizer handy to use throughout the day is always a good decision.

Choose the best seat
A new study of influenza and air travel shows that passengers seated in the two rows either in front of or behind someone with the flu are at greatly increased risk of getting the flu themselves — almost half as likely to become infected as the people who are seated next to the sick passenger. Due to this two-row rule I always try to sit on the bulkhead on the window. This means less people are walking directly by you on the window, no one is sitting in front of you reducing your chance for a sick person and you are still able to get up without disturbing people to use the bathroom (remember we are hydrating).  If you notice your seatmate is sick, discreetly ask to be moved and if that is not a possibility wear a mask you packed in your carryon.

Treat yourself right
If you have ever noticed that airplane food is less than appetizing you’re not alone. The dry cabin air combined with the altitude reduces our sense of smell and taste, the airlines know this and in an attempt to make their food more appealing extra salt is added, a lot of extra salt. Combine this with sitting for hours and it is now wonder that your feet swell after a long flight.  Bringing along your own snack or healthy meal and wearing compression socks can help keep your legs from swelling on a long flight leaving you ready to hit the ground running. 

While completely avoiding the  discomforts of commercial aviation is tough to do, using these strategies will at least give you a much better chance of arriving healthy and ready to play! See the packing list below for a full list of products that help us stay healthy while traveling! Leave us your favorite travel tips in the comments below!

Carry on kit
- Pedialyte packets
- Emergen C
- Filtered water bottle
- Saline nasal spray
- Chap stick
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Eye drops
- Facial mist
- Cough mask
- Compression socks
- Noise canceling ear buds
- Eye mask
- Healthy snacks

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