View RSS Feed


What Pilots Do To Stay Healthy on Long Flights

Rate this Entry
One of the most well-respected and admired careers is that of an airline pilot. Pilots live an exciting life jet-setting all over the world at a moment's notice. However, this thrilling job is not without its share of health-related challenges. Being confined to a small cockpit for hours at a time can be tedious, but these professionals have figured out how to make it work. Here are six things that airline pilots do to stay healthy on long flights.

Stretch Their Legs
The last thing you want to do on a long flight is to remain seated the entire time. Although pilots work in cramped quarters, they find time to stretch out and walk around. They know they're at risk for deep vein thrombosis which is when a blood clot forms in the lower leg. This can be caused by obesity, smoking or sitting for long periods. Pilots usually try to stretch their legs at least every hour and in some cases, they use compression socks.

Take Nutritional Supplements
Although airline food is a tasty treat for weary travelers, pilots know they can't survive on it long-term. Many have started packing healthy snacks, or are part of the Thrive experience which includes energy-boosting supplements that can be taken anywhere. Others will hunt down the most nutritious offerings at airports during layovers. By passing up fast food, pilots can choose smarter options like salad, fruit and yogurt for a balanced meal.

Maintain Healthy Communication
Being an airline pilot is a stressful job when you consider long and unpredictable shifts, dealing with weather and being responsible for everyone on board. Stress can manifest itself at any time while on the job or during time off. To avoid such tension, pilots understand that it's critical to maintain positive communication with other crew members so everyone's on the same page. This helps solve any potential problems before they can occur.

Manage Sleep Time
Pilots are no stranger to jetlag and fortunately, they know exactly how to deal with it. When an airline pilot is pulling an all-nighter, he or she knows exactly what to expect and how to use caffeine effectively. On their days off, they make the most out of sleep time by avoiding that same caffeine and keeping their bedroom comfortable enough to avoid bouts of insomnia. Since sleep deprivation and crossing several time zones causes intense fatigue, pilots are experts at knowing how to catch those forty winks.

Wear Sunblock
One surprising danger of flying is the risk of skin cancer. Since pilots have the best view in the house, they often get pelted in the face with sunlight. Above the clouds, the sun's dangerous rays are unfiltered. The closer they are to the equator makes the problem even worse. To stay safe, pilots know they need to use sunscreen every day and reapply throughout their shift. Any appearance of spots or moles should be reported to a doctor immediately.

Stay Hydrated
Everyone could take a lesson from pilots when it comes to hydration. The air inside a plane is so dry that pilots and crew are especially susceptible to sinus infections. Sinus problems are painful and when you add in changes in pressure, the situation can be unbearable. One of the best ways to keep sinuses clear is to drink plenty of liquid whether it's water, a diet soda or tea. Another solution pilots might use is a nasal spray or rinse.

Enjoy Their Job
Although pilots have one of the most glamorous careers around, there are certainly plenty of health risks associated with the job. Luckily pilots are well-aware of how to contend with these situations. They avoid dangerous blood clots, have mastered the art of eating well when traveling and are experts at manipulating sleep time to work in their favor. In other words, airline pilots have all sorts of ways to stay healthy and enjoy one of the most interesting jobs in the world.

Submit "What Pilots Do To Stay Healthy on Long Flights" to Digg Submit "What Pilots Do To Stay Healthy on Long Flights" to Submit "What Pilots Do To Stay Healthy on Long Flights" to StumbleUpon Submit "What Pilots Do To Stay Healthy on Long Flights" to Google Submit "What Pilots Do To Stay Healthy on Long Flights" to Facebook Submit "What Pilots Do To Stay Healthy on Long Flights" to Twitter