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6 Tips To Stay Healthy While Flying

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If you are traveling for work, the trip may be part of the stress. Even if you are taking a vacation for the purpose of relaxation, the trip can be stressful. Stress can affect your immune response, which can put you at risk of contracting infectious diseases. Regardless of your purpose for traveling, sickness can interfere with it. Here are some types to make air travel safer, healthier, and more relaxing.

1. Decompress Before Getting on the Plane
Because travel can be stressful, you should do your best to reach the airport in a state of relaxation. Get a good night's sleep the night before and try some self care games in the days leading up to your departure. Avoid adding extra stress on the day of your departure by budgeting plenty of time to get to the airport and get through security. This may mean a long wait at the terminal, so bring a book or something with which to occupy yourself when you get there.

2. Clean Your Shoes
The flight crew and airline personnel do their best to keep the interior of a plane as clean as possible. You can help by cleaning your shoes before leaving for the airport to avoid introducing more dirt and germs into the environment of the plane's interior. This is not only for your benefit but for all your traveling companions as well, passengers and crew alike.

3. Wash Your Hands
Most bacteria and germs are spread by skin-to-skin contact with other people or by coming in contact with surfaces contaminated with germs and then transferring them to the mouth, eyes, or nose when touching the face. Washing your hands frequently helps to keep them free of germs and protect you from disease.

If you are unable to wash, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol is a good alternative. However, there are limits to the size of a bottle of hand sanitizer you can take on a plane and, regardless of the size of the bottle, bringing hand sanitizer onto a plane adds some time to the security check-in because of the separate screening required for the individual bottle.

4. Disinfect Your Seat
Perhaps even more valuable than hand sanitizer is a small package of alcohol-based wipes. You can use these to clean off the armrests of your seat as well as the seat pocket and the tray table in front of you. The tray table specifically is known as being one of the most germ-ridden places on an airplane. You can also use the wipes to clean your hands in lieu of hand sanitizer, and there may be fewer restrictions on them. Nevertheless, the TSA officer has the final say as to whether the items are allowed on the flight.

5. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can cause unpleasant symptoms such as cramps, fatigue, and headache. Not only that, but the air on a plane is considerably drier than outside or in most buildings. Sometimes the relative humidity can be less than 10%. This can cause the mucous membranes, the tissues that line your nose, mouth, and throat, to dry out. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it also puts you at greater risk for infections. You can bring an approved empty water bottle with you when you go through airport security and fill it up from one of the available drinking fountains when you get to the gate.

Remember that not all beverages are hydrating. Avoid diuretics such as caffeine and alcohol that actually promote dehydration by leaching water from your system.

6. Synchronize Your Sleep To Your Destination
If you're flying across several different time zones, you may experience jet lag, a feeling of fatigue and disorientation due to the time difference. If you can figure out what time it will be when you arrive at your destination, you can plan your sleep accordingly. If you will be arriving at night, try to stay awake on the plane so that you will be ready to sleep when you reach your destination.

On the other hand, if it will be morning at your destination when you arrive, try to sleep on the plane so you will be well rested and ready to face the day upon disembarking.

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