We have all experienced the stresses that come with preparing for a flight. There is always a worry about the travel items that we may have forgotten to pack or whether or not we have updated passports and identification cards. Although these pre-flight stressors are worrisome, the goal of this blog is to focus on some of the health risks that can come with flying and to provide some health tips to keep you in optimal health before, during and after flying.
The key to traveling is to be prepared ahead of time. This is not always easy when you have limited time to pack or you may have to do multiple loads of laundry before traveling. Along with all the clothes and toiletries that need to be stuffed in the suitcase, be sure to pack a few supplements and vitamins that you will need for the trip, as well as, disinfectant wipes, facial tissues, and a water bottle. Vitamins C, E, Zinc and Selenium are all great choices when trying to boost your immune system pre-flight, but be sure to ask your doctor if these supplements are safe for you.
Whether you are a frequent flyer or haven’t flown recently, it is important to boost your immune system before take-off. There are many different ways we can boost our immune systems and there is quite a bit of research showing that the follow health tips work. You want to ensure that you get plenty of rest before you fly. Long flights take a considerable toll on your body. The airplane cabin is a reduced oxygenated environment with a low amount of humidity, which can be very dehydrating to the body. Research has shown that on a 10-hour flight men can lose up to two liters of water and women can lose up to 1.6 liters. This is a significant portion of total body water as research has shown that as little as a 1-2% decrease in hydration can impact cognition, alertness, memory and overall health. Decreased hydration status can limit our mucous membranes from effectively trapping viruses and bacteria that our bodies come in contact with, leaving us with an increased risk of contracting an infection.
You may think that the bathroom is the dirtiest place on the airplane, but studies have shown that there are even dirtier places. The dirtiest places on a plane are the lavatory flush button, tray table, seatbelt buckle, and overhead air vent. All of these places can provide direct transmission for bacteria and viruses to enter the body. Upon entering the airplane be sure to wipe down these surfaces and others around you with disinfectant wipes to protect yourself.
Most of us have experienced jet lag when flying across multiple time zones. The typical symptoms usually experienced include overwhelming fatigue, headaches, constipation and/or diarrhea. The more times zones that are crossed when flying, the worse the symptoms tend to be. Jet lag typically resolves on its own, but be sure to get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and adjust to a different sleeping/eating schedule upon arrival. A good rule of thumb is that for every time zone crossed it takes 1 day to recover.
At Holistique IV lounge in Bellevue, we can help you achieve your hydration status pre and post-flight, while you relax in one of our many massage chairs. You will be infused with vitamins and minerals that will help to boost your immune system, leaving you with an overall better sense of well-being. Our specially formulated Jetsetter IV is designed just for this purpose. Be sure to add Holistique to your pre-flight checklist no matter how close or far you fly.
Chui, Delphine.(2017, June 8th). This is how much water you actually lose during a flight. https://www.marieclaire.co.uk/life/travel-dehydration-509326
FamilyDoctor.Org.( 2017, April 6th). Air Travel Health Tips. https://familydoctor.org/air-travel-health-tips/
Harvard Medical School.(2017, January 20th). Air travel health tips. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/air-travel-health-tips
Dr. Justin Newell is a licensed Naturopathic Physician in the State of Washington. He specializes in the treatment of men’s health, sports medicine, physical medicine, and IV therapy. Addressing the root cause in these specialty areas, help to optimize a person's physical, mental and emotional health.