Healthy Flying

The recent passing of Carrie Fisher reminds us of how unhealthy, … dare I say dangerous, it can be to fly.  While airlines are not mandated to keep track, the Seattle Times estimates that nearly 300 people a year die mid-flight. Thankfully, given the number of people who fly every year, the odds are still pretty good that you’ll arrive at your destination still able to appreciate it.   Most importantly, it is rarely the pilot who passes.

Just to be clear, I’m not claiming that flying can kill you.  I’m simply pointing out what we’ve known for years – the inside an airplane isn’t the most conducive environment for healthy living.  You’re in a small confined space, surrounded by people from everywhere on the globe, potentially hours from the nearest medical attention.

Here are a few things that I do to have a more healthy flight:

  1. Drink (bottled) water!  Flying is very dehydrating.  My personal rule of thumb is 12 ounces for every hour of flying.
  2. Avoid the salty snacks.  Most airline food is over-salted, to compensated for your diminished taste buds.  Whenever possible, I bring my own food onboard (let’s be honest, it’s usually better tasting than what the airline offers) and if I do partake in an inflight meal, I eat carefully and in moderation.
  3. Avoid alcoholic drinks.  The effects of alcohol are intensified in a pressurized cabin, and can be stressful on the body.  Best to wait until you land.
  4. Avoid window seats and wear sunscreen.  The suns rays are more intense at 30K feet, and most airplane windows do not have UVA protective coatings.  I always wear sunscreen, and whenever possible avoid the window seat.
  5. Carry a mini-medical kit.  I don’t go overboard – who wants to carry around another 10 lbs. of things that you’ll likely never need? But I do keep a few things in my toiletry bag – such as bandaids, baby aspirin, etc. , just incase !

Remember, everyone is different, so always check with your physician first.

Safe travels !