Whether you only travel occasionally or consider yourself an air travel expert, it’s smart to be proactive about staying healthy when you fly. Airports and airplanes play host to millions of people and their germs, stress and travel go hand-in-hand and access to healthy food can be a challenge.
The following travel tips will help protect you in the air and on the road.
Tip No. 1: Know where germs tend to lurk on airplanes and at airports.
Would you believe that tray tables harbor mega germs on airplanes? According to a 2015 study by Travelmath, a microbiologist found that tray tables—with 2,155 CFU (colony forming units)/sq. inch—carried eight times the amount of bacteria that lavatory flush buttons did at 265 CFU/sq. inch. Other potential germy locations that Travelmath tested include:
- Overhead air vents (think how many times you adjust airflow during flight) at 285 CFU/sq. inch.
- Seatbelt buckles on airplanes (can’t avoid these) at 230 CFU/sq. inch.
- Drinking fountain buttons (DO avoid these) at 1,240 CFU/sq. inch.
- Airport bathroom stall locks (again, much cleaner than tray tables) at 70 CFU/sq. inch.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Think about how many times you have touched items that other travelers have touched such as the seat pockets. Better yet, head to the restroom and wash your hands, being careful to keep your hands away from the eyes, nose and mouth until you get there.
Tip No. 2: Don’t leave home without hand sanitizer.
Since you won’t always have the opportunity to wash your hands on long flights, hand sanitizer and sanitizer wipes can be lifesavers. For example, you can wipe down that nasty tray table and overhead air vent with sanitizer before use. You can also wipe your hands and clean off the seat belt buckle once you’re buckled in.
Keep your sanitizer handy when you get to your hotel room, too. While the restroom has probably been scrubbed clean, the TV remote, light switches, mini fridge door, coffee pot and door handles (inside and out) may benefit from a little swipe of a sanitizer wipe.
Washing Your Hands Isn’t Enough!
Tip No. 3: Take steps to boost your immune system.
Germs can accumulate on just about any surface—we see you airplane seat headrests and armrests. The truth is there’s virtually no way you can disinfect every inch of every airport and airplane you encounter.
You will be exposed to bacteria and viruses no matter what you do, so the best thing you can do to stay healthy while traveling is to make sure your immune system is in tip top shape.
Give Yourself a Fighting Chance!
The immune system can become compromised for many reasons, including stress, not getting enough rest and a poor diet. People who suffer from leaky gut may also suffer from a weakened immune system. When you have a leaky gut, the body is unable to absorb all of the nutrients you need through the stomach in order to maintain optimal health.
Those with chronic pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and other health problems may also need an immune system boost because these conditions act as stressors on the body.
If you’re an EVEXIAS patient and want to take steps to boost your immune system, ask your Practitioner about immune boosting options that may benefit you. She may recommend:
- Immune boosting oral nutritional supplements.
- Immune Boost IV nutrition supplement, an intravenous injection of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, including the renowned Myers’ Cocktail (magnesium, vitamin B complex + hydroxocobalamin and vitamin C) plus calcium gluconate, sodium bicarbonate and pyridoxine.
- Gut health treatment plan, which may include supplements, probiotics, prebiotics, detoxification, hormone optimization, Slim Shots and other treatments.
Since you shouldn’t live on snacks alone—and may need to grab a meal while at the airport or in the air—do a little research in advance to find out what food options will be available to you.
Tip No. 4: Plan ahead so you can eat healthy while traveling.
When you eat a healthy, well balanced diet you’re more likely to get the nutrients you need to support your immune system (see above). Traveling can throw a monkey wrench into healthy eating because you may not have access to healthy foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains and certain proteins.
Instead of relying on airport shops and fast food, take a few healthy snacks with you. Some options to consider include:
- Protein bars that are low in sugar, high in protein and big on natural ingredients, with minimal preservatives.
- Individual packets of nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, etc.) and pretzels.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Fresh and dried fruits.
- Meat sticks with minimal preservatives like Epic Bars.
If you’ll be spending several hours in the airport, look for restaurants that offer menus with fresh, healthy greens and grilled proteins. More fast food chains offer healthier options today, so if fast food is your only option, go for salads and grilled items and steer clear of fatty dressings and sauces.
You may also be able to find out what type of meals the airline will be offering if you’ll be taking a longer flight. If healthy choices are available, that could be a good option as well.
Tip No. 5: Stay hydrated!
One thing you should pick up from the airport store is a bottle of water or two. It’s easy to forget to drink water when you’re rushing through the airport but staying hydrated is essential if you want to keep your body functioning optimally. Drink up!
Planning to fly soon? Your EVEXIAS Practitioner can share additional tips for staying healthy on the go.
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