Up And Away To Better Health

A wellness approach for the frequent flyer

Tina Wynn, owner of New York-based T&T Public Relations flies 50,000 miles a year for business. To guard against getting sick, she exercises and takes other health precautions.

According to Diana Fairechild, a former flight attendant who logged more than 10 million miles before authoring Jet Smarter: The Air Traveler’s Rx (Flyana Rhyme Publishing, $14.95), 90% of airline passengers get sick after flying. But experts maintain that frequent flyers can navigate around those travel bugs.

STRESS
“Double check reservations and get to the airport in plenty of time so you don’t start your trip hassled,” advises Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts, author of The Business Professional’s Kit for Dummies (Hungry Minds Inc., $29.99).
l Exercise in your seat. “Contract and release every muscle in your body. This will stimulate blood flow, which increases oxygen to the brain,” says Fairechild.

DEHYDRATION

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, says Hilda Haigazian, immunization coordinator at the Medical Clinic for Immunizations in Los Angeles. Wynn drinks only water while flying, and Fairechild suggests at least eight ounces for every hour in flight. Also, continue drinking plenty of water for several days after landing.
  • Remove contact lenses during flight and use artificial tears.

COLDS

  • Wash your hands frequently. Also, pack antibiotic hand wash.
  • Use prewrapped blankets on the plane. “Even then, I never let [the blanket or pillow] touch my face,” remarks Wynn.
  • In general, Haigazian, like Wynn, says that it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle before traveling. Then your body can better fight viruses and better handle stress.
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