How to Avoid Getting Sick On Airplanes: 5 Tips For A Healthy Flight

I’m a “frequent flyer” and travel often. In the past this was a problem because every time I’d step off an airplane, I would be sick. No questions asked, flying was my immune system’s arch nemesis. This was before I started eating a real food diet, specifically targeting my immune system for improvement (yes, you can do that!), and implementing a wellness routine for travel. I don’t remember the last time I’ve been truly sick and it’s been about two years since I’ve been on anitbiotics. I’m grateful.Some of my tips for healthy travel are below. Remember, eating well, exercising regularly, and reducing stress in your life are the best way to cultivate and maintain a strong immune system.

Supplement With Natural Antivirals + Antibacterials
Take L-lysine and olive leaf extract supplements a few days before your flight, on your flight, and a day or two after you fly. L-lysine is a natural antiviral and olive leaf is a natural antibacterial. If you are exposed to anything in the airport or on flight, these two have your back.You can get both in capsule form from Wholefoods. I also take reishi mushrooms and elderberry syrup a few days before I fly for immunity boosting. Make sure there isn’t gluten, sugar, or weirdness added to any of the supplements mentoned above. If you’re flying with a sinus infection, this protocol will save you the horrific pain of landing (been there).

Skip The Airport/Airplane Food And Travel Prepared
Airport food is quick, cheap (sort of), and poor quality.  It should be avoided whenever possible. Like most fast food, it includes junkie oils, trans-fats, preservatives, and frightening amounts of sugar. Sugar is an immune system suppressant which means that eating sugar decreases the body’s protection from harmful pathogens. I recommend living a low-sugar life but if that isn’t in the cards for you, eliminating sugar around stressful times and travel is important.

Pack A Scarf In Your Carry-On
Travel with a scarf. The heavy AC and recycled air on planes transport unwanted germs and are hard on the nose and throat. I typically wear a scarf on flights and wrap a layer over my mouth and nose to avoid the “breeze”. Scarves are also handy if someone around you is coughing or you need to cover your eyes for some shuteye. This is my “stylish” way of replicating the Asian custom of wearing a mask while traveling or sick (which is so smart).

Boost Your Gut Health
80% of the immune system lives in the gut so it’s no wonder Socrates long ago claimed, “All disease begins in the gut.” I recommend choosing a few of the following gut boosters to incorporate into your routine a few days leading up to your flight: take a probiotic (choose one that needs to be refrigerated), eat raw, fermented vegetables, drink kombucha (no added sugar), or consume bone broth. A healthy gut is a healthy body. These are all things I do several times a week, but if you consistently get sick on flights, you’ll find paying extra attention to your gut can make a huge difference in whethere you get sick or not.

Choose Water + Tea > Gin and Tonic
Bring a large water bottle (32-64 oz) to fill up before you board, as well as your own organic tea. Instead of a sugary drink or alcohol before/on the plane, get a cup of hot water (free at Starbucks) for tea and finish your water bottle before you land. I typically bring green, chamomile, or ginger tea, which are all immunity boosters. Pre and in-flight alcohol is dehydrating, hard on the liver, and packed with sugar (you read why sugar and travel don’t mix above). If you’re aiming to feel your best and look your best upon arrival, alcohol in the air is not your friend.

What are you tips for staying healthy while you travel?  I would love to hear them. Drop me a line in the comments section below. XX

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