10 point healthy flight check

June 4, 2009


As this is the time of year when we can start jetting off on holiday, I thought you might like some tips for having a healthy flight. As my last flight resulted in my getting a serious infection, I have a vested interest and have investigated various ways you can protect yourself while flying off to somewhere wonderful – or even Benidorm.

The problem with travelling by air is all those people; first at the airport itself and then when you get on the plane and you are forced to breathe in the same recycled, stale air, plus all their germs. Your plane has a system where it continually brings in around 50 percent fresh air into the cabin and then cleans and filters the remaining 50 percent and sends it straight back to you. Assuming a perfectly efficient, effective and highly maintained system you should be fine – but I prefer not to trust in fine or perfect maintenance.If you feel too hot and direct the air vent to you then that’s an open invitation for germs from your fellow passengers coughs and sneezes to be sent express delivery to you, so wear fewer layers and don’t open the vent. Follow this action plan at least 2-3 days before you fly and minimise your risk.

1. Prevention is the best plan so prepare your immune system to repel boarders by ensuring you eat a light, healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and as much garlic as you can manage without becoming a social outcast. Take Echinacea and a good multivitamin and try to take at least 1 gram of vitamin C a day.

2. Are you a nervous flyer? If so, carry Rescue Remedy and put six drops on your tongue to help calm your nerves.

3. Once at the airport, boost your C intake to 2 grams in 500mg doses over a few hours. It will support your immune system and helps reduce the symptoms of colds.

4. Ginkgo will help if you get symptoms such as headaches, nausea, fatigue and dizziness when flying as it will increase blood flow and oxygen to your brain.

5. To avoid deep vein thrombosis you need to keep your blood circulating, so walk round as often as you can and in your seat do some exercises to stretch and flex your feet and calves. CoQ10 is a supplement that also helps thin the blood and worth taking around 100mcg if you are at risk of DVT.

6. Jet lag travelling can be a real problem if you cross time zones and 600mcg of melatonin can help with this. Melatonin should not be used by pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children. Please be aware that it is not legal to buy in the UK, and can only be bought online and then imported for your own use, then it’s no problem.

7. A simple trick is to alter your watch to the destination local time as soon as you are on the plane and this ‘tricks’ your body into adjusting faster.

8. Drink all you want – as long as it’s water or juices. That celebratory ‘we’re on holiday’ drink on the plane is a bad move health-wise and issues an open invitation to bacteria. When you drink alcohol it will dehydrate you, as you know if you have over-indulged, and when that happens the minute pores inside your nostril get enlarged and makes an even bigger gateway for those all those viruses and bacteria you are trying to avoid.

9. Make your meal the vegetarian option and give your stomach a break. Meat protein means your body works harder to break it down and that diverts resources from tackling any possible virus or bacteria that may have got into your body.

10. Carry, and use, a sanitising hand gel. Not just when you use the bathroom, but every time you walk round the plane and have to touch the back of the seats for balance or to allow other people through. It’s contact that is the problem and anywhere other people have touched is potentially hazardous.

Enjoy your flight and have a happy, healthy landing!


Article by  


What do you think of this health article by ? Join the discussion...