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Not only do planes provide access to numerous destinations, but the mode of travel is one of the safest and most efficient ways to get from one place to another. Plus, getting the chance to watch movies, play games, doze off or admire the views all under the pilot’s supervision make the experience luxurious and relaxing.

However, when we travel by plane, we’re surrounded by tons of people in tight quarters with recycled air, so naturally, we’re exposed to lots of germs. In addition, long flights make it difficult to follow a nutritious diet and exercise routine. Luckily, you can maintain your healthy lifestyle by following these effective travel tips.

Disinfect your surroundings

It’s no secret that airplanes aren’t the cleanest vicinity. In between flights, maintenance crews collect trash and wipe down any spilled fluids, but a thorough cleaning happens every one to three months. Since the cleanup crew isn’t going above and beyond to sanitize everything on board, there’s a strong possibility that the airplane surfaces are covered in germs and dirt. Bring a pack of wipes in your carry-on bag and wipe down the tray table, armrest and seat belt buckle before the plane takes off. Make sure to douse your hands in hand sanitizer after using the plane bathroom and before eating. Never wash your hands in the plane’s bathroom sinks because the water often carries bacteria.

Get up and move around

When you sit on a plane for a long period of time, the limited amount of movement slows blood flow through your veins, which can result in painful blood clots. Poor circulation also makes your feet swell or feel numb and cold. To avoid this, get the blood flowing by walking up and down the aisles and stretching your body every hour or so. Throughout the flight, you can do exercises while seated, like lifting your legs or making circles with your feet.

Drink your fluids

It’s easy to get dehydrated on planes because the humidity levels are as low and as dry as those in a tropical desert. Dehydration can really put a damper on your trip since it can weaken your immune system and make your jet lag worse. To avoid these pitfalls, make sure to drink lots of water (about eight ounces every hour) and limit your intake of alcohol, soda and caffeine. Your best bet is to bring your own reusable water bottle and fill it up at the airport water fountain since it’s more affordable and better for the environment than the plastic water bottles sold at the airport.

Take a hard pass on the booze

Alcohol not only dehydrates you, but it also puts you at risk of developing an unwanted sickness. When you’re flying at a high altitude, your brain receives less oxygen than it normally would on land, so the effects of alcohol take place faster. This means your liver works harder to process the toxins, so it hampers the function of your immune system. It’s best to forgo a glass of wine on the flight because alcoholic beverages also disrupt your sleep and make jet lag harder to shake.

Pack healthy snacks

When you’re traveling, you have limited access to fresh and nutritious food options. Airports provide lots of sugary, high-fat and high-calorie snacks, and flight attendants often pass out meals full of additives and preservatives. Since airlines allow you to bring food through security, prepare your own healthy snacks at home ahead of time. Some travel-friendly options are nuts, dried fruit, protein bars, popcorn, homemade energy balls or veggie chips.

Get some shuteye

One of the perks of flying is that you can doze off and still arrive at your destination on time and in one piece. To feel well-rested for your next adventure, flights are excellent opportunities to take a quick nap. If you’re traveling across time zones, try to sleep on the plane so that your body can adjust better to the new sleep schedule. Sit back, put on your eye mask and enjoy the ride.

Categorized under Health & Wellness