Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Keeping Healthy While Flying

    Advice for travelers who want to stay healthy on those long, cramped airplane flights.

    Be Active continued...

    Kaminoff does not advise the kind of exertion that comes from doing "deep knee bends in the back of the plane." Instead, he encourages plane travelers to contract their calf muscles.

    "Your calves are often called your second heart because of the role they play in helping pump venous blood from the lower extremities," he notes. Something as simple as tapping the feet will do nicely; this type of movement will also create movement in the shins and thighs, and even in the hip joint.

    There's another way to encourage movement. "If you just keep drinking water you will be fine, because you have to get up and use the lavatory," Kaminoff says.

    Eat Little

    Pratima Raichur, a chemist, botanist, and aesthetician who owns Pratima Ayurvedic Skin Care in New York, advises against drinking ice-cold or cold water. That's because, according to Ayurvedic principles, being in the air parallels Vata, a particular Ayurvedic constitution that is dry, does not like the cold, and denotes a delicate digestive system. In other words, says Raichur, with Vata energy already exaggerated in the airplane cabin, it's important to make choices that decrease Vata.

    Her advice? Take a pass on cold foods, such as raw salads, in favor of warm nourishment. Decline carbonated beverages, which are full of gas. Favor warm liquids, and choose tea over coffee. Because it's harder to digest food in ultra-Vata conditions, it's better to eat a meal before boarding the plane.

    If a person's flight is long, one possibility is to bring one's favorite teas and food and "eat as little and light as possible." Raichur, who says that steamed vegetables are always a good bet, likes to take "kichidi," a combination of rice and beans that is flavored with warming herbs like cumin, coriander, clove, and a pinch of cinnamon. Fennel seeds are also good for digestion, she says.

    Hydrate Your Skin

    Raichur, who wrote the book Absolute Beauty, values hydrating as a protective element for the skin. In addition to carrying water in a spray bottle to spray directly on the face, one can also use essential oils. For Raichur, the best essential oils for hydrating are geranium, rose, sweet orange and lemon, either alone or in combination. She advises adding a total of 10 drops to 4 ounces of water.

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    handful of vegetables and vitamins
    Diet tips and mistakes.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    woman having a good day
    Revitalize your life.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.