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6 ways to fly healthy

Whether you’re an experienced or occasional flier, make sure your journey is safe and healthy.

1. Don’t dive and fly

If you had a SCUBA diving session 24 to 48h before taking the plane, be careful about the risks of decompression sickness. Check with your instructor whether you will be safe to fly.

2. Look after your sinuses

It’s not advisable to fly if you have an ear, nose or sinus infection, as the swelling can cause pain, bleeding or a perforated eardrum. If you really have to take the plane, ask your GP or pharmacist about decongestants to help reduce the swelling.

3. Stay hydrated

Airplane air is particularly dry, so drink plenty of water, and wear glasses rather than contact lenses to avoid irritating your eyes. If you’re particularly sensitive to the effects dryness, you might like to bring lip balm and travel-sized eye drops or saline nasal gel for extra comfort.

4. Know how to keep airsickness at bay

4. Know how to keep airsickness at bay

Try to choose a seat where you will experience the least motion. The middle of an airplane, over the wing, is the calmest area. Buy an acupressure wristband at your local pharmacy for added help. You could also chew gum to release pressure on ears and your head.

5. Keep your circulation going

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition where a period of inactivity leads blood clots to develop, most often within the deep veins of the legs, and causes pain and swelling. Risk increases with age, as well as through factors such as obesity or smoking. To keep a healthy blood flow, do exercises such as small circles with your ankles, stretch your toes, or do shoulder and neck rolls. Get up and walk around every couple of hours if you can.

6. Be sun-safe

Being in a plane means you’re 30,000 feet closer to the sun, and most windows are not designed to block UVA rays. This should not be a problem if you’re an occasional traveler or on short flights, but if you’re a frequent flier, consider wearing sun-screen or taking a seat away from the window.