When You're Flying...

….When you’re flying: Ideas for staying healthy!

We recently made it back from our Portland Oregon trip where we had a wonderful week visiting family and seeing some of the sites we haven’t visited in a few years, including the Columbia River Gorge (where wind surfers abound), Multnomah Falls, Canon Beach and Seaside. 

As the years have gone by, I’ve found it more difficult to bounce back from air travel; especially flights that are 5+ hours long and involve a time change. Part of the problem is that air travel just isn’t what it used to be. Planes are more crowded, delays more frequent, there are poor food options on board, air quality is the pits, and my now 60 year-old body just doesn’t bounce back from the experience like it use to. It also doesn’t help that I can’t sleep on planes…red eye or not…because I need to be stretched flat out to get any shut-eye. This last trip, our flight was delayed for 2 hours, which resulted in our arriving at our destination around 2am our time…with another hour or so tacked on to rent the car, get to the hotel, and crash into bed.

So I’ve been forced to try and come up with some ‘tried and true’ ways to combat the effects of air travel, and thought it might help those of you who are faced with a flight to get you to your business or vacation destination.

1.Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I recently purchased a water bottle that is the perfect size to carry. Once filled, it is easy for me to drink from and keeps cold water cold! I followed my daughter’s lead and purchased this S’well bottle at Target the week before we left:


You can also go to the S'well site and they have many, many more options. You could have a different water bottle each season! You do have to bring the bottle through security empty, but can fill it up on the other side. Many airports have water bottle spigots right next to the drinking fountains. And when the stewards come around with bottled water during the flight, never refuse them and use their contents to re-fill your water bottle (I’ve been advised that the water from the faucet on planes is problematic at best). Keeping your body hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to prevent yourself from feeling crappy when you arrive at your destination!

2. Eat healthy before traveling; pack healthy snacks. If you are stuck eating a meal at the airport before getting on the plane, look for a green salad with protein or a healthier sandwich (made with whole grain bread, protein, veggies). For healthier snacks, I often put together my own ‘trail mix’ with dark chocolate bits, almonds, walnuts and dried cranberries. Another favorite are those hummus cups that come with pretzel chips. Or string cheese, some carrot sticks and a piece of fresh fruit. Doing this can help you avoid the salty snacks that are often offered that will just dehydrate you more!

3. Book an aisle seat. They don’t cost more and this lets you get up and move every hour or so without disturbing anyone, which is good for your circulation and stretches out those cramped muscles. Go use the rest room, pick up another bottled water, say ‘hi’ to the stewards. I also feel that on long flights, the aisle seat gives you the illusion of having more wiggle room.

4. Noise cancelling headsets can really make a difference! They are available at all price points, and are worth the investment if you travel on planes a lot or for great distances. I splurged 13 years ago and got a set, knowing we’d be flying across the country to my hubby’s homeland at least once a year. This last trip…I didn’t pack them. Big Mistake! Learned a good lesson…the ambient noise on an aircraft is incredibly tiring…not to mention the four kids that were on our return flight that let their voices, both pleasant and non, be heard throughout the five hours we were in the air!

I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful as you plan your next plane ride near or far! If you have some tips to share, please feel free to add them! Enjoy the rest of July!




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