By Sitara Hewitt
Air travel is an amazing thing that allows us to whisk away on exotic vacations, visit far away friends and family and get to where we need to be for work quickly. It’s pretty miraculous, though I don’t tend to feel like a miracle upon landing! Dehydrated skin, limp hair, low energy, aches and pains, frequent colds and slowed digestion are some common side effects of flying. So how can you protect yourself and feel great from start to finish?
Here are my tips!
HYDRATE: The number one item in your arsenal is pure water. Make it a priority. I drink a ton of water on the day/morning that I’m flying. Then after I get through the security check I buy myself one or two large bottles to drink while in the waiting area and on the flight. I often hear people say, “Oh I don’t want to drink too much water, I’ll have to keep getting up to use the bathroom.” Um…yeah! And you will have more energy, you’ll get over jet lag faster, you won’t have dry mouth, your skin will glow and you’ll boost your immunity! Plus getting up to go to the bathroom is healthy as it allows you to stretch your legs and keep blood flowing. Worried about waking your seatmate? Ask for an aisle seat – or decide that your health and well-being is more important than potentially annoying a total stranger once or twice. Stay away from alcohol on the flight, it double-dehydrates you and your skin and system will not thank you! Save the glass of wine for when you’ve landed and are celebrating your new locale.
STRETCH: This always amazes me: At the gate where everyone is waiting for their flight, they are all sitting, before they have to sit for five to 10 hours.
Stop the insanity people. Walk around the terminal, stretch, touch your toes, stretch your quads, wiggle your ankles, move your neck around, roll your hips. Don’t worry about looking weird – again give yourself permission to prioritize your own health and happiness before the possible opinions of total strangers. Who just want to sit for hours on end? In all seriousness though, many people find it liberating and empowering to do something a little different. If I can I get a workout, a walk or a run in before leaving for the airport, to pump clean air through my body and get my blood circulating well. This goes a long way to avoiding a sore back, neck or hips after your flight and again helps you regain your energy faster in the new time zone.
EAT WELL: Bring some of your own food. I love that Pearson International now has a Booster Juice in some of the terminals: I get a large fruit and veggie smoothie and that helps me feel hydrated, happy and full so that I don’t order the sodium loaded pizza and sandwiches they offer on the flight. Raw nuts, apples, bananas – all these are your friends on the flight too. I always stash a little dark chocolate too so that if I have a sweet craving on the plane I don’t buy the Swedish berries or something super sugary – which just leads you to feel sluggish and lowers your immunity on the flight.
SKIN: Moisturize. Hydrating from the inside with your water is really important, and the next step is to protect and boost skin’s hydration with some super charged moisturizers or oils. I like to clean my face thoroughly before and after the flight, then moisturize with and oil and a serum. I like Moringa Oil from Top Nutritionals. For my cream I use Mereadesso, a Canadian skin care line that’s got an incredible anti-aging moisturizer with aloe. They carry a great travel pack of all the essentials; it’s easy and works beautifully so I always pack it. I also bring a small spray bottle of Avene softening water and spritz my skin throughout the flight. It’s lovely, cooling and soothing.
A natural lip balm is also key, to stave off dry lips during the flight. To look healthy I favor a cream blush to seal moisture in and give a glow-y look to the skin. And as for an at home remedy I keep an aloe vera plant on hand, break off a little bit and squeeze the inside of the leaf on my face as a natural anti-aging masque! It’s moisturizing, healing and anti-inflammatory.
Finally, I make sure I boost my system with some anti-oxidants and immune strengthening supplements before and after my flight – and I never get sick! I take high doses of vitamin C, I take an anti-oxidant called Astaxanthin and sometimes I add an immune boosting herb like Echinacea for a couple of days too.
Wishing you healthy, happy and beautiful flights!
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