Summer is coming and for some of us that means hopping on a plane so that we can spend time with family and friends -- or just get away. Along with memorizing all the airport security rules, we also have to take precautions to stay germ-free.
After coming down with bronchitis on a flight from New York to Chile 20 years ago, writer Jane E. Brody created a safer flying routine for herself and wrote about it recently for The New York Times: "Flying Healthy, From Takeoff Past Landing." Some of her preventative steps include:
- Taking echinacea and 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C
- Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated
- Washing hands frequently
- Getting plenty of rest before the flight
Some of the factors that put your health at risk include changes in cabin pressure, dehydration, and immobility. You're also exposed to people who may have infectious diseases. Flight crews face chronic exposure to cosmic radiation, which is also hazardous to pregnant women. And who hasn't experienced jet lag?
Since flying does put some people at risk, Brody recommends seeing a doctor before stepping on plane if you: are pregnant, have heart or respiratory disease, have recently had surgery, are obese, have cancer, or take oral contraceptives (they make you more susceptible to blood clots).
What are your tips for staying healthy and germ-free while traveling?