How to stay healthy on a plane


Here at D&H, we’re a little bit in love with going on holiday. That feeling when you put your out of office on, dust off your bikinis and floaty dresses and stock up on sun cream (at least factor 30 please D&H’ers!). There’s nothing quite like that pre-vacay buzz *Googles last minute sunshine holidays*.

If you’re like us, you might spend the week before you go away scrubbing, exfoliating and pampering yourself to make sure your beach bod is the best it can be. But, stepping onto the tarmac with feet that feel twice their normal size and a tummy that might prompt people to ask when your due date is, you wonder why you even bothered. Add to that the impact that being at 37,000 feet has on your skin, AND the fact that your bowel movements become about as regular as the 153 bus for a week (seriously what is up with that) it’s enough to make a girl burst into tears. Which we have, many a time.

It’s so easy to forget how important it is to stay healthy and look after yourself ON the plane. So put down that gin and tonic, hold the pretzels and listen up, because boy do we have some tips for you…

Things to try before you fly

If you’ve got time to grab some food before the flight, opt for some berries or a salad with leafy greens. These will oxygenate the blood, which will help combat dehydration. Make sure you get plenty of fibre too (try beans, pulses, nuts or whole grains) as this will help stop you looking like you’re smuggling a balloon under your top.

If you’ve still got any time to kill – go shopping! Now we’re talking, you say! Whilst we agree that stocking up on duty free is indeed a must, make sure you ALSO buy a large bottle of water (or two – what the hell, you’re on holiday!). Unless you’re living the dream in first class, you’re not going to get enough hydration by waiting for the drinks trolley to come by. You need to be drinking one glass for every hour that you’re flying. Set your phone alarm (on in-flight mode, obvs) for every hour to remind you. Maybe put it on vibrate so as not to irritate your fellow flyers. Speaking of which, we’ve a little pep talk to give you. Do not, ever, feel bad if your water drinking means you need the loo rather a lot. It’s not your fault! If the person you need to squeeze past makes a fuss, offer to swap seats. Unlike the mile high club, the mile hydration club is totally legal and everyone should join.

We digressed a little there, but while you’re in the airport, stock up on some healthy snacks to get you through. Plane food is never a culinary masterpiece or a nutritious feast, so it’s good to have some nibbles to get your through. Opt for fruit with a high water content like apples or melon or high fibre food such as nuts.

One last thing on your shopping list – herbal tea bags. These days it’s all about BYOTB. When the tea and coffee is served, ask for a hot water instead. Camomile tea relaxes and calms and fennel or peppermint teas aid digestion.

Beauty tips

We love to spritz with a little rose water (Mrs D can tell you all about the amazing powers of roses) to keep skin hydrated. Just make sure it’s under 100ml so you can bring it in your carry-on.

Moisturise! Pack a lip balm, an eye cream and a face cream and apply, apply, apply! Plane air is very low in humidity and oxygen levels, so this will help your skin lock in its moisture.

Don’t forget your SPF! Pack a travel size sun cream in your hand luggage if you’re travelling during the day, as at high altitudes, you are exposed to harmful sun rays. So slap it on and reapply every couple of hours.

Don’t be a trolley wally

Even if the drinks are free, your body (and in particular your skin) will pay the price. Caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating and trust us, on a plane you need all the hydration you can get. Stay away from fizzy drinks as well as these will cause gas (aka balloon tummy). Stick with mineral water – it might be boring but you’ll be thanking us for it when you’re on the beach.

The deal about plane meals

If you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to get an in-flight meal, plan in advance. Gone are the days where the only alternative option was vegetarian! Most airlines offer low sodium or gluten free meals – where do we sign up! Avoid carb-heavy dishes and sugary desserts as these will also add to the bloat. Don’t eat too much either – listen to your body – if you’re not hungry, you don’t HAVE to have the meal.

I think aisle go for a walk!

Make sure you get up out of your seat every couple of hours. Walk around the plane a couple of times or do a couple of stretches. Combine it with your loo trips if you don’t have an aisle seat.

Get your zzz’s

Sleep as much as possible. Rest is so important, especially if you’re travelling the red-eye. Melatonin is a great herbal remedy if counting sheep just ain’t doing it for you. Getting some rest will help your body repair the damage done by flying, and also soften the blow of any jetlag.
So there you have it, our golden rules to help you be the freshest looking person at the baggage carousel. Give it a go and let us know what you think!

Love, D&H xx

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