How to stay healthy when flying

It’s really not pleasant when you get off a long flight not feeling your best. But how can you combat that and make sure that when you arrive in your destination you’re ready to start exploring and enjoying your trip?

We’ve got some tips from the experts on how to stay well on a long flight...


Exercising on a plane might sound impossible when you’ve got limited space and don’t want to annoy your neighbours. Thankfully, Virgin Atlantic has teamed up with Team Body Project to create an in-seat workout that you can complete without having to strike yoga poses in the aisles.

Their simple routine will increase circulation, reduce muscular tension and help you feel much better when you step off the plane. The video guides you through a series of exercises that will work your core muscles, glutes and rhomboids (the muscles between your shoulder blades). The eight-minute workout video is available on the inflight entertainment system on all Virgin Atlantic flights so you can follow it from your seat.

Read more: How to take the stress out of flying with kids


Sleeping on a flight can help you to feel refreshed and ready to go when you reach your destination. But it’s important to make sure you get good quality sleep or you risk waking up feeling groggy and only wanting to nap once you check into your hotel.

“To get the best in flight sleep always carry a decent eye mask and good quality ear plugs. If you block out light and noise, there is a much better chance of you gaining shut eye next to hundreds of strangers,” Christabel Majendie, resident sleep expert at Naturalmat, says. “Also keep your clothing loose. To avoid any constricted blood flow you need to wear loose fitting clothing, you can even go as far as taking your pyjamas as this will trick your brain into believing that it is time for bed whilst you sit in ultimate comfort.”

Majendie also recommends bringing your own blanket or hoodie so you have some home comfort while you travel.


Staying well-hydrated on a flight is very important. Cabin crew will always be able to bring you some water and on some Virgin Atlantic flights you’ll find an onboard water fountain.

“I grab a large bottle of water just before I board to stay hydrated on the flight,” online marketing expert Laura Phillips says. “With it being such a dry environment, you will be more dehydrated than usual. Dehydration makes jet lag worse too.”

Your skin can also become dehydrated on a flight so it’s worth popping some moisturiser and lip balm in your hand luggage to avoid ending up with flaky skin. And if you wear contact lenses, you might want to bring your glasses with you so your eyes don’t become dry.

Fight germs

Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, there’s not much you can do about another passenger who boards the plane not feeling 100 per cent. If you’re worried about getting a bug or illness on the flight, the best thing you can do is pack some anti-bacterial hand gel or wipes in your hand luggage to make sure you’re not picking up anything nasty. 

And if you want to be super organised, dose up on vitamin C ahead of your flight so your body is prepared to fight off any germs you might encounter.

Read more: The snacks you should be eating at 37,000ft

Find what works for you

Everyone will have a different experience when flying. If you’re someone who suffers with ear pain during takeoff and landing, you might benefit from having sweets to chew or using ear plugs.

“I used to struggle with dizziness after flights and discovered that although I don't suffer from ear pressure pain, my ears don't enjoy flights,” Phillips says. “This imbalance caused vertigo when I landed at my destination. As a frequent business traveller, not flying wasn't an option. After some trial and error, I found the perfect remedy of pressure-relieving earplugs for take-off and landing and over-the-counter sinus medication.”

Visit Virgin Atlantic to find out more about the onboard experience and let us know your tips for staying well on a flight…

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