The 3F’s while flying

The first part to think about is getting there, so let’s consider the 3F’s in terms of ten-hour international flight.

Fitness really isn’t an option. 

You should do a few stretches and walk around to keep the blood pumping, and DVT at bay, but there’s no way you’re going to be doing a workout at 35,000 feet.

Instead, if you exercise the morning of your flight so that it’s done for the day and you’ll probably sleep better.

Fluid is an important consideration because many people dehydrate themselves while flying.

While this is often attributed to the air-conditioning - which plays a role - it has more to do with the fact people restrict fluid intake to avoid going to the bathroom.

If you want to sit there in pain waiting as long as possible to use the facilities, that’s your call, but the dark yellow urine is a strong sign that your body is reabsorbing water and excreting electrolytes.

These must be replaced when on the ground, otherwise dehydration can last a few days and contribute to feeling sluggish upon arrival.

The final thing is food.

While the quality of aeroplane food is contestable, the portion sizes tend to be quite good and foods that commonly irritate the stomach are mostly emitted.

Where the caloric damage can come from is snacks - particularly packets of nuts and chocolates.

For those who hate aeroplane food, it’s a good idea to eat something before you board and bring on some snacks you will consume, although it can be hard to find appetizing food in the terminal.

The food in the lounges is often nicer than the plane itself and comes with a wider variety, so if you can eat your pre-flight meal in there, you can at least ensure you’re taking off with a good meal.

The food and fluid choices you make between leaving home and getting to your hotel can make a big difference in how you feel during the first few days of your trip.

This flows on into your ability to exercise and desire to eat well.

Tom Fitzgerald