Denise Sanger

Denise Sanger

A few years back, I was taking my daughters to Ohio to visit their grandparents. We planned ahead, had everything packed, at the airport through security, boarded the plane and off we went. Everything was on time. As usual, my daughters watched the take-off then closed the window blinds and promptly went to sleep. My mom and my husband can do that as well. Me? Nope, so I was reading a book for the duration of the flight.

Landed in Cleveland, grandpa picked us up and over to the house we went. Not even there five minutes and I am sick. Flu sick. How in the world did that happen when I left Florida perfectly healthy? What started out as a nice fall vacation quickly turned into my sleeping for the next two days. My daughters? No problems.

What happened to me actually happens to many people when they travel especially when flying. Since it's the time of year when we begin to make plans for upcoming holiday travel (Halloween is a few short weeks away) I wanted to take a few moments to talk about what you should NOT eat while traveling.

When we travel, we're often in small confined places like an airplane or train and germs are rampant. How can you protect yourself when you barely have room to move? These simple tips will help:

• Avoid drinking the water on a plane unless it's bottled. Matter of fact, what I do is I buy a big bottle of water once I'm through security. Tap water on the plane isn't very healthy. You may think it's being emptied and refilled but the water may actually be sitting in the tanks for long periods of times. This is a tip a flight attendant gave me several years back.

• Avoid coffee or tea for the same reason because it usually is made with the tap water on the plane.

• Those fast, fried foods that smell so delicious when you're walking through the airport or train station? Skip the line. Digestion is harder on your body when you're traveling or 35,000 feet in the air and may constrict blood flow.

• Even though you may want a pre-trip beverage, it's best to skip the beer or cocktail. Why? Alcohol dehydrates the body and you want to stay hydrated when flying. Grab the bottle of water you carried on and sip away.

• Sugar free gum and candy. These contain artificial sweeteners. Bottom line, whether you're traveling or not, it's difficult for the body to process fake sweeteners. It's even more difficult when you're traveling which may result in you being in the restroom for a long period of time. Which leads me to the final point.

• Try to avoid using the restroom on flights. Face it. There are a LOT of people using the restroom which means there are a LOT of germs on the toilet handle, toilet seat, the countertop and door knobs. If you do need to use the restroom, wash your hands thoroughly then use a paper towel as a barrier between you and what you need to touch. 

One final tip is to keep your air vent on and point it straight down. This creates a cone of protection that may keep germs from getting near you. A few simple tips that will have you arriving healthy AND happy to your destination. Have an amazing week!

To your health,


Denise Sanger is an over 50 health/lifestyle blogger and speaker. Known for motivation, inspiration & loving the BEACH. Certified fitness instructor, Silver Sneakers Instructor, Zumba, STRONG by Zumba instructor, gentle flow yoga, teaches morning classes at Country Strong Gym. Denise may be reached at, 386-292-6105 or

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