America’s most-decorated ski racer Lindsey Vonn goes out of her way to stay healthy. (Her line of work doesn't exactly offer sick days.) But it's a goal that can feel as challenging to achieve at times as, say, winning an Olympic gold medal (something Vonn did in 2010, BTW). That's mainly because her job requires her to travel eight months out of the year and involves hopping on airplanes—notorious for harboring germs of all sorts.
So how does she do it? Discipline. Duh. Vonn's created a set of personal rules for staying healthy in flight from which she never deviates—no matter what.
Below are 5 rules for staying healthy on a plane that Lindsey Vonn swears by.
1. Bring your own food
Vonn says, for her, the toughest challenge to staying healthy while traveling is food, which is why she always packs her own meals: “I have cooked chicken and rice, maybe a banana. Anything I can put in Tupperware, I’ll bring on the plane,” says Vonn. Her pro tip: “Don’t bring foods you need your fingers to eat.”
2. Pack a water bottle in your carry-on
Because she drinks “a ton of water,” Vonn brings her own bottle to the airport, and fills it up after security. “I get dehydrated pretty quickly, so it’s important for me to just keep drinking,” she says.
3. Always have plenty of hand sanitizer
This skier’s favorite product for the plane? Hand sanitizer, and lots of it.
4. Never use the airplane toilet
“I try not to use the bathroom on the airplane at all costs,” says Vonn, who adds, “It’s very difficult, but you just hold it in.” This phobia came from a friend who's a nurse: “She was telling me all the different bacterias in the airplane bathroom, and it freaked me out,” says the champion athlete.
5. Bring layers
The last step to staying well mid-air is layering, according to Vonn: “I always seem to get cold on flights, especially on the smaller planes that are freezing.” She packs plenty of layers, favoring ones with high collars to keep her neck warm.
For more travel intel, here are flight attendant-approved hacks for curing jet lag and what wellness pros do on the road (or in the air) to stay healthy.
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