How to Stay Healthy as a Commercial Pilot

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As much as we love to fly, everyone knows that the inside of an airplane is not somewhere humans are designed to be. The environment of a commercial airplane dries you out, the air pressure lowers your oxygen absorption rate and the space can range from cramped to shoe-box tiny.

If you feel bad after your annual holiday, imagine how commercial pilots feel flying every day! We have assembled the big three keys to feeling good and ensuring a swift recovery after you land.

Healthy Eating Habits

Everyone talks about healthy eating. Governments, schools, mums, dads, doctors or anyone with a smoothie or exercise program. That doesn’t make them wrong. The biggest issue is the options available at most airport terminals.

As a pilot, you pass fast food places every morning, you head to the bar after work and often eat at your hotel at the end of your day. This lifestyle is great for the casual flyer, who doesn’t enjoy a bowl of chips when they are on holiday, but for a career flyer, your body can feel bloated and horrible pretty quickly.

The best defence against temptation is forward planning and self-discipline. Be picky about what you eat, ask the catering staff or the chef at the restaurant for a balanced meal and try not to rush through the airport without a nutritious breakfast. Hunger is your worst enemy when you walk past a burger joint in the terminal.


While the biggest influence on your health is your diet, exercising 2-3 times a week is all it takes to keep in shape, and exercise after landing has been proven to be the best way to reset your body after long flights.

Take a walk around the neighbourhood, pay a little extra for a hotel with a gym, or do some simple exercises in your hotel room. It doesn’t matter what you do, it is about doing it, and doing it today.

Last but not Least, Hydrate

When your life is a series of passport controls, long haul flights, new destinations and the inside of an aircraft, it is easy to forget about the simplest way of maintaining a healthy body. Dehydration is a common workplace issue, but for commercial pilots, it is a real risk.

The air within the aircraft is often incredibly dry, often below 10% humidity, which dries your body unbelievably fast. More, your daily coffee and tea you drink to keep you sharp in the pilot’s seat are diuretics, meaning they make you pass water faster than normal, dehydrating you further.

Keep on top of your fluids, stay conscious of your hydration and always carry a water bottle on the plane (just remember to fill it up after security).

The life of a pilot may be hard on the body, but it the benefits cannot be ignored. If you want a career where you get to explore our wonderful world, travel to exotic locations, and spend every day with the best view in the house, call us at Bunbury Flying School today, and let us guide you into your new career in aviation.

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