The holidays are fast approaching with all the joys of food, family, friends, and general holiday cheer. And if you’re like millions of Americans who plan on flying during this busy travel season, catching the cold bug could put a damper on your plans. To help keep your body healthy and immune system strong during travel in the winter months, follow these simple steps.
BEFORE YOUR TRIP -
1. Take Supplements – Supplements can help make up for the lack of good nutrition that can be experienced in our modern day diets. Certain supplements help boost the immune system - try a probiotic for gut health, or microalgae supplements such as spirulina or astaxanthin for an immunity boost.
2. Exercise – If you have a normal exercise schedule, this can probably get thrown out of whack while traveling. It can be helpful to try and bank some extra exercise time in before your trip – it will help you feel better about any food indulges while on vacation as well as help relax you for the travel ahead.
3. Hydrate - The body is made up of 50 to 65% water. Each and every part of the body contains water, from your bones to your skin. The body cannot function properly without enough water so staying hydrated is one of the most basic and important things we can do for ourselves. You’ll feel better mentally and physically if you’re well hydrated which can lead to less exhaustion and a better state of mind.
4. Food Prep – While airport food has come a long way, packing healthy snacks before leaving home can save money and take the guessing game out of finding a healthy meal option. Good travel snacks that are also kid friendly can include fresh fruits like apples, sliced veggies with hummus, mixed nuts with dried fruit, dark chocolate, or spirulina protein bites. Packing your own snacks can relieve some of the anxiety from travel and will help ensure your diet doesn’t go completely off track.
DURING TRAVEL –
1. Keep Your Distance – Unfortunately, germs travel, too! Stay away from people who are sneezing or coughing as germs can travel up to several feet when forcefully expelled by a sneeze or cough from an infected person. Germs don’t make the best travel friends so it’s best to try and avoid picking them up in the first place.
2. Wash Your Hands - Circulated air, dirty surfaces, and public restrooms in airports, planes, train/bus stations, or anywhere where lots of hands have touched are germ hot spots. Make sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly to reduce the spread of germs. Another helpful tip is to make an effort not to touch your face, especially around your eyes, nose and ears.
3. Hydrate, Again – Make sure you always have an ample supply of water. Ways to make sure you always have enough fluids are to bring a reusable water bottle with you to fill up with drinking water once inside the airport or buy a bottle of water to take with you. Coffee and soda may sound like good choices to give you an energy boost, but in actuality they can be dehydrating and shouldn’t be the first pick for hydration.
4. Relax – Travel is stressful, but some easy relaxation tips can make the process more enjoyable. Deep breathing and mediation (download an app to your phone for guidance) can quickly calm your mind down. Essential oils like lavender invite calmness and rest, so dab some on your temples and wrists. If you feel better with structure, research your travel destination ahead of time so there isn’t overwhelming anxiety when you get there.
Once back home, try to settle back into your normal health routine as soon as you can. It’s tempting to leave your luggage on the floor, but unpacking will get you settled back into daily life quicker than having to dig through your bags for weeks. If you like to cook, get back into the kitchen and take the time to prepare nourishing meals. Starting back in with your exercise routine can center you and help you focus as you get back to your daily life. And of course, if you ever feel like you need a vacation from your vacation, take the time for rest and relaxation.