Keeping yourself in peak health should always be a priority, but even more so when traveling. When we’re on planes, in public transit, or even in hotels, even with the strictest protocols, we are still exposed to illnesses we might not be if we were safe at home.
But, the world is opening up and moving forward, and if you’re like most of us, you’re ready to move forward too. There are many ways beyond hand hygiene and masks that keep us healthy, and here are a few to keep in mind on your travels.
Staying Healthy During Travel
We all know how integral sleep is to overall health and immunity, and there’s no exception when traveling. Sure, you can catch some extra z’s while on a long flight or train ride, but try and resist the temptation to spend every night out on the town when you’re in a new city.
Sleeping gives your body a break by lowering blood pressure and your muscles relaxing. During sleep, your body can reduce inflammation and heal. Sleeping also gives your brain a break which helps with stress and ward off depression. It’s an overall mood booster, and you need to be in a good mood while you see the world!
It’s so tempting when you’re traveling to completely let loose and treat yourself to things you usually wouldn’t. While this is a great idea in some respects (after all, you deserve a lot of joy while traveling), you want to reign it in when and where you can. Avoid overconsumption of sugary desserts, and try to eat plant-based as often as you can.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy the Beef Bourguignon in Paris, but you can also choose a meatless hot dog at the next restaurant to even things out. Studies have shown time and again that consuming more whole foods like fruits and vegetables is the easiest and fastest way to better overall health. Opt for trying famous local dishes. These dishes will likely be prepared with far fewer ingredients.
Don’t let yourself go too long without eating, as you’ll be more likely to grab convenience foods that are loaded with additives and preservatives, which both have a negative impact on your health.
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Hydrate and Supplement
We all know we need to be drinking at least eight glasses of water per day, but this can actually fluctuate depending on our activity level and the weather. If you are traveling in a particularly hot climate or very active, you need to consume even more than the recommended amount of water. It’s a good idea to always have a reusable water bottle at the ready to keep you at optimal levels.
Supplementing your diet is an excellent idea whether at home or abroad. Of course, you want to discuss any supplements you’re considering adding to your doctor before use, but in general, it has nothing but positive impacts. Supplementing with the right vitamins can boost your energy levels and overall health to keep you in a great mood to get the most out of your trip.
You want to make sure you’ve packed all the small items that come in handy for all your “what if’s.” Think SPF (you want a minimum of SPF 30) to protect you from the powerful and sometimes damaging UV rays. A small first aid kit to have in your backpack or purse if you have an accident and need attendance before you can get professional medical help.
It’s never a bad idea to have a container with your extra medicine that you take daily just in case you can’t get back to your hotel or wherever you’re staying. These things could also come in handy en route, like if you were separated from your luggage, for instance. Either way, always be prepared.
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One of the easiest ways to stay healthy during travel is maintaining your mindfulness. Most of us have become specialists on what we need to do in our day-to-day lives to stay centered and take care of ourselves. Don’t lose this entirely while enjoying your travels. Consider bringing a yoga mat with you so you can partake in local classes. Be mindful of how much alcohol you’re consuming, and don’t overdo it.
If you implement these basic ideas while traveling, you’re sure to ultimately have a better time while traveling because you’ll be honoring your body and mind, all the while taking care of yourself. Enjoy!