8 Tips for Staying Healthy When Traveling

by | Dec 19, 2014 | Family Practice, Wellness

Traveling to visit family and friends or to experience a new adventure are great reasons to pack your bags and to head to the airport this holiday season; however, traveling can upset your daily routine and can expose your immune system to illness. Here are our favorite tips for staying healthy and keeping your immune system on top of its game when traveling.

1. Be active
Traveling typically involves a lot of sitting and, if you are not flying first class, your seat will be cramped. It is important that you take opportunities to move and to be active. Before taking your seat on the plane, walk around the terminal; do a few laps. Take time to stretch your legs and do a few squats to keep your blood flowing.
Exercise releases endorphins, which will make you feel good and keep your mind clear and sharp. It also can help to stimulate your immune system. Moving around can also help to prevent blood clots which may occur if you are sitting in cramped quarters for long periods of time.

2. Wash hands
Hand washing is a huge defense for warding off illnesses. As you are moving through the airport, consider all the surfaces you touch; a lot! We recommend that you wash your hands before and after each flight and make sure to wash them when you arrive at your destination. The Center for Disease Control suggests to, “Think Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry” and scrub for at least 20 seconds for effective hand washing.

3. Use hand sanitizer
Although washing your hands is the best, using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can reduce the number of microbes on your hands and support cleanliness between washings. We suggest that you always travel with a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag. Use it often; after going through security and again once on the plane. Tip: most security checkpoints have bottles of sanitizer or wall mounted dispensers available. There are sometimes dispensers at each gate near the travel agent’s desk.

4. Don’t stress it
Stress can be a huge factor in your health. Stress causes your body to releases corticosteroid or stress hormones, which can cause adverse effects on your body including, increasing blood pressure, decreasing immune fighting hormones, and disrupting your digestive system, not to mention increasing blood sugars which leads to weight gain. We recommend acknowledging stressors, plan ahead, and adapt. Learn how to stop and take slow deep breaths. This will slow things down in your body and reset your nervous system. Think “in for 5- hold for 5- out for 5- 5 times”. If you can’t change it, don’t stress about it. We all know that traveling can lead to missed flights, long layovers, and disappearing bags; all super stressful situations. Plan ahead by packing an extra set of clothes into your carry-on and plan for the unexpected so that when it happens, it does not stress you out.

5. Boost your immune system
Immune boosting supplements, if taken two to seven days before traveling, give your body its best fighting chance at warding off illness. ImmuCore is a highly recommended multidimensional immune system booster, which includes vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D. The ImmuCore supplements protect your digestive system and protect your body against stress by boosting the cells that fight against illness.

6. Breathe easy, support your respiratory system
When flying miles high, the cabin pressure and recycled air can make it more difficult to breathe and make you more susceptible to disease. Two to seven days before traveling, we recommend taking a probiotic supplement to boost your respiratory system and populate it with the right beneficial bacteria to fight off offenders. UltraFlora Immune Booster is a blend of beneficial microorganisms or ‘friendly‘ bacteria that support nasal, sinus, and general respiratory health.

6. Sleep well
Maintaining good sleeping habits can help to preserve a healthy immune system and we all know that you won’t get much sleep on the plane. Make sure you are well rested before traveling and take time to rest after. It is recommended that you receive 7-8 hours every night. If it is difficult for you to sleep while you are away from home, try Benesom. It’s a blend of low-dose melatonin (the natural sleepy hormone) and different herbs that are calming and help induce and maintain sleep.

7. Eat well
Rushing between flight connections is not the most convenient time to think about a healthy meal. To avoid the last minute airport fast-food selections, try preparing a meal and snack from home before traveling. A turkey sandwich and a bag of mixed nuts will energize you and keep those hunger pangs away. If you can’t bring a homemade meal, look around the airport for the more nutritious food options. Often airports will have a deli or pre-made salads, which are more healthful than pizza, Chinese food, or hot dogs.

8. Drink a lot of water
Traveling can make you very dehydrated and dehydration causes disease. Drinking lots of water keeps your immune system stable and functioning well. It also helps your digestive system stay fresh and ready to take on whatever travelling stresses come your way. Avoid drinking soda when on the flight and ask for a water or soda water instead. You can also bring an empty water bottle through security to fill it up later and avoid expensive water bottles.

We hope these tips keep you safe and well as you travel.

Happy Holidays!


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