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How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Traveling is one of the many luxuries modern transportation allows us to do as frequently as we please. And fortunately for us, the act of traveling rewards us with personal growth whether we're going it alone or with family.

However, an enjoyable traveling experience can become a time of misery if you or one of the travelers you're with should become sick in the process. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to stay healthy while traveling and even to boost one’s immunity at the same time.

Why It Can Be Hard to Stay Healthy While Traveling

There are a number of reasons that make it difficult for some people to remain healthy while traveling. Some of those reasons are due to a change in habits, which leads a person to do one or more of these things:

  • They do not eat meals at the same time, and they are often eating greasier foods in larger portions than what they would eat at home.
  • They are not as active as they normally are because they are forced to sit for long amounts of time in a car or an airplane. Therefore, travelers often see more problems with constipation, acne and indigestion.
  • Because travelers are around many other people and spend time in numerous public places, they are exposed to more germs than they would see in their usual lives at home. This explains the frequency with which travelers contract colds, influenza, stomach flu and other health issues. This is particularly true when people travel to foreign countries.

Below are a number of simple things you can do to give your immune system a little boost, and your body a better chance of staying healthy while traveling.

Keep Hands Clean

Numerous germs lurk in many public places, especially on door handles and in public restrooms. However, when people are away from home, they may have difficulty finding enough places where they can wash their hands. Although it is important to wash hands with soap and water, particularly when they are visibly soiled, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can do the trick as well. Hand sanitizers should definitely be used after using the bathroom or before eating, and children should be reminded to keep dirty hands away from their faces.

Stay Active

People who are traveling are often sedentary for long stretches of time while they are cooped up in a car, RV or airplane. Being sedentary for many hours raises the risk of blood clots and other circulation problems. There are many ways to stay active. Many hotels and resorts have built gyms on their premises, and airlines have begun giving discounts to people who use their gyms while traveling. Simple ways to stay active abound. Families can stop at parks or rest areas along the way to play on playgrounds and take walks. Even when sitting in a car, travelers can be reminded to move their feet and legs frequently and to try to change their positions.

Remember to Relax

Those traveling for leisure may think that they will automatically be relaxing while traveling. However, what happens much of the time is that these people stay so busy visiting friends and relatives, having fun at amusement parks and traveling to historical landmarks that they do not take the time to simply be quiet and still. Those who like to meditate will want to take time to continue this practice while traveling. Others should be sure to make time for sitting and watching the sunset or even just relaxing while reading a book.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is often one of the first things to disappear on busy vacations and especially on business trips. There are so many things to see and do that people do not feel they have time for their normal amounts of sleep. However, sleep is one of the major ways that they body repairs damage to itself and that the mind rejuvenates itself. In addition, jetlag can create extreme fatigue. Travelers should aim to get the same amount of sleep on vacation that they get at home.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can lead to constipation. In addition, proper hydration can help wash toxins out of the body. Travelers often turn to sugary drinks while on the road or may drink a lot of caffeine to stay awake. However, caffeine actually dehydrates the body. The simplest way to stay hydrated is to bring a refillable water bottle on vacation. Those who prefer filtered water can choose a water bottle that has a filter included.

Eat Fresh Foods When Possible

Travelers should try to stay away from processed snacks and greasy meals as much as possible. They should bring fresh fruits and vegetables to snack on if they have room in the car. Even dried fruits and granola bars are healthier than the chips and chocolate treats found in vending machines along the road. Fresh or dried fruits and vegetables are filled with immune-boosting vitamins and other nutrients.

Invest in a Multivitamin

Travelers who are not getting enough immune-boosting nutrients from fresh foods should try a multivitamin. They should check with their physicians before leaving on vacation. However, one multivitamin a day may be all that it takes to increase nutrients such as vitamin C for immunity and B vitamins for energy.

Try an Immune-Boosting Supplement

In addition, there are certain supplements that are especially known for decreasing sicknesses or for helping those who are sick to get well quickly. One of these is Echinacea. Although Echinacea should not be taken consistently for more than a month, a few quick doses of it can stop sore throats and decrease the severity of colds. Zinc is another good option for immunity. Zinc can often be found in tasty lozenges that are easy to take on the road.

Be Current on Immunizations

Those traveling to foreign countries should be sure that they are current on immunizations. They This is particularly true for those traveling to third-world countries, such as some located along the Equator in Africa. Examples include immunizations against yellow fever and malaria.

Staying healthy while traveling can be as simple as trying to maintain one’s typical everyday habits. In addition, some people may need to add a multivitamin or other food supplement into their diets or may need to have special immunizations if they are traveling to certain foreign countries. By following some of these simple tricks, travelers can stay healthy while creating fun memories with family and friends.

Additional Resources
http://www.delimmune.com/del-immune-v/
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/keeping-healthy-while-flying
http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/advice/2013/03/28/maintain-your-hea...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/collette-debenedetto/healthy-food-travel-t...
http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/how-to-stay-fit-on-the-road/
http://www.wikihow.com/Stay-Healthy-While-Traveling-in-the-Tropics
http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm049047.htm
http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2013/08/travel-like-a-wellness-warr...
http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/13/health/stay-healthy-traveling-abroad/
http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/family_travel.html#

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