Autumn is a great time of year to travel, especially for those of us who are retired. Why not, the weather is still fine and it’s a great opportunity to meet friends and family you haven’t seen in a while?! Just keep in mind, that when you are traveling either on the road or flying, your immune systems may get overtaxed. You are physically and mentally stressed and also exposed to many diseases, from being close to many people in a small area. Just sitting and breathing could become a challenge to your immune system.
Your immune system is fighting off millions of microscopic germs constantly, every day, whether you are at home or on the road. Stress, lack of sleep and fatigue from the road can weaken your immune system, and hamper your normal immune response.
When you are physically and mentally stressed from your journey, you need to take some special precautions to help fight and prevent common diseases like cold and flu.
Think about it, the inside of your airplane cabin isn’t exactly a healthy environment. You have to sit in a place which may be comfortable for a little while, but sitting there for hours could become exhausting. As the plane rises in the air, you will also feel a difference in cabin pressure. This may put added pressure on your immune system when you are trying to adjust; even breathing could become difficult. Recirculated air also carries around and distributes germs, so there is little chance of escaping exposure.
6 tips to keep you healthy while traveling
Below are a few tips to keep your immune system healthy while traveling.
1. Be active
Sitting in a chair for a long period of time is not only tedious, but it also increases your risk of getting leg clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Dehydration and cabin pressure can also influence DVT and other health conditions. (WebMD)
You want to move your legs and contract your muscles often to keep your blood circulating. “The deep veins in your legs have one-way valves, where blood can only move toward the heart. The only thing that gets that venous blood from the lower body back up to the heart is muscle contraction.” – Kaminoff (Keeping Healthy While Flying |WebMD)
2. Eat Healthy
When you are out on the road, eating healthy can be a real challenge. It’s a good idea to pack your lunch or snacks, and also carry a water bottle when you leave home. Always begin your journey by eating a healthy meal. You will reduce your chances of getting sick if your immune system is supercharged with plenty of nutritious foods. Be sure to include some immune-boosting, energy-giving fruits.
3. Rest and relax
Resting and relaxing while you travel is equally important as keeping your blood circulation going. Travel can be extremely stressful, and you need to find some time to relax and reduce stress from your mind and body. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, try to sleep or read a good book. Also, make sure that you are rested and stress-free before you start your journey.
4. Hydrate yourself
Drink water and spray water on your face or skin, as often as possible. Dehydration can lead to breathing problems, stress and weaker immune responses. Carry your own water bottle or buy a few bottles of water before boarding an airplane or bus. It may be safer to carry your own water bottle rather than drinking out of the tap at the airport or on the airplane.
“While the tap water on-board has greatly improved in the last 10 years, random samplings have still every so often picked up fecal bacteria” – Charles Gerba, Ph.D., professor of microbiology (Traveling Travel Tips: How to Stay Healthy While Traveling – Condé Nast Traveler)
5. Wash hands
When you are going through public places like the public toilet, ATM machines and such, it’s easy to pick up germs. Also try to stay away from people who appear sick, who are coughing, sneezing and such. Wash your hands as often as possible, especially after using public facilities.
6. Maintain Your Supplement Regimen
Don’t forget to pack your BioPro-Plus!
A common mistake that you may make while traveling, is forgetting to pack and take your regular supplements. Due to an irregular schedule and possible time differences, it can be tricky to remember! Be sure to keep up with your regular regimen and leave your supplements out in your hotel room, to help you remember to take them.
When you step outside the comfort of your home, you’re exposed to millions of viruses and bacteria , and so you have more chances of becoming sick. Practice these tips, and hopefully they will improve your immune system and disease-fighting abilities on the road, and also make your journey more pleasant.
We’ll be back with more health tips, so please check back often. Until then, stay well!
Related articles and resources:
- Role of Immune System in Flu Vaccination Effectiveness
- How to Stay Healthy While Traveling – Alternative Health
- Keeping Healthy While Flying
- How to Stay Healthy While
- Traveling Travel Tips: How to Stay Healthy While Traveling – Condé Nast Traveler
- 5 Awesome Reasons Why You Should Drink More Water | Nourish The Planet