Staying Healthy While Traveling
By Danielle Michels
Part of this was due to stress; working hard for a break and then when it finally came my body’s defenses would completely drop. The other factor was simply coming across all the icky stuff we encounter in places like airports, buses or trains when my immune system wasn’t at its strongest.
Once I was able to identify this pattern, I took some reinforcements, and I’ve been holiday-season-sickness free for the past three years.
Since that seems like a pretty good track record considering my previous ailments, I thought I’d share with you so you can enjoy the season by celebrating instead of sniffling!
Nutrient Pack Your Meals
Obviously this tip doesn’t apply because you’re already getting your full serving of fruits and veggies, right? Well, if we’re being realistic, you and I both know that when you’re juggling work and life in general, adding an upcoming trip makes pizza and take-out a lot more appealing than it might be on other days.
Even though it will take extra meal-planning and prep, eating home cooked meals that are fresh and full of nutrient-packed ingredients will keep your body in prime condition to ward off other traveler’s germs and keep your immune system strong.
You’ll also feel more energized and less fatigued, which is always an additional perk when you’re traveling.
Take Your Vitamin C
You may not think multivitamins or supplements are necessary, and it’s fine if you don’t, but taking some Airborne or an Emergen-C pack the day before and morning of your travels doesn’t hurt.
Giving yourself a little boost can keep your immune system on the defense against all the germs you come across in airports, taxis, hotels, which brings us to our next point…
Scrub and Wash
Wash your hands constantly and don’t touch your face, eyes or mouth without washing your hands first!
Before you eat anything, sit down to start working on your lap top, etc. make sure to scrub and wash your hands, or invest in some antibacterial gel.
This is really a tip we should follow all the time, but when we’re in the comfort of our own homes (and germs) we don’t think about it as much. Not picking up something while you’re traveling all comes down to being more mindful.
Stay (Somewhat) Diligent During Your Travels
Yes, you may be on vacation, which is always a time you should sit back, relax and indulge more than you usually do, but try to keep some of your routine in tact while you’re away.
Try to stay active by incorporating “workout” type excursions in to your trip, or just make it a point to hit that hotel gym for 30 minutes before your day starts. Also, making sure to continue eating those healthy meals. Feel free to indulge, but still make sure you’re getting what your body needs to run optimally.
Relax Before Your Break
Last, but not least, I believe this tip is key to not letting your body get the best of you. I used to make myself work incredibly long hours and feel pressured to finish and get ahead on my work to try to avoid stress after coming back from vacation.
While the idea seems like a good one, working this way will not leave your body less stressed after the fact. Sure, you can get a little ahead on work to prevent getting behind, but set your limits on your hours and consciously choose to unplug for the day when you’re done.
Additionally, treating yourself to a massage or facial (or something with the purpose of pampering yourself) in the weeks leading up to your time off can truly help you to feel refreshed and energized rather than tirelessly working toward those precious days off.
What are some of the steps you take to prevent catching a cold during the holiday season? And if you do get a cold, what are some of your tricks for squashing it quickly?