I don’t know about you, but the weekends often present the opportunity for travel even if it is just a quick weekend trip. One problem that arises with that possibility, though, is the issue of health.
Whether it’s a quick trip to visit family or an extended trip to take a vacation, I almost always run into issues with regularity, energy, and overall physical well-being, which got me thinking…Why and, more specifically, how does travel affect my health?
I’d like to take this concept a step further today and offer you a few tips for healthy travel.
How Does Traveling Affect Your Health?
Travelling is fun, exciting, and necessary, but it also presents the potential for health issues, big and small.
Travel via air or car can cause a number of health concerns, including elevated stress levels, headaches, anxiety, sleep disruption, and other specific illnesses.
Why Does Travel Have a Negative Health Impact?
Livestrong.com offers two specific reasons for travels impact on your health – exposure and routine.
As you travel, you are exposed to new varieties of germs, including bacteria and viruses. Your body is also bombarded by a different concentration of germs as you are visiting more people and travelling in conjunction with others.
Pair that onslaught with decreased immune function to lack of sleep and disruption in typical health practices, and you are especially susceptible.
Travel also presents the disruption in your regular routine. You probably have a daily routine for taking supplements, getting in a workout, and eating a balanced diet.
When you are travelling, though, it is much more difficult to stick to these routines to maintain your health and wellness.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Health While Traveling?
Knowing that travel-induced health issues are relatively inevitable, I started focusing on what I could to do to protect my physical wellness while travelling and promote generally healthy travel practices.
With that, I have a few suggestions for you too:
1. Drink Lots of Water
Water is an easy way to flush your system, rid your body of germs, and maintain regularity.
I’m not saying you should go overboard here, but make sure you are drinking your 8+ glasses even if you are flying or car riding.
2. Maintain a Relatively “Normal” Diet
One of the biggest ways I mess up my health when I am travelling is eating differently than I do when I am at home. Knowing that the last couple of times I’ve travelled, I have tried to do better.
The way I work this is eating fairly typical meals throughout the day and allowing myself one “cheat.” This practice significantly cut down on the tummy discomfort I normally experience while travelling.
3. Pack Your Own Snacks
You may or may not be a “snack eater.” I am, so this is a great way for me to keep up with my normal routine and to avoid heavy travel foods. I typically take at the very least some apples, nuts, and raisins with me when I’m travelling. This combo helps me avoid picking up yucky foods at a convenience store and keeps for a full while on the road.
You may not be able to keep up with a vigorous workout schedule while you are travelling, but I am certain you can at least get in a few walks. Walking improves your circulation and even reduces stress. Even if it just a short 10 minute walk every couple of hours, get your body moving.
5. Plan Ahead
You’ve probably heard the quote, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
According to the CDC, this statement is especially true when travelling. Be prepared and plan ahead so that you know where you are headed, what health risks are present, and what protective measures you need to take.
The next time you are hitting the road, consider your health. Maintain these practices while you are travelling, and you’ll return home refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on your normal routine following your healthy travel experience.