Maintaining good health while traveling
School is out and kids are home. They’re driving you crazy and you need to get out before you lose your mind. Summer is the perfect time to travel but you are dreading the “After travel effect” the feeling of being bloated, tired, and sluggish but being able to travel is one of life’s greatest treasures. It forces you to open your mind and heart to the world and sometimes have your view point challenged. It allows us to see how other people live and if we did it right, hopefully it can change our perspective about others. One of the joys of traveling is being able to experience culinary adventures, but if not mindful of what or how much you are eating, you could end up coming home with extra pounds and we aren’t talking about your luggage!
When traveling, it’s easy to lose track of calories, your routine, and your time but if you plan ahead you can not only enjoy your trip more but even save money while doing so. Below we are going to provide you with some tips on how you can stay healthy while away from home, save money, and make healthy food choices so you don’t feel bloated or constipated on your trip.
Plan Ahead – Just like anything else in life when you plan ahead you are more likely to succeed. Instead of buying expensive salty snacks at the airport, pack snack bags ahead of time full of fruit, buy travel size packs of nuts (this way you can control your portion as nuts are high in calories), and make cold sandwiches that you can eat during layovers so you are not tempted to purchase overpriced fast food meals at the terminal.
Drink More Water – During long flights the best thing you can do for your body and skin is to drink more water. Our skin is most comfortable when humidity is at 40 to 70% and most cabins are at 20%. With the dip in humidity there also comes a drop-in hydration which leads to extremely dry skin. The only thing to combat this is to stay hydrated during flights, especially long ones like international flights. To keep your skin hydrated you want to use moisturizers that have hyaluronic acids, these acids can hold on to water which will help prevent more moisture escaping from your skin.
Walk During Flight – Sitting for prolonged periods of time can lead to dangerous blood clots that can develop in your lower legs. These clots can then dislodge and end up in your lungs which can lead to a pulmonary embolism which can be fatal. The best way to prevent these clots is to not sit for prolonged periods of time. You want to ensure you have proper blood flow at all times so make sure you get up and walk down the aisles every couple of hours. You can also do basic exercises at your seat which consist of just flexing your ankles and not crossing your legs. You can also just wear special compression stockings which provide steady pressure to your legs and promote optimal circulation.
Eat Clean – The longer your trip the more likely you are to eat unhealthy especially if you are on a budget. Most people try to stretch their travel dollars and when it comes food and this usually means more carbohydrate based meals. As you know from our previous blog posts eating too many carbs leads to blood sugar spikes, insulin resistance, and increased fat stores. What you want to do is eat more protein. Having protein with your largest meal of the day will get you the most nutritional value. Fueling your muscles with protein from all the walking will prevent you from feeling tired and sluggish the next day and re-energized. In addition to more protein, try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables (use your judgement based on your destination) and healthy fats. When you eat clean and make good food choices you feel better and are able to enjoy your vacation more. This does not mean you cannot indulge in local delicacies but you must enjoy in moderation.
Exercise – If you are a couch potato, now would be a good time to start moderately exercising to build your endurance for your trip. Take hikes, go biking, and go on walking tours to enjoy the local sceneries and attraction. Try to stay in your everyday gym routine while on vacation as you did back home. Most western hotels offer small gyms to work out in or you could pay a small fee to work out in private clubs which is also a great way to make new friends. If gyms are not your thing you could always do yoga in your room, go for a run, or do a quick cardio work out in the local park. The most important thing is to keep moving and stay active.
Sleep – While it’s tempting to have full days planned of activities and be out all night—don’t. It’s important to maintain enough sleep to stay healthy while you are traveling. Our bodies natural rhythm and internal clock is already on a different time zone so you don’t want to further wreak havoc on your body by lack of sleep. Most people need between 7-9 hours of sleep so plan your days and evenings accordingly.
Vitamins – It’s no secret that most people do not eat the best while they are traveling. We may have the best intentions to want to eat healthy but its sometimes much easier to grab the buttery croissants or greasy cart food to keep up with the day’s plans. But long days, bad food, germs, and lack of sleep can create the perfect storm of getting sick while traveling. To prevent any potential colds or stomach issues its best to fill in any nutritional gaps through vitamins. A multivitamin can strengthen your immune system and help fight an infection that may be on the horizon. Our Salaam Nutritionals Halal adult multivitamin is a complete vitamin that offers all the nutrients you need to stay healthy during your travels; we have kids vitamins available too.
Wash your Hands – One of the easiest ways to fall ill when traveling is encountering germs. It’s important to regularly wash your hands with soap and water, keep your nails trimmed, and not touch your eyes, mouth, and nose with possibly infection hands. Always carry hand sanitizers with you like Purell, in your purse and in your bag. Hand sanitizers only kill bacteria—not viruses so again it’s imperative that you regularly wash your hands with soap and water ideally for at least 30 seconds.