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Staying healthy while travelingTop 5 Tips for Healthy Travel
January 23, 2017
Whether you're traveling just a few hours or to a different time zone, traveling can place extra stress on your body. The long hours, lack of sleep, and close encounters with unfamiliar germs can all weaken your immunity. Health & Lifestyle expert Steph Jensen sets you up with her top 5 tips to keep it all healthy while you travel.
1. Go with your gut.
Taking a probiotic is a great way to maintain a balance of healthy bacteria in your gut and can help fight the kind of bacteria that makes you sick or causes travelers diarrhea. Bring along a probiotic that contains Lactobacillus. If you’re traveling to a country where travelers diarrhea is common, also bring one that contains Saccharomyces Boulardii. Start taking them prior to, and during your trip. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to take one daily even when not traveling.
2. Beauty sleep.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep while you’re traveling. Sleep is an important time when your body goes to work repairing cells and removing toxins, including viruses and bacteria. You may find that you need even more rest than usual. If you’re feeling tired, don’t be afraid to take a nap, especially during the first few days upon arrival, which will help fight off anything you might have picked up on the plane.
Keep in mind, sleeping on an airplane is not very restful. Falling asleep upright increases brain wave arousal, which prevents true deep sleep. To prevent jet lag, taking melatonin can be hugely beneficial. It normally takes your body about two weeks to recalibrate your circadian rhythm, but the melatonin will help reset it even faster. Start taking the melatonin about 2 weeks before your travels and continue for two weeks after. This well help ease the jet lag both when you arrive at your destination and when you return home.
3. Don't forget your veggies.
Sticking to a whole, organic, minimally processed diet at home and especially while traveling will help your body perform at it’s best. If you’re eating a lot of artificial and processed foods, the body will not perform as well. Not only does the body need to work harder to break down these food-like substances, they also cause inflammation, making you more susceptible to getting sick.
Leafy green veggies are powerful detoxifiers. They bind to and help eliminate toxins and foreign invaders. They also provide many critical nutrients that our cells need to function. Fiber is especially important in removing toxins, but if you find yourself traveling to a place with little to no fresh produce, bring along a green superfood powder to mix into your water once a day. This can also give you a great boost of energy!
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the sun, load up on antioxidants. Eating a lot of vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables is known to be nature’s sunscreen and helps to repair sun damage.
4. Water makes the world go round.
Every single cell in your body needs water and it makes it that much harder to fight off bugs when your body is dehydrated. Dehydration can also lead to headaches and fatigue. You should aim for about 2 liters daily.
When traveling on airplanes, the lack of humidity in the air causes dehydration, so drink 8 ounces for every hour in the air. Opt for a window seat so you can make frequent trips to the bathroom! Getting up frequently is also great for your muscles and blood circulation and can prevent blood clots.
5. Bring snacks and avoid sugar.
When traveling, it can sometimes be unknown when and where your next meal is coming from. Bringing high protein snacks can help prevent a blood sugar crash, which often leave you reaching for unhealthy carbs and sugar.
Some recommended snacks include Epic Bars which are responsibly raised meat bars that come in many different flavors. Additionally, individually packed nut-butters like almond butter are great to have on the go and pair well with a piece of fruit for a quick burst of energy. Avoiding sugar also helps maintain a strong immune system.