Summer travel is upon us. As you plan your itineraries and research the best activities and meals that new cities and cultures have to offer, let’s include practical ways to stay on top of your health as well. Taking care of your body and any conditions you have during your travels will help you enjoy your time both during and after.
Here are some tips to keep your immune system, energy, diet, and body healthy when you travel.
Get Your Shots & Medications. Set yourself up for success by preparing for healthy travels. Check government () and to see what health concerns and viruses you need to be aware of. Book a doctor’s appointment well before you leave to make sure any health conditions are stable and on track, and ask your doctor if you would benefit from bringing prescription antibiotics in case of travelers diarrhea, if there are any medications you can bring, and if there are any health tips you should be aware of about where you are traveling to.
Keep Bare Essentials With You. The key is to focus on true essentials. If you have a condition such as diabetes, you will obviously need your insulin medication and supplies to check your blood sugar. You don’t want to carry around too many supplies (do you need gauze on a stroll through the city center? Not likely), but you do want the key items that can make a difference. One of the simplest ways to keep yourself from getting infections is to use hand sanitizer before every meal and after public transit or public spaces. Disinfecting wipes, bandages, sunscreen, Tylenol and a good water bottle are all things you can consider having with you as you explore. Bring or buy nutritious snacks like granola bars, nuts or trail mix to have with you in case you get hungry before you can get to some food.
Balance Movement, Rest, and Sleep. Look at what your activity level will be for the trip you are taking: if you are going on a cruise, bring exercise clothes and footwear and make sure to use the gym or pool every day. If you are going to Europe where you will be walking every day, schedule a daily afternoon break during peak heat to sit in an air conditioned café and let your body rest. Bring or prepare what you need to ensure good sleep every single night. Bring ear plugs and a sleep mask in case the rooms will be louder or brighter than your home bedroom. Bring melatonin or sleeping pills if you are sensitive to change in time zones or environments. Prioritizing good sleep will keep your body from getting worn down and more susceptible to illness.
Set Realistic Meal Deals with yourself before you leave. One of the things you are likely to enjoy the most about a new place is trying new foods and great restaurants. This can take a toll, especially when you are eating out every meal of the day for days in a row. Minimizing the extremes of eating healthy at home and eating anything you want on vacation will help prevent the shock to your body. Make sure that you are not forgoing your basic nutritional needs and treating your whole vacation like one big cheat meal. You need protein to fight infection, so be sure you are getting protein in your biggest meal of the day. Make a deal to choose a healthy staple for every treat: a salad instead of fries if you are going to order dessert; eat a grilled chicken burger with lettuce instead of burger buns; and water instead of alcohol if you are sharing tapas on top of your main course.
We hope we have covered some core areas and given you a few ideas to make your trip a healthy one. Get those preparation lists and appointments going, because we are sure that the more you take care of before you leave, the less stressed you will be once on your trip. Decide, prepare, and choose to be healthy, and adjust along the way as needed.
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