How to Stay Healthy While Traveling
I would say I am a pretty avid traveler. I have over five hundred boarding passes on my phone from the past three years, not including overseas or smaller airports where I received paper passes. I could write a book on travel hacks, but I think the biggest thing I have learned is how to stay healthy while on a trip. A lot of people walk away from their vacation with a cold; traveling can expose someone to a whole new set of germs. Aside from the bacteria, there are multiple studies on what happens to your body when you travel ... turns out, travel is hard on your incredible system.
Flying is dehydrating. For every three hours in the air, the body can lose an estimated average of 1.5L of water and drop 8% in humidity. Since most people don't drink enough water anyway, getting on a flight will exaggerate the effects of dehydration.
Changing time zones and the increased exposure to germs that come with traveling can wreak havoc on your immune system. The first month I started traveling I was gone for three weeks straight. I ended up sick for the next two. Since then, I have figured out a few things to do as prevention and have not been sick since The Cold of 2015. I am a BIG believer in supplements and prevention. None of these products sponsor me, although shout-out to Swell Bottle if they wanted to, and all the supplements I take I have had approved by a doctor.
I have a lot more tips on traveling, but today I will stick with what to do before and during a flight.
If you are like me, then coffee and alcohol tend to rule your beverage intake. I will not give up either. But if you talk to any experts they are going to tell you to give them up for long-haul flights because they can cause dehydration; my solution is to start drinking water two days before. My doctor and I figured out exactly how much I need to drink daily to keep hydrated, taking into consideration my height, weight, exercise, other drinks, and climate. Two days before a flight I double that. I also take a hydration tablet while I am on the plane. I like Amazing Grass, and Nuun makes a great tasting one. Bonus Amazing Grass also has a blend of veggies in it, so you are getting some greens in as well as electrolytes. Make sure you keep a water bottle with you and refill it right before you get on the plane and then ask the flight attendants to refill it as well. I keep the large Swell bottle with me, and it is always full. For every glass of coffee or alcohol, drink the same amount in water. You are going to pee a lot, but I would rather pee a lot then have a headache.
If you have ever talked to me in person for, oh, I don't know, 2.5 seconds, or you follow my Instagram stories, you know my love for vitamins. I look like a small pharmacy with the number of vitamins I take: MultiVitamin, probiotic, vitamin D, vitamin C, anti-aging blend, immunity blend, and a few more. I had my doctor help me make a list of what I needed for my lifestyle. I would recommend at least a multivitamin and probiotic.
I take these vitamins every day but double up on Vitamin D a few days before traveling. EmergenC Immunity has been a lifesaver, and I usually mix it in with the Bonus Amazing Grass hydration tablet so I get some greens in too. You can NEVER have enough greens; get them any way you can while traveling. If you are not much of a vitamin-taker, or your doctor has not approved them, be sure to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables.
Is there anything worse than getting off a plane and feeling like a piece of dried-up fruit? No, there isn't.
Keeping your skin moisturized is key to not looking like you just spent the last eight hours in a dehydrator. Find the thickest body moisturizer you can handle and slather it on a few hours before you get on a plane. I love Jergens Intense Moisture Therapy because it doesn't leave a greasy feeling.
Once on the flight, keep moisturizing! If you are on a long-haul flight, then halfway through, do a face mask. I know, it's weird; you look funny, and people will stare. But who cares. I like to use a sheet mask and as well as eye gel masks and leave them on until they dry up, which usually takes about 30 minutes. It's a pretty good indication of how dry the air is.
You sit in the car on the way to the airport, you sit while waiting at the airport, you sit on the plane, and then you are tired from all that sitting, so you sit some more. Sitting for long periods of time can cause body cramps and even blood clots.
Keeping a work out routine is essential while traveling. It does not have to be intense and the same thing you regularly do. I have a yoga sequence I do the night before a flight and the night after flying. It's a thirty-minute combo that gets my heart rate up, stretches my muscles, and moves the blood through my body. Aside from that, I don't work out on travel. I try and walk EVERYWHERE, I'll take public transportation for anything over an hour, but if it’s an hour or less away, I walk there. You will be surprised at how many steps you get in!
Hopefully, these tips helped a little bit, and your next trip will go smoothly.
Remember also to wash your hands! Wash well and often.
Included here are some yoga videos to help while traveling. The first is a Pranayama Potion to help settle the mind and get in tune with deep breathing. Once in tune with your breath, try the Travel Yoga video to stretch your body and work out the kinks of sitting & trudging through hectic situations.