Being sick while away from home is never a good time; and traveling is undeniably tough on our immune system. Between jet lag & temperature variations, new food & new germs, and sleep & exercise disruptions, it’s no wonder so many of us feel the effects.
Because of these travel-related realities, we thought it would be appropriate to end off our Eating Well on the Road blog series with some tips and tricks for bolstering your body’s ability to fight foreign invaders.
Here are our 4 top tips to keep you healthy and happy this summer:
Keep well hydrated. Changing time and temperature zones can significantly throw off your thirst and hunger cues. To mitigate the effects of travel on your hydration levels, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water constantly, starting from the moment you get to the airport and through security, or hop in your car for a lengthy road trip. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of travelling, and completely forget to drink fluids regularly. Dehydration can be a serious consequence, leading to fatigue, headaches, and digestive discomfort. Especially when on a plane or in a car for an extended period of time, experiencing these symptoms is not fun.
Pack a bunch of healthy snacks – so you don’t end up scarfing down something greasy just to tame that hunger. Of note, being slightly over-prepared is generally recommended here in case of a change in plans. To start off, we encourage you to strive to find some fresh fruits and veggies – bananas, apples, veggie chips, and carrot sticks are commonly available at convenience stores. Getting in your produce should always be a priority, because nothing compares to the power of antioxidants in fresh foods. If we’re in a rush, we typicallly just buy a few fruits and veggies from a local grocery store, then wash and prepare them in my hotel room. Protein, fibre, and unsaturated fat sources should also be at the top of your snack planning list. For other healthy snack ideas check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series.
Warmer weather is known to breed foodborne and other common illnesses, so what can you do to prevent it? WASH YOUR HANDS – LIKE A LOT. Do this and you’ll prevent the majority of potential illnesses. Ideally, you’ll wash your hands by applying soap, scrubbing for 20 seconds, and then rinsing under warm water before and after handling food, after touching your hair or face, and between tasks. But if there is no sink, soap, or warm water available to you, portable hand sanitizer will kill germs in a pinch. However, warm water and soap should remain your first choice in the battle against common contaminants.
Bring some cold/flu meds, tummy taming tablets, and allergy drops etc. Having a few key items on hand (such as lozenges, fever reducers, a few herbal tea bags, and antihistamines) can rescue you from impending discomfort. These items are the last things you want to go searching for in case you get sick – trust me. We recommend putting together a small “ailments” bag containing these items so you know where to look in times of need.
Follow these simple and practical suggestions and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying healthy and happy trips this summer, and all year long.