There’s nothing like a vacation to recharge your batteries. A few days away exploring new places, trying new foods, and experiencing new things is just what you need to help you appreciate home sweet home again.
So the last thing you need is to spend your entire vacation locked inside a hotel room sick in bed. But if you plan ahead, and take a few simple precautions along the way, you can breeze through your next vacation as healthy as a horse.
1. Get your full five:
Part of the fun of going on vacation is trying out new foods and splurging on treats you don’t usually get to eat. But with all that indulging it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re eating enough nutrient-rich fruits and veggies.
And don’t worry, it’s easier than you think and won’t cramp your vacation style in the least. Simply make sure that no matter what your main courses are you start your day with an order of fruit at breakfast, and add veggies to your other meals throughout the day. For example opt for a leafy green side salad with your lunch and a stack of steamed veggies with your dinner.
Toss in a fruit snack sometime during the day and you’ve gotten your five. When you have an option reach for orange, red, purple, yellow and blue produce. These colorful fruits and veggies are full of immunity boosting antioxidants that can help keep you healthy including vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E.
You can still order the local delights, just fit in your five servings of fruits and veggies, too. They’ll help keep you healthy so you don’t miss a step all vacation long.
2. Use saline nasal spray:
If you’re going to be flying, heading into the mountains, or vacationing in an arid environment don’t forget to pack the saline nasal spray. The natural moisture in your sinuses helps protect you from allergens and germs. But dry air dries your sinuses out making you more vulnerable to getting sick.
A squirt of saline spray will help keep your mucous membranes moist so they can block out irritating dust, pollutants and sickening bugs.
3. Carry hand wipes:
Frequent hand washing with plain soap and water is the best way to keep germs at bay. But when you travel it’s not always possible so a cleaning wipe is the next best thing.
Just be sure to avoid any products that are labeled antibacterial as they typically contain hormone disrupting chemicals. Plus there’s no evidence those products work any better than straightforward soap and water washing.
We recommend a wipe made without any disinfecting chemicals such as a baby wipe. It can double as a surface cleaner too to wipe down handles and other hard surfaces you come into contact with such as menus and chairs. Two recommended by our friends over at the Environmental Working Group are ATTITUDE Baby Natural baby wipes and WaterWipes Baby Wipes. And if you prefer something a bit more heavy duty look for a wipe with a safer active ingredient such as lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide or citric acid.
4. Stretch it out:
The point of vacation is to change your routine. So no matter whether you’re walking more or lounging more your body is doing something different than it’s used too. And while that can be an exciting break from the daily grind it can also cause your muscles to stiffen up.
At the end of the day be sure to do some gentle stretching before climbing into bed. It doesn’t have to be a full-on yoga routine. A few simple toe touches, arm reaches and torso twists can be enough to keep you from feeling too stiff to climb out of bed in the morning, or to enjoy your activities the next day.
5. Keep moving:
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you should give up on exercise altogether. Physical movement can help drive bacteria out of your lungs, raise your body temperature to keep bacteria from growing and circulate your white blood cells. Which experts say can help reduce your chances of getting a cold, flu or other illnesses.
Now realistically you probably don’t have time for your normal exercise routine. After all there are far too many other fun things to do while you are on vacation. But you can find other ways to fit in some movement.
If you’re at a resort, spend the mornings wandering the grounds or walking along the beach. Sightseeing? Skip the cab, tour bus, or subway and hoof it whenever possible. If the hotel has a pool sneak in a few laps at the start or end of the day. And nothing gets your muscle moving, and blood pumping, like spending a few minutes in the surf.
6. Eat before you travel:
Travel days can be hectic and unpredictable. More often than not your dining options end up being either greasy fast food places or convenience stores. So plan ahead by eating something healthy and nutritious before you head out for the day.
If possible try to pack a few healthy snacks for on the road too such as nuts, carrot and celery sticks and fruit. Or simply make well thought out decisions, and avoid the junk, when picking up snacks along the way. (Which you’ll find far easier to do since you started your trip with a filling healthy meal before hitting the road.)
7. Wear socks through airport security:
We get it, sandals are comfortable and deck shoes can look odd with socks. But don’t let fashion make you sick. Airport floors are teeming with germs. If your chosen travel shoes won’t accommodate socks bring a spare pair with you, and slip them on when security asks you to slip off your shoes.
8. Pack your own pillow (and blanket, too):
While airplane pillows and blankets aren’t as common as they used to be managing to snag one can backfire on you. Those pillows and blankets aren’t washed at all during the day. They’re simply fluffed or refolded, and then redistributed to the next group that boards.
Instead of snuggling up with everyone else’s germs, invest in a lightweight travel blanket, or jacket that can do double duty, and a travel pillow that’s all yours.
9. Keep your purse or bag off the floor:
It can be tough, but do your best to avoid putting your bag on the ground as often as you can. Hang it from a coat hook, sling it over your shoulder, or set it in your lap whenever possible. You can also purchase a bag clip or handbag hook, which will allow you to hang your bag from headrests, tables etc.
And when you do have had to put it down simply keep your hand wipes handy.
Vacations are about taking some time off to take care of yourself. Make sure you do just that by taking care of your health while you’re at it. Enjoy every minute of your time off.
We believe that everyone has good ideas about how best to care for our loved ones and ourselves. Many of our contributors are doctors that have spent their life’s work invested in the health and well being of the human body and mind. Some have spent their lives tirelessly researching health and the human body, developing new vitamins and products dedicated to making people healthier.
Others are ordinary people that have natural family cures passed down from generations, or discovered an inexpensive home remedy out of necessity or even by accident.
So Healthier Talk not only offers professional advice and solutions, but also provides much sought after natural family cures and at-home remedies, right at your fingertips!
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