Many of us are traveling to visit family over the holidays which as always, is loads of fun. But getting there usually isn’t. Our health usually takes a toll. Here are some tricks we have used to stay healthy when we travel:
1. Maximize long layovers. It seems that no matter where you want to fly to these days, there is always one stop on the way. Many people use this time to check emails, listen to messages, or eat vending machine snacks. We do something a little different. We use the opportunity to stretch our legs and get a bit of exercise. Often we walk through the terminal and stretch out our arms and legs. It makes such a difference to how you feel later on.If you have a really long layover, check out airportgyms.com and see if you can break a sweat in your location. Not only will the exercise help with the travel, it will also give you a bit of an edge for the holiday treats.
2. Don’t eat plane or airport food. Due to budget constraints, most airlines no longer offer free food. If anything you have to pay an arm and a leg for a bag of crackers or a fat loaded airport meal. Besides being bad on the pocket book, these food options are also not the healthiest. Instead of compromising our health and paying a premium for food, my husband and I bring our own food on board. We stop at a local grocery store and pick up some fresh fruit, some nuts, and some veggie sticks. It not only saves us money but it also trims our waistline.
3. Stay germ free. Planes and airports are one of the worst culprits for germs. It is easy to pick up a bug when you travel. One way to prevent this is to make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before you have to fly. This helps give your immune system the strength to fight any bug off. It is also good to get some kind of exercise too. This helps boost the immune system. Most of all, bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands regularly. This will work the best at keeping the germs away.
4. Avoid getting stiff. One of the bad things about flying is it can often cause you to have to sit for long periods of time. This is not good for your circulation and in extreme cases can cause a condition called deep vein thrombosis- basically a blood clot in the legs. The best way to prevent this as well as stiffness is to move every hour for 5-10 minutes. If you are flying, this can be as simple as walking up and down the isle. You can also rotate your feet and ankles. Another thing you can do is wear loose clothes. This helps with keeping your circulation going. Lastly, you can avoid a high salt meal before you fly. This prevents you from retaining water which in turn compromises your circulation.
5. Stay moisturized. Planes and airports can be extremely dry and can take a toll on your skin as well as your eyes. Use a good moisturizer before heading to the airport. You can even get water spritzer that help your lotion soak in better. If your eyes usually bug you, get a bottle of “tears” from the pharmacy before you go. You mind as well prevent yourself from being uncomfortable, especially when you are planning on hopping onto a cramped plane.
6. Say no to jet lag. The farther you fly, the more time zones you skip, and your body can get out of sync pretty quick. A couple ways to prevent yourself from feeling totally off is to get as much sun or daylight as possible. It also helps to eat at regular meals times and go to bed at a normal time.
7. Avoid minibars. Minibars can be a huge money sinker when travelling. The alcohol is also dehydrating and can be high calorie. Instead, say no to the mini bar when you check in at your hotel. This will keep you from being tempted. It also helps to have healthy snacks and drinks around so that when you feel like munching you can do so in a waist and wallet friendly way. If you have a refigerator in your hotel, you can get even more options for snacks like yogurt.
8. Don’t skip your workouts. It is easy to get out of routine when you travel and let your workouts slide. Don’t let this happen. There are a lot of exercises you can do just using your body weight that don’t take a lot of time. Try doing a little circuit of push ups, sit ups, squats, and lunges. You can also do dips on chairs. We also have a set of resistance bands that are super lightweight and easy to travel with. We did this at my inlaws this past weekend and it worked great. It helps keep your immune system high and your metabolism running so that you can go home from your holidays as healthy as when you left.
So, how are you going to stay healthy when you travel this holiday season? Any tips to share?