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How to Keep Up with Your Health During Holiday Travel

by Laurie Larson

The holiday season is the time when people are most frequently sick and most frequently traveling. Talk about a bad combination.

If you’re planning on doing some holiday traveling this year, you should actively be working to maintain your health. There’s nothing worse than showing up to your family’s home for the holidays with a cold or, even worse, the flu.

During the holiday season and when you’re traveling, make sure to follow these tips to keep up your good health.

Stay hydrated

People often are more conscious of their water intake during the warmer months, but staying hydrated is just as important during the winter weather. While the sun beats down on you and makes you sweat in the summer you are more likely to be aware of your dehydration. In the winter, the effects of the dry air are more subtle.

Be sure to drink fluids throughout the day to avoid becoming dehydrated. Keeping up with the recommended amount of water intake will also help boost your immune system. This will help keep your body in good shape to fight off illnesses.

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, men should consume about 3.7 liters (125 ounces) of fluids per day, and women need 2.7 liters (91 ounces). These fluids will come from both beverages and food, so the tried-and-true advice of eight 8-ounce glasses of water is still a good goal.

Use common sense health tips

There are practical measures you can take each day to avoid germs and bacteria. Make sure to keep up with best home hygiene practices by cleaning the hot spots where bacteria grow. These include handles, knobs, toothbrush holders, utensils, vacuum cleaners, and any soft surfaces like rugs, carpets, blankets, and even your mattress. These areas are prone to collect germs and should be regularly cleaned and disinfected.

While traveling, there are a lot of things you can be doing to be aware of germs. Be sure to frequently wash your hands when you’re traveling in crowds. You can also bring wipes or sanitizer to sanitize surfaces such as your airplane’s tray. Most importantly, avoid touching your face while you’re traveling. In large crowds of people, you’ll be vulnerable to a ton of germs so it’s important to be conscious of these things to protect your health.

Maintain your sleep

When you’re sick, all you want to do is sleep. That’s because there’s a reciprocal relationship between your sleep and your immune system. When you sleep more, you help improve your immune system. When you lose sleep, your immune system weakens.

Keeping up with your sleep is vital when you want to avoid illness, but it isn’t always easy when you’re traveling. If you’re traveling between time zones, you may want to use supplements like melatonin or herbal remedies to help you fight jet lag and sleep when you need to.

It’s also important to make sure you can get comfortable, restorative sleep to energize your body while you’re traveling. If you’re stuck having to sleep on a plane or low-quality hotel bed, you’ll likely wake up with stiffness and aches that make it difficult to get through the day. Make sure to sleep on a surface that allows bodily contour for comfort and responsive support to get the rest you need before, during, and after your travels.

Add vitamins to your diet

You should always be intentional with your food choices, but especially so during the holiday season. To build up your immune system, fill your diet with immune-boosting vitamins and probiotics. Vitamin C is an especially important vitamin for producing and stimulating white blood cells, which help protect your body from developing illnesses. Instead of taking supplements, you can get vitamin C through foods such as chili peppers, guavas, kale, broccoli, lemons, and oranges.

Keep up with your regular exercise

Keeping up with your exercise routine will help you maintain better health. In fact, frequent exercise can help reduce your risk of developing respiratory tract infections.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to keep up with your exercise while you’re busy traveling, especially if you’re away from your local gym and hesitate to go outside to work out in the colder weather. Luckily, research has shown that it doesn’t take much exercise to help boost your immune system. Just 20 minutes of exercise is enough to have anti-inflammatory effects and help strengthen your immune system.

If you’re staying somewhere with stairs, you can go up and down a few flights for light to moderate exercise. There are also plenty of indoor workouts you can do including lunges, jump squats, jumping jacks, burpees, and more. Don’t have weights but want to do a little bit of weighted resistance training? Pick up books, paperweights, or anything else nearby to add a little weight to your workout.

With all of these tips in mind, you should be able to stay healthy this holiday season and avoid catching any unwanted illnesses.

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