Stay Healthy While Traveling: How to Manage Your Health on the Go
Traveling can be exciting and adventurous, but it can also pose various challenges to your health. If you’re planning to travel soon or have recently returned from a trip, you probably know firsthand how challenging it can be to maintain good habits while traveling. Traveling disrupts our normal routines and routine nutrition, sleeping patterns, and exercise routines. In addition to being away from home and having limited access to familiar grocery stores and restaurants, traveling is also filled with temptations such as road-side fast food, overpriced airport food vendors, and alcohol in hotels. It’s no wonder why so many people gain weight during vacations! Fortunately, that doesn’t mean that traveling poses an insurmountable challenge for maintaining good health. Follow these tips for keeping yourself healthy while traveling:
Plan your trip and pack accordingly
Before you even leave, you can take some measures to make sure your trip goes smoothly. Research the best time to travel based on weather, crowds, and typical tourist events. Keep in mind that when to travel may be different if you are traveling with children. If you’re traveling by air, you can reduce your exposure to germs by avoiding contact with other passengers as well as crew members. Avoid touching your face and wash your hands after flight. If your seat is next to an aisle, you can use the armrest to avoid touching the headrest. If you’re driving instead of flying, you’ll have to factor in the time for driving and potential traffic. Consider bringing healthy snacks and water when driving so you don’t have to rely on unhealthy options at gas stations.
When traveling, you are likely to be doing more walking and moving around than usual. You might also be in a new climate and experiencing weather that’s different from what you’re used to. All these factors can cause your body to lose more water than normal, so it’s important to stay hydrated. While you don’t want to drink too much water, you can also be consuming too much water. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that women consume 2 liters, and men consume 3 liters per day. Beware of liquid calories, such as sweetened beverages, and choose water instead.
Manage stress and eat well
Keeping a healthy diet while traveling is important. However, you may be faced with less healthy options on the go. It can be helpful to eat smaller meals throughout the day so that you don’t feel too hungry and eat too much at once. Keep in mind that your body is feeling stress and fatigue from being on the go. Stress can also cause your body to burn less fat and store more fat. Eating more protein and fiber can help you combat stress and store less fat. When shopping for food, avoid the temptation of unhealthy snacks, and instead pack whole foods such as nuts, fruits, and whole grain crackers that you can eat on the go.
Be physically active
You should maintain your normal level of physical activity while traveling. Don’t overdo it and avoid exercising in extreme weather conditions, but don’t skip your workouts either. Keep in mind that you may have less time to exercise due to longer travel times, and you may also be spending your days exploring new places. When traveling with children or other family members, you can find ways to incorporate exercise into your days.
Don’t forget your vitamins
Many vitamins and nutrients are depleted when you’re stressed or overexerted. If you’re on the go, it’s easy to forget to take your multivitamin. Instead of taking a daily multi, you may want to consider taking a B complex supplement, which is more easily depleted than other nutrients. Make sure that you’re getting enough vitamin D, which you can easily get from the sun but isn’t found in many foods. Vitamin D is important for bone health, immune system function, and mood.
Keep in mind that traveling is a unique experience and will challenge your normal health habits. It’s important to be aware of these challenges and take steps to stay healthy while traveling. It may be helpful to pack snacks that are easy to take on the go, keep water bottles handy, and try to get regular exercise. Make sure to get enough vitamins and minerals while traveling to keep you healthy and on track with your goals. With these tips, you can make sure that your travels don’t disrupt your maintain good health.