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Travel Week: Staying Healthy While On the Move

It never seems to fail – at the tail end of our vacation, the sniffles start. And then the sore throat. And then the cough and the fatigue and the stress about calling off on your first day back.

It’s no wonder, though, that we end up feeling so run down after our time off, especially if we’ve been traveling. The chaos of rushing to pack, rushing to leave, and rushing to get home and get things back in order leave just a few days for relaxation. That, accompanied with the fact that we’re enclosed in small, often less-than-sterile areas for extended periods of time and - wait, did that baby really just lick the armrest?

Stay Healthy on Vacation | Image source: Shutterstock.com / Photographer: Maridav

Here are a few ways you can beat that dreaded vacation-induced cold and fatigue and get back in the groove on a healthy note.

Take Your Medications + Vitamins

One of the most overlooked reasons we get sick on vacation is forgetting our medications. Even if the side effects of skipping your daily dose are “small” – skipping them for an extended period of time is sure to throw things out of whack. Put them at the top of your To Pack list.

Also, there is no better time to start taking a daily multivitamin. You might not have time to eat the way you normally do at home, and that might mean some missing nutrients. A multivitamin will give you an extra boost of Iron to keep you feeling strong, and Vitamin B to keep you energized. Add in an extra Vitamin C supplement to help your immune system fight off germs.

Stay Hydrated

With all of the running around that happens on a vacation (or the overindulgence in other drinks), dehydration can be one of the first health issues to arise.

Keep a water bottle on hand and take several gulps an hour, especially if you’re lying out in the heat or walking long distances for long periods of time. This will help to fight off headache, shakiness, and nausea.

Wash Your Hands

You’re passing through lots of doors, turning lots of handles, handling lots of cash, and touching unfamiliar surfaces constantly as you travel. Wash your hands as much as possible and keep a bottle of hand sanitizer close by on your trip.

Stay Active

We know, we know. Vacation is a time to relax and indulge. There’s no doubt about that – but even if you’re taking a beach vacation, or plan to catch up on your sleep while traveling, still try to squeeze in twenty to thirty minutes of physical activity each day. This can be a relaxing stroll along the beach at sunrise or sunset or a game of water-volleyball with your kiddos. Any movement counts. You’re on vacation – make it fun!

Eat Well

Treat yourself while you experience new restaurants, but don’t overdo it. Try to incorporate a healthy amount of fruits and veggies, drink plenty of water, and consider ordering half of – or splitting – meals that contain lots of pasta, cheese, bread, and sauce. Pre-pack some healthy snack options and, if you must fast-food it, opt for the healthier menu selections.

Sleep

There really isn’t enough time in a day – especially when you’re sightseeing and trying to squeeze in as much adventure as possible. But taking time out for a healthy amount of sleep is key to feeling well when you get back home. Try to aim for the recommended 7-9 hours. Naps to re-energize are always good, too!

Beat Stress

Although they shouldn’t be, vacations can become quite stressful. Missed or delayed flights, issues at the hotel check-in, construction at the attraction you were hoping to see most, anything can happen.

Taking care of yourself during these stressful moments will benefit your health and help get your trip back on track as quickly as possible.

Practice deep breathing, stretching, meditation, journaling, and any other form of stress-relief you find helpful at home during your trip, too. Just a few minutes of “time out” will make all the difference.

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