Traveling is rough on your immune system, especially when you’re jetting off to new places and different time zones. Here’s how you can keep your body prepped and ready to go.
Between jet lag, temperature variations, new food, new germs, inevitable stress and sleep and exercise disruptions, it’s the perfect storm for falling ill. Being sick while away from home is never a blast, but you can stay healthy with these tips I’ve picked up throughout my years of globe trekking.
1.BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
Being iron, vitamin D and B12 deficient is common and often overlooked. This can have a huge effect on your immune system and, combined with the exhaustion of travel can lead to you becoming particularly susceptible to colds, flus, etc.
A multi B-vitamin is great for energy and immunity (and for mornings after you’ve been partying a little too late).
Bring some cold/flu meds: lozenges, fever reducers, a few herbal tea bags, etc. The last things you want to go searching for in case you get sick.
Drink plenty of water starting from the moment you get to the airport and through security. It’s so easy to get dehydrated and that is not fun. Pack a bunch of healthy snacks so you don’t end up scarfing down something greasy.
2. ONCE YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR DESTINATION
Even a six hour flight is taxing on your system. Don’t push yourself. Check in with your body and do some stretches and breathing exercises to get re-balanced.
And don’t forget, catch up on sleep! This could be the number one reason you may feel run down and have lowered immune defenses.
Find some fresh fruits and veggies. You can eat all the vitamins you want, but nothing compares to the power of the antioxidants in fresh foods. If I’m in a rush, I just buy a few fruits and veggies, then wash and peel them in my hotel room.
3. WASH YOUR HANDS A LOT.
Do this and you’ll prevent the majority of potential illnesses.
Keep well hydrated. Changing time zones and temperature zones will throw off your thirst and hunger mechanism, plus flying is dehydrating. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water constantly.
Mascha Davis, MPH, RDN is a nationally-recognized media spokesperson and private practice dietitian based in Los Angeles, who shares her love of health and wellness through a unique global perspective. From world-class U.S. medical centers to rural villages in Africa, Mascha has dedicated herself to traveling the world, spreading her love of healthy living through both her humanitarian work and private practice. Learn more at Nomadista Nutrition.