Sometimes it’s easy to forget what a marvelous time we are living in. Up until about sixty years ago, it literally took days to cross oceans whereas now it only takes hours. Your day can begin on a morning in New York and end with an evening in Paris. Travel in the Jet Age isn’t just about convenience and adventure, it’s about communication and exchange. Different cultures, different geographies, different climates – it all adds up to make everything from vacations to business trips exciting and rewarding. Along with those rewards, the natural stresses of travel can impact health while unintended contact with illnesses like the coronavirus can get serious.
Taking care of oneself is a daily responsibility we all share, but when it comes to wellness and travel, we need to get beyond the usual routines we are used to and become just a little more mindful of our health needs. Long trips challenge immune systems. Attention to hygiene can become more critical. Weather changes and atmospheric disruptions can take you by surprise. Even something as simple as eating can require more attention as cuisines and food availability alter from what you are used to. Of course, all of that can actually be part of the fun of traveling! With just a little bit of preparation, it’s easy to flip challenges into advantages which will only make you enjoy your journey that much more!
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Let’s start with the basics: be mindful of what you put into your body! When we go on vacation, our impulse is to let it all go and start tasting everything in sight. And why not? It’s only natural to want to try Pad Thai in Bangkok or a bonbon in Brussels. But if you start to overdo it with fatty foods, sweets and empty calories, you’re bound to feel it. So while we encourage you to indulge in treats, balance the fun foods with some fresh local produce. Why not sink your teeth into some dragon fruit in Singapore or guava in New Delhi? Restaurants are fun but so are farmer’s markets and grocery stores. Adding whole food vitamins and nutrients will help shield you from disease and fatigue. Your body will thank you for it without sacrificing your taste buds!
Another key: stay hydrated. This is key whether running around fabulous cities or exploring inviting beaches. Being mindful of your water intake can help make your voyage a much happier one. We aren’t saying to avoid a lovely Turkish coffee in Istanbul or turn down a fine single malt whiskey in Edinburgh, just that you make sure you throw back lots of plain old H₂O in between. Plenty of fluids will help keep you strong while aiding your body in fending off pathogens.
Another thing water can curb: overeating. It’s normal to stuff ourselves when traveling somewhere fun. But your body will feel it if you continuously pile on calories. Lots of water will keep you feeling full while maintaining healthy digestion.
Staying on top of basic physical fitness will help your body deal with all that traveling you’re doing. First thing’s first – be sure to get plenty of good sleep. If you don’t get good rest during your voyages, you will run yourself down. Be sure to allot a minimum of six hours of slumber in between enjoying your awesome adventure! And when you get up in the morning, give your muscles a nice little stretch. Getting the kinks out of your limbs, neck and core will warm them up and keep you from getting sore. Speaking of which – stay active. Gym time is great, but lots of walking works too. That will get your blood and adrenaline flowing, helping you have that much more energy to have fun on your trip.
Finally, a note on protecting yourself by heightening mindfulness when it comes to personal hygiene. With concerns about the spread of coronavirus on the rise, a few simple practices can help protect you from that and many other illnesses. First of all, wash your hands often. Soap and water or hand sanitizer for twenty seconds is all you need a few times a day. Avoid touching your face with your hands. Wipe off your device screens with alcohol pads after extended use. And when you cough or sneeze, have it land in the inside of your elbow rather than your hands. These little adjustments will help keep you healthy!