{ WELLNESS }

STAY HEALTHY WHILE TRAVELING

Stave off sickness with these 10 tips

BY NORA BYRNE
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Traveling can be a lot of fun, but nothing ruins a trip faster than getting sick. That’s why it’s a good idea to follow these 10 tips to make sure you’re feeling your best so you can enjoy your travels to the fullest.

1.  Wash your hands. The best way to prevent catching or spreading germs is to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Using soap and hot water, scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use when you can’t wash with soap and water.

2.  Watch what you eat and drink. Food and water may
be contaminated with bacteria. Avoid drinking and even brushing your teeth with tap water—stick with bottled water, instead. Don’t get ice in drinks. And try to eat foods that have been boiled or cooked, or foods that you can peel. 

3.  Eat your fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies are packed with nutrients, like vitamins and minerals, which help support a healthy immune system. For instance, citrus fruits and leafy green veggies are loaded with Vitamin C, which can help your body fight off infections.

4.  Pop a probiotic. Probiotics are good bacteria that help promote the health of your digestive system. You can find probiotics in fermented foods and beverages. But you can also buy probiotic supplements at your local drugstore. Take one daily to help keep your stomach feel its best.

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5.  Spice it up. Capsaicin, the ingredient in peppers that makes them spicy, may have some health benefits. Some studies suggest that it may help provide pain relief, ease inflammation and promote digestive health. Pack a small bottle of hot sauce to bring with you and spice up your meals.

6.  Embrace essential oils. Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils—highly concentrated oils extracted from plants—to help promote health and wellness. Lavender oil can help you relax, peppermint oil eases aches and pains and chamomile oil can help you sleep. Add a drop or two to a warm bath, or apply a drop of a diluted form to your temples or wrists.

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7.  Get plenty of sleep. Sleep can suffer when you’re traveling, especially if you change time zones. But too little sleep can compromise your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off infections. And if you get sick, it may take you longer to recover. So make sleep a priority. Melatonin and valerian are natural sleep aids that may help you get some shut-eye.

8.  Relax. Traveling can be stressful, and nothing wears down the immune system like stress. So practice relaxation skills. Repeat your favorite mantra. Breathe deeply. Or end your day with some peaceful meditation.

9.  Pack a travel health kit. You can include prescription and over-the-counter medicines. You may also want to include items like cough drops, sunscreen, bug spray and basic first aid supplies. Tailor the contents of the kit to your needs.

10.  Talk with your doctor about vaccines. This is important if you’re traveling abroad. There may be increased health risks, depending on where you’re traveling and what types of activities you’re planning to do. Your doctor can administer any shots you need to stay safe and healthy.

A little planning and preparation can help you stay healthy during your travels. That way, you can focus on having a great time.