Passport – renewed; tickets – booked; guide books – ready!
We make all kinds of practical preparations ahead of our holidays, don’t we? But how many of those include getting our bodies ready?
Travel can be a big drain on your health if you’re not careful – so it’s important to take the necessary precautions.
Before you go:
Boost your Immune System
Your immune system is the foundation of good health – so make sure it’s in tip top shape before you set off. Try to eat well in the run up to your holiday – and include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Dark leafy greens like kale and brightly colored fruits are particularly helpful. And remember to take small, healthy snacks with you when you go.
Check if You Need any Vaccinations
Depending on where you’re travelling to, you might need vaccinations – so make sure you’ve checked. If concerns about pain put you off – don’t let them – perhaps using a numbing cream could be the solution.
You can find lots of useful information online about which vaccinations might be appropriate for your holiday destination. So do your homework. And your doctor, physician or pharmacist will also be able to advise you.
Buy the Right Sunscreen
We can’t emphasise enough the importance of taking – and using sunscreen – particularly if you’re visiting warmer climes. Make sure you choose a cream with at the very least a factor 15 (30 is preferable, particularly for children). Look for good UVA ratings – and apply it really regularly while you’re away.
While You Travel:
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is essential to our health and wellbeing and research has revealed that it’s crucial for our immune system. Put simply, you’re more likely to catch a virus without it – and to shake one off if you do get sick. So getting proper sleep is very important before and during your journey.
Consider packing a travel pillow and earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to help you sleep more soundly too.
When you travel by air, the lack of humidity in the cabin air can lead to dehydration – and dry out mucous membranes. This can make you more susceptible to germs – so remember to keep as hydrated as possible. Water is the best option – obviously – so consider taking a bottle with you and refill whenever possible. Potassium-rich foods like bananas are also great options to help keep you hydrated.
That might not sound straightforward while you’re travelling but it is possible – and, of course, crucial. Because it’s another really effective way to stave off unwanted infections – and boost your energy.
So make time in your travel schedule to do something that gets your body moving – even if it’s just a quick stretch. And when you arrive don’t neglect this either – check out the hotel gym and go for a walk or run to explore your new surroundings.
Wash Your Hands Regularly
It’s surprising how many people forget the importance of regular hand washing – and how it helps maintain health.
This is even more important when you travel – as you come into contact with surfaces that many other people have touched. Using handrails, touching counters and opening doors are all things we do without much thought.
Health professionals recommend carrying out the following steps to make sure your hand washing is effective:
Wet your hands with water.
Apply enough soap to cover your hands.
Rub hands palm to palm.
Rub the back of your left hand with your right palm with interlaced fingers. Repeat with the other hand.
Rub your palms together with fingers interlaced.
Rub the backs of your fingers against your palms with fingers interlocked.
Clasp your left thumb with your right hand and rub in rotation. Repeat with your left hand and right thumb.
Rub the tips of your fingers in the other palm in a circular motion, going backwards and forwards.
Repeat with the other hand.
Rinse hands with water.
Dry thoroughly, ideally with a disposable towel.
Use the disposable towel to turn off the tap.
If you can’t get access water to wash your hands fully while you’re in transit – try using an alcohol based sanitiser. And remember to keep applying it frequently, to make sure you’re properly protected.
Just a little common sense and a tiny bit of preparation can help you stay fit and well while you travel. And then you’ll be sure to arrive at your destination – and home – relaxed healthy and happy.