Worry over dodging the flu, avoiding a cold and escaping strep can be amplified during the colder months of the year. It can be even harder to stay healthy while travelling, surround by hundreds of other people. To make it through the holidays with your immune system intact, follow these helpful tips.
Get Those Zzzzs
As the to do list keeps getting longer, you might find yourself sacrificing sleep in order to get everything accomplished. However, like all year, getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining good health. Sleep affects your mood, mental acuity, skin health, heart heath and also how much food we crave. It’s even more important to get in that restorative rest when you’re planning on driving. Every year there are 100,000 car accidents that are caused by drowsiness. (NHTSA) To avoid feeling groggy behind the wheel, get everything ready to go well ahead of time.
Bottom-line: Pack early and get a full night’s sleep before driving. Take breaks during a road trip to get fresh air and boost your energy.
Control the Menu
It’s easy to run into the convenience store or market and grab a bag of chips and a soda for a snack while travelling. Besides the extra cost, these habits add extra, junk calories to your daily amount (that could be saved for homemade goodies). To curb the impulse, make your own snacks and even meals ahead of time. Pack some sandwiches and enjoy a lunch break while on your long road trip. Refuel with some snacks like nuts, dried fruit, healthy granola bars and vegetables.
When you make it to your destination, offer to help make some of the meals or side dishes. Not only will you be helping out your host, you’ll also get the chance to control what goes into your food. Take it easy on the salt, rethink butter amounts and make healthy substitutions when you can. (Think, whole grain bread instead or white bread.)
Bottom-line: Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time while travelling so you can avoid paying for food that will only hurt your health.
Bring a Bottle
No, this advice isn’t referencing anything alcoholic. Drinking water and staying hydrated will help you keep energy up, stay healthy and can help you avoid overeating. Bring your own bottle of water with you as you travel. If you have to fly somewhere, bring an empty one to fill up once you’re through security. To add some flavor and extra nutrients, infuse your water with ingredients like lemons, cucumbers, mint or coconut.
Bottom-line: Drinking water and staying hydrated is never a bad idea. Buy yourself a BPA-free water bottle and make it your best friend.
Pack the Workout Gear
Travelling can throw a wrench in your exercise routine. Even if you can’t run your favorite path or attend your spin class, you can still be active while travelling.
On the road: Pull over to take breaks. Walk around, do some stretches or even get in some pushups to get your blood flowing.
In the airport: Wear your comfy shoes and walk around the terminal. If you’re on a long flight, get up and walk down the aisles.
At your destination: Take advantage of the season and do something active like walking around to look at the twinkling lights, go ice skating or hit the ski slopes.
Bottom-line: Make this time a chance to try new activities instead of abandoning all exercise.
Wipe Away Threats
You can’t completely control your environment while you’re travelling, but you can pack a few items to help cut down on some germs. Pack some sanitizing wipes and clean off surfaces that other people have touched, such as seats. It’s also a good idea to use hand sanitizer if you can’t wash your hands with soap and running water.
Bottom-line: It’s much better to get some weird looks while you’re wiping down your seat than to catch a cold during the holidays.
Plan Your Plate
This is a time traditionally filled with big meals and piles of sweets. While you shouldn’t deny yourself all your favorites, you should be mindful of how much you are eating. Fill the bulk of your plate with vegetables and leave about twenty percent of space for your favorites. Be careful not to consume a bunch of calories while snacking throughout the day and try drinking a glass of water before you eat so you don’t feel as hungry.
Bottom-line: Limit your portions during meals, but don’t make yourself miserable by forgoing homemade favorites.
Make smart choices for your health while on the road so you can enjoy all the fun of the holidays!