By Connie Colbert
GCU Director of Health Services
As the world is opening back up and many are heading out for the first time in two years, staying healthy on vacation remains a high priority.
Here a few tips to think about before making that trip!
You are more likely to get sick when you are run down, so do not cut back on sleep while you’re traveling. Being on the road is also more physically exhausting than being close to home, so be sure to listen to your body and rest when you need to. Also, for a more restful sleep, stop using your smartphone, tablet or laptop before sleeping.
Exercise is good for your body, whether you are at home or traveling. If you are not able to fit in time at a gym when you are away from home, find other ways to move your body, like walking everywhere you can and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Think about downloading an exercise app on your phone or laptop. Then you can pull up a short exercise while traveling, even if you don’t have access to a gym. There are some great ones that are free! I often use the Fit On app. This app contains all types of exercises for every fitness level, and many workouts as short as 15 to 20 minutes long. No exercise equipment needed.
3. Eat breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you’re traveling. Instead of starting your day on empty, fuel up with healthy options, such as fruit, cereal or oatmeal, before heading out the door. Don’t forget to add some protein for endurance!
4. Drink plenty of water
It is easy to get dehydrated while traveling, so don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids. Start your day with a big glass of water, and make sure to carry a water bottle with you at all times.
5. Limit the sweets and alcohol
It can be tempting to overindulge while traveling, but those extra drinks and desserts can lead to unwanted weight gain and disrupted sleeping. Play it safe and consume sugar and alcohol in moderation.
6. Eat healthy food
Staying healthy while traveling is all about making healthy choices, and that includes picking the right dishes when you are eating out. Whenever possible, choose options that come with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
You can also make sure you eat healthy food by making your own meals. Even if you don’t have a kitchen nearby, you can still stock up on fresh ingredients and make easy meals, such as salads and sandwiches. Don’t forget to buy some apples, oranges, bananas, protein bars or nuts to keep your energy up when you are on the move.
7. Wash your hands
You come into contact with a lot of germs and bacteria every day, and your exposure only increases when you are traveling. To reduce your chances of getting sick, wash your hands often, especially before eating, and carry wet wipes or hand sanitizer so you can freshen up when soap and water aren’t available.
8. Don’t run yourself into the ground
It’s easy to be scheduled out from dawn to dusk when you are traveling, but this can wear you out and leave you susceptible to infections. Instead, take your time exploring and pace yourself. Listen to your body and take breaks when you can.
9. Pack a first-aid kit
Packing a first-aid kit is a smart idea in case you get hit with a stomach bug or the flu or have a scrape or fall.
The first-aid kit should include:
- Bandages of varying sizes
- An antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin
- A fever and pain reducer
- A motion sickness remedy
- Anti-itch cream
- Medicine for allergic reactions
- Stomachache medicine
- Cold and flu relief medication
- Rehydration tablets or water additives, such as Oral IV or Liquid IV. This can be purchased at most drug stores, Walmart and Costco.
10. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Wear sunscreen daily, protect your skin.
Have a safe and healthy travel this summer. Remember, preparation before you go is the key!