Tips for Healthy Traveling
This time of year, many of you are traveling, traveling for work, summer vacations, college visits, or some other purpose. The last thing you want is for you or your family to get sick or develop symptoms while away from your home. Being “on the road” presents many challenges towards your goal of maintaining healthy habits. The following tips are included to help you reduce your chances of getting sick while traveling.
What are the challenges?
1. Air Quality
Air travel often leads to getting sick by catching a cold or some other communicable viral or bacterial disease. The problem is that there is that air travel will place you in multiple situations where you are packed into a relatively small space with many other persons while breathing air that is “shared” and re-circulated. Whether this bad air exposure occurs in a crowded airport, while on line awaiting boarding or while packed “like a sardine” into a tiny seat on an overcrowded flight, you are at risk for catching whatever infectious entities the person in close proximity to you has.
Mold, mildew, dust and germs are very common in airplanes, airports and even five star hotels. You may be one of the 24% of the general population that is genetically susceptible to even small amounts of “non-toxic” mold. Exposure to mold, fungus, or other biological toxins can result in a multitude of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Do your “due diligence” before making reservations at a hotel or bed and breakfast or any other lodging. Opt for locations that have lots of windows and minimal rugs and clutter. Check the reviews and ratings of the cleanliness of your lodging on a good travel review website. The best tip I could offer to ensure that you have optimal air quality in both your lodging and airplane is using air quality devices. Traveling with personal air purifiers or ionizers can improve your air quality significantly. Ionizers put an electrical charge into the air, neutralizing many harmful viruses in the air, so any air you breathe is being cleaned. Read more about mold related illnesses or air quality products here.
2. Healthy Eating
Just because you are on vacation and do not have to show up for work does not mean that your immune system, nervous system and endocrine systems are on vacation. Many of you who are traveling, think of vacation as a time that you can indulge in whatever you want and “it doesn’t count because, I am on vacation”. Whether you indulge in fast food at the airport, ice cream for dessert every night, or even candy and chips on a long road trip, your body can not distinguish these health destroying habits from those that occur at home, during your regular work week. Refined sugar, fried foods, and other toxic junk, will put enormous amounts of stress on your immune, neurological and endocrine systems and can deteriorate your health causing you to feel lousy during your trip.
Even so called healthy snacks can be detrimental to your health. Many health professionals including doctors, dieticians and nutritionists recommend that you eat multiple small meals throughout the day. However, this is a very unhealthy practice. Every time you eat, your blood sugar increases and your pancreas is stimulated to release insulin into your blood stream to lower your blood sugar. The more insulin in your blood stream, the more fat you store and the more inflammation that manifests in your systems. The last thing you want to do when you get home from vacation is to look in the mirror or get on the scale and notice that you have gained a bunch of weight and that you feel fat and old.
You must try to plan your meals to a certain degree and when you do sit down to eat, make sure that you are eating plenty of healthy fats. If you eat enough healthy fat (such as those contained in foods like organic meat, fish, cheese and eggs) at each meal, you will not get nearly as hungry between meals, your blood sugar will be more stable, and your autonomic nervous system will not suffer the ravages of trying to compensate for high or low blood sugar. If you would like to read more about eating less frequently for better health, you can do so here.
3. Balancing Activity with Rest
When you are traveling and on vacation, often times your days (and nights) are filled with many activities such as sight-seeing, parties, banquets, hiking, dancing, drinking, and going “out on the town”. Your body will need plenty of rest so you can recharge and repair yourself from an eventful day. Lack of sleep and too much activity will put stress on your immune system, nervous system and endocrine system. Unfortunately, if you do are exposed to fungus, bacteria or viruses, in a weakened state you are much more likely to succumb to illness.
If you do happen to start the onset of a cold or flu coming on, here are some helpful holistic tips to get you back on track more rapidly. And if you would like to learn more about safe air travel, please feel free to watch a video of one of my interviews featured on NJ News 12.
When you return from your trip, you should optimally feel rested, relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to get back to your regular life activities. Unfortunately, too many of you will return from your trip feeling more exhausted than before you left and feeling like you “need a vacation” to recover from your vacation. Do not let this happen to you. Have a safe, happy and healthy trip!
Are you interested in learning more about metabolically directed wellness? We believe that all chronic degenerative disease states are the result of excessive stressors on your immune, neurological and endocrine systems. We work to find the root of these stressors to get to the root cause of your problems, rather than merely just treating your symptoms. Contact Dr. Rothman by calling 732-268-7663 to schedule a consultation