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The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year—unless you get sick. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your immune system and prevent sickness from derailing your holiday travel plans. Here are seven tips for staying healthy throughout the holiday travel season.
Whether traveling by car or plane, pack healthy snacks, such as fruit, vegetables, granola bars and nuts to snack on, instead of chips and candy. Keeping healthier options on hand will reduce the temptation to indulge in a snack with low nutritional value and can help you feel satisfied and fuller for longer. They’re also less likely to give you stomach problems or digestive issues.
Instead of reaching for sugary beverages like soda and energy drinks, stick with water, water flavored with fresh fruits like lemon or oranges, or flavored low-calorie seltzer. “Drinking enough water is crucial for your health, especially during holiday travel,” said Sean Sussman, D.O., a physician at Inspira Medical Group Primary Care Woolwich. “Drinking water can help you avoid dehydration, which can result in overheating, difficulty thinking, mood changes and other physiological problems.”
Spending time in crowded airports and train stations, especially during the busy holiday season, can lead to illness. Germs can get passed along to you through other people or contaminated surfaces. Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer can help keep you healthy and prevent the spread of germs.
When traveling, pack prescription medications and medical devices in your carry-on bag to ensure they’re always with you. Keep your prescriptions organized and labeled to avoid forgetting to take certain medications, especially with time zone changes. Learn your surroundings in busy places. Make sure you always know where the nearest bathrooms and rest areas are ahead of time.
It’s easy to get caught up in the season’s tasty temptations, but overindulging can result in an upset stomach, bloating and additional weight gain. “Everything is good in moderation. Make room for fruits and vegetables on your plate to create a healthy balance,” said Dr. Sussman. “Avoid mindless snacking during football and chatting with family and limit your portion sizes so you can enjoy the seasonal festivities while staying true to your health and wellness goals.”
Regular exercise has many health benefits, and research suggests that physical activity can help strengthen your immune system and help with stress and anxiety. This holiday season, make an effort to incorporate movement into your travel plans. If you’re at the airport, walk to your gate instead of taking the shuttle. Adding a few extra minutes of exercise can keep you feeling good throughout a long travel day and help improve your overall health.
“Not getting enough sleep can impact your immune system and mental health,” said Dr. Sussman. “People who don’t get enough quality sleep are more likely to get sick and may also lend toward difficulty recovering and may worsen life and travel stress.” Boost your immunity and improve your mental health by getting at least eight hours of sleep each night, especially before and after travel.
Inspira Health is a high reliability organization (HRO), which means safety is the top priority for patients and staff. To make an appointment, call 1-800-INSPIRA.
The material set forth in this site in no way seeks to diagnose or treat illness or to serve as a substitute for professional medical care. Please speak with your health care provider if you have a health concern or if you are considering adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines. For permission to reprint any portion of this website or to be removed from a notification list, please contact us at (856) 537-6772