Staying healthy while traveling can be a challenge. Traveling to and eating in new locations introduces your body to unfamiliar bacteria that takes a toll on your immune system and zaps your energy levels. It is also difficult to find healthier food options in unknown territory. Consider the following travel tips and stay healthy on your next expedition.
Maintain Proper Hydration
Be sure to drink plenty of water the day before and the day of your flight as flying in an airplane quickly dehydrates you. Traveling by car, bus or train? Although these forms of transportation do not directly cause dehydration, you typically drink less water while traveling in general so it would be wise to drink up the day before to be safe. Hydration keeps your immune system in check and will help you feel more energized.
TIP: If you’re flying, avoid spending money on numerous plastic water bottles and bring an empty reusable water bottle to fill up at the water fountain once you are through the gate.
Make a Stop at the Grocery Store
Once you arrive at your destination, make a quick stop at the grocery store to stock up on some more healthy snacks and breakfast items. Breakfast items such as oatmeal, milk, and fruit are inexpensive, quick, and healthy. If your hotel has a continental breakfast, then choose wisely. Opt for the fruit, high fiber cereal, whole wheat bread products, and eggs. Avoid indulging in sausage, waffles, pancakes, or syrup.
TIP: Request a mini-fridge in your hotel room to store a variety of healthy snacks and breakfast items. Think yogurt, hummus, veggies, and cheese.
Pack Healthy Snacks
Snack options at the airport and on the road are convenient but not always healthy. Take snacks from home to get you through your first day of travels. Nuts, dried fruit, healthy granola bars, and carrot sticks are easy to pack and are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and other health promoting nutrients.
TIP: If you have enough room, consider packing a small nut butter sandwich with a piece of fresh fruit. Apples and oranges are hardy enough to sustain the trip in a small carry-on.
Make Healthy Choices When Dining Out
Since many restaurant menus now offer healthier options, feel free to ask your server about more nutrient dense menu items. To feel your best while traveling, avoid too many fried foods, heavy sauces, and rich deserts. Make it a point to always order vegetables whether it is a salad, a side of cooked asparagus, or a vegetable medley mixed into a dish. This is not to say you can’t enjoy those delicious rich foods; just enjoy them in moderation.
TIP: Enjoy a large salad topped with satisfying ingredients like beans and nuts or a small portion of protein.
Avoid Sitting for Lengthy Periods of Time
Sitting for lengthy periods of time reduces white blood cell counts and decreases the activity of your immune system. Try to get up and stretch your legs every hour, go for a walk or jog, or partake in some yoga. Daily exercise, no matter the type, is necessary to stay healthy and keep your energy levels up.
TIP: Pack some workout gear and take advantage of your hotel’s gym or pool. If you have a map, gps on your phone or running buddy, walking or running through new cities is a great way to explore
Maintaining hydration, making healthy food choices, and reducing your sitting time are the keys to keep you healthy and energized while traveling. Feeling your best will no doubt give you the best traveling experience possible.