Health is wealth, they say. When we talk about wellness, we mean healthy habits, not restrictions. Your lifestyle can be the greatest medicine or the slowest poison, and it is in your hands and your hands only to choose between the two. It is when we travel that we compromise on our health and with good reason. Hectic schedules and jam-packed itineraries don’t provide much space to incorporate a healthy lifestyle; that much is clear. But we don’t necessarily have to work around wellness when we travel- instead, let us make the best of our situations, shall we!
Whether you’re headed to a fun-filled vacation or are juggling hard when business travel is added to your already hectic work life, here are a few tips and tricks that can come in handy to keep you fresh and well wherever you go!
Of course, the essential contributor to your health is your food because you are what you eat.
So, the first and foremost tip- moderation. When you travel, you should undoubtedly try the local cuisines and get that extra drink every once in a while. But that’s about it, just every once in a while. As long as you can control your portions, indulgence should never be a problem.
Secondly, always pack munchies with you instead of savoring greasy, oily, and unhealthy fast foods. Bring your snack bags containing whole fruits or dry fruits, nuts, pretzels, popcorn, trail mix, granola bars, crackers, and foods of the like. When you have mini pangs of hunger, eat these instead of splurging.
Third, eat little and often. Surveys show that the longer we’re hungry, the more likely we are to make unhealthy food choices. So, stop skipping meals and start eating proper portions at regular time intervals. This will also help you regulate your blood sugar levels.
Fourth, skip the salt. Do not, I repeat, do not consume high amounts of salt. Say no to salted nuts and chip bags because they will dehydrate you, and dehydration can make things take an ugly turn.
That brings me to the next point, HYDRATE. And I do not mean splurge on coffee and soda- you’re dehydrating yourself even further when you choose them. Instead, opt for tea or plain old water. Remember, you can carry your tea bags, such as chamomile or mint. Not only will those hydrate you, but the familiarity will comfort you, and these varieties are naturally soothing. Also, for added advantage, drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.
A healthy Breakfast
Never skip breakfast and never have an unhealthy one. The most important meal of the day gives you energy throughout, so do not mess this one up. The best breakfast options are cereal or oatmeal. A healthy start to the day will set you on track and help your quest to health to success. It will speed up your metabolism and restore and control your blood sugar levels.
Lastly, it may sound simple, but eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Many of us have gotten into the habit of eating simply because we’re bored or an eating opportunity presents itself. Do not eat if you are not hungry because this will lead to splurging, and we do not want that.
While jet lag is inevitable, lack of sleep does not have to be. Try fitting in a nap wherever possible- during a layover, on a flight- whenever. Get your proper amount of sleep because, without it, you will not only be unproductive but also be causing tremendous strain upon your body and mind.
Carry a travel-size health kit with you wherever you go. You never know when you might catch the flu or have a bad stomach or slice your finger. Carry an assortment of common medication, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, an antacid, band-aids, anti-bacterial wipes, and any prescription medication you usually take.
Also, carry a hygiene kit with things like safety scissors, a toothbrush, a nail cutter, a stick of deodorant, mouth fresheners, et cetera.
Stay calm in case of a travel horror story- lost luggage, flat tire, canceled flight- the list goes on and on. Stress can cause digestive problems and can induce panic. Remember to take a minute to step back and practice the 4-3-5 breathing rule in case of panic- inhale for four seconds, hold for three, and exhale for five. Repeat this till you feel calm.
While booking your airplane seat, do not choose an aisle. This is because the aisle seat exposes you to the most bacteria, and a study suggests that the subject in the aisle seat is most likely to be exposed to an outbreak virus.
Lastly, stay active. Your ideal vacation may be lying on the beach, or your work may tie you to a desk all day, but find time to exercise. Remember, a walk is your best friend, for it requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. This way, you can sightsee as well! It is a classic case of a win-win!
In short, remember: Eat, but not too much, hydrate regularly, sleep, but not too much, stay calm, maintain personal hygiene, and go on short walks. If you follow all of this, nothing is coming between your travel and good health!