It’s the holidays, and Christmas Break for many families, and that usually includes some travel. Whether it’s an exciting vacation, a much-needed break, or getting in the car to see family or friends, there are health precautions to take to make sure you don’t get sick. I think we can all agree that there’s nothing worse than being sick on the road, or getting home to begin a New Year with the Flu or a virus.
Is it true that your chances of getting sick go up while traveling?
Yes, especially if you are traveling by air or train or some other means of mass transportation. The chances of getting sick increase because of the contact and proximity to so many people. You are exposed to an array of harmful germs in the air and on surfaces that are rarely disinfected, including eating areas. The holiday crowds and cold weather only make things worse- in Chinese medicine, they believed wind energy would set in from the cold and deplete the immune system. But, not to worry! You can take action to strengthen your immune system and keep your surroundings hygienic, to prevent sickness.
Health Tips For Before Travel
Boost your immune system
Supporting your immune system is one of the best things you can do to prevent travel-related sickness and disease. The good news? There are many ways to do that, including a diet high in fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, moderate alcohol consumption, no smoking, enough sleep, and supplements. Our Boost supplement helps increase your energy levels. Boost also contains selenium—which aids in strengthening the immune system and may even reduce the risk of some cancers.
If you’re traveling by air, it’s best to stay hydrated, even over-hydrated. There is a lack of humidity in cabin air, with the humidity often being at 20% or less. This can dry out mucous membranes and make you more susceptible to germs. Once you’ve made it through security, find some water to bring with you on the rest of the trip. Coconut water is a great option and usually carried in airports. Foods high in Potassium like Spinach, Avocados, Sweet Potatoes, Dried Apricots, Grapefruit, and Bananas can also help keep you hydrated. And, though it’s tempting to drink on planes, avoid alcohol. It will only add to dehydration and the chance of not feeling well when you arrive at your destination.
Rest is essential to a robust immune system and good health. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sickafter being exposed to germs or a virus. Not getting enough sleep can also make it that much harder to recover if you do get sick. If you need help getting good rest, there are many things to try from a lavender bath and sleep sounds to supplements. Dr. Taz’s Sleep Savior supplement contains melatonin and magnolia bark extract, which have both been proven to help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and quiet a busy mind. If you’re struggling with sleep, come in and talk to one of our CSMD providers to help create a sleep hygiene plan. They work!
Wash your hands
This is not a test. It’s crucial to wash your hands regularly during holiday travel on trains and planes where there are so many different people, and children, touching surfaces that are not being disinfected. Cold and Flu germs are spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with bacteria and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. Flu germs can live for hours on surfaces like doorknobs, desks, and tables, so you must wash your hands with soap and water as often as needed.
And don’t forget to bring sunscreen if you’re going somewhere warm and sunny!
For After Travel
Assess your symptoms
Sometimes we come home with more than just a souvenir, and post-travel healthcare is necessary. Usually, most after-travel sicknesses aren’t severe, like a head cold or stomach bug, but if you experience more serious symptoms like fever, definitely make an appointment and come in to get a workup. You don’t want to wait to get treatment when it comes to the Flu or infections because they can become serious.
Staying hydrated is vital for every stage of travel, even after you get home. You may need even more hydration after returning home if you’ve become depleted by travel conditions or diet. You can get a good start on boosting your hydration and immune system with any of these IV drips. The Myers Cocktail, which helps boost and support energy, immune systems, and also helps with cellular energy and metabolism. Vitamin C Infusions, which enable you to stay healthy during flu season.
Or, one of our B12 Injections. Learn More.
One of the things we look forward to the most after returning home from a trip is a good massage! Travel always means having to sit for long periods, often in seats that don’t accommodate back or neck problems. Sleeping in foreign beds can also cause pain and muscle ache. One of our deep tissue massages will help release that stress and discomfort the body is holding in and help you loosen up. If you’re having a specific issue from travel, like a sore neck, be sure to tell the massage therapist so they can give you the relief you need!
Hit The Spa For Facials And Acupuncture
Travel also means tough environments for your skin. From the abuse of dry air on the skin to pores that need cleansing, this is definitely the time to treat yourself to one of our incredible Organic facials. They are made of organic fruits, and vegetables handed picked at their peak of freshness and then crafted into skincare treatments and masques designed to gently exfoliate and cleanse away dead skin cells that accumulated while you were on the road. Or, try a HydraFacial—An advanced facial using a machine with vortex fusion action that deeply exfoliates, cleanses, extracts, and hydrates the skin in four steps. We promise you will look and feel refreshed.
Being on the road can also create stress, pain, and imbalance in the body. With our Acupuncture practice, we evaluate the health of your Meridian system, which is the concept that your life-energy flows, also known as your “qi.” It is along this meridian system that acupuncture points are identified and tapped into for healing. If Acupuncture is part of your health regimen, or you’d like to try it for the first time, book an appointment with one of our exceptional acupuncturists. You will get relief so you can return to life at your best.
Stay safe out there, and have happy travels!