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How to Stave Off Sickness During Holiday Travel

Many of us are already making our holiday travel plans as we prep for festivities through the end of year. Coupled with the colder weather and the impact of travel, our health could take a significant decline without the proper precautions— and nobody wants to be sick when they’re scheduled to celebrate!

Don’t let illness spoil the spirit of the holidays. Here are some tips to stave off sickness during your travels this season.

  • Get plenty of sleep, even across time zones
    Sleep is essential to maintaining a sense of wellness and overall good health. Neglecting to get enough sleep, particularly while traveling, can cause disruptions in your mood… leaving you tired, exhausted, and at risk of sickness.

    Be mindful when traveling across time zones. If you’re traveling from west to east or internationally, consider taking a natural sleep supplement, such as melatonin. However, if you are traveling east to west, take the sleep your body needs. As tempting as it is to stay up with friends and family on the west coast, sleep when your body needs it.

  • Be mindful of your diet
    Traveling means grabbing a bite on the go, or enjoying the holiday meals with family and friends. While is it completely acceptable to indulge once in a while—in moderation, of course—maintaining a balance is key. Over-indulging in fast food, restaurant food, or other rich, high-calorie foods can overwhelm or throw off your digestive tract.

  • Consume clean drinking water
    Drink plenty of clean drinking water—bottled or treated drinking water—as tap water may contain bacteria that may trigger additional issues.

    Staying hydrated is extremely important as your body depends on water to lubricate joints as well as remove waste from your body. Hydration is also important as the impact of travel can take its toll on your body through fatigue and exposure to germs. If you are not getting enough clean drinking water, your body may have a difficult time recovering from an infection.

    Moreover, alcohol, coffee, and juices do not constitute as sources of “water.” Stick with just plain (clean) water to stay hydrated.

  • Move your body
    “Holiday” implies break, and for some that may mean also a break from routine exercise. While it is acceptable to relax, exercise is still essential to keeping illness at bay.

    For families into outdoor activities or sports, consider hiking, skiing, or a recreational sport. For those who would rather take it easier, consider taking the dog for walk or run errands. Incorporating activity and movement helps to maintain overall health, aids in digestion, and helps you integrate some exercise into your day. Stay healthy, no matter where you are this holiday season!

So when you’re celebrating— enjoy yourself, but remember to stick to your normal diet and routines as much as possible. Make sure to include fruits and vegetables, as well as plenty of water.

Even if you’re not traveling this holiday season, including the above suggestions will ensure you maintain good health. While it may be tempting to over-indulge in food and drink or skip out on exercise, good health habits will benefit you in the long run.