Summer is upon us and many are hitting the roads or taking a plane, so here are 8 tips to ensure that travel is fun and healthy!
1. Drink water: This seems obvious, but when you’re out and about, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. It’s really hot now, and this increases your need for water. Being out in the sun, sweating, drinking cocktails (hey, it’s vacation right!), and moving around will dehydrate you. Even inside, air conditioning is drying. And planes are the worst for causing dehydration! If you are flying, carry your own bottle, and you can refill it after you clear security. A water bottle (1/2 empty) can double as a cervical pillow to ease the neck stress caused by airplane seats that shove your head forward. Collapsible bottles are convenient and stow away nicely. If traveling by car, bring your own water to save money. Being even 5% dehydrated makes you sluggish and slows your brain function and metabolism. Pay attention to your urine, that’s the best indicator of your hydration (pale-yellow/clear is ideal).
2. Take movement breaks: Sitting for long periods is brutal for your spine. If you are on a road trip, stop every hour or so and walk briskly for 3-5 minutes. On a plane, stand up whenever you get an opportunity. If you drink a lot of water, you’ll need to! I always try for an aisle seat so it’s easier to get out. And when you can’t get up, do your ABC’s with your feet and ankles, every 30 minutes, to keep the blood from pooling in your feet.
3. Cervical pillow and Revitalizer for cars and planes: Those of you who are patients here know the benefits of the cylindrical cervical pillow (3” diameter) to make the plane seat for more comfort. In a pinch, you can roll up a towel or jacket and place it behind your neck. The Revitalizer back support is a lifesaver for hardcore travelers. You can sit on it, or with it behind your low back and aaahhhh! We carry it here in the office. It’s inflatable and adjustable, so it’s light and easy to travel.
4. Bring your own snacks: You never know what situation you’ll get into that will cause you delays. If you’re anything like me, you don’t function well when you’re hangry! If you know you’ll be out all day, try to pack healthy snacks. Nuts, seeds, fruit, or power bars are the easiest for travel. It’s always a relief to find them when you have been on a long hike, long plane ride, stuck at the airport, or just hangry.
5. Know your markets: Scope out the local markets or grocery stores to stock up on raw veggies, fruits, and other things that require a fridge that you can’t bring from home. Try to get a hotel room with a refrigerator so you can keep fresh foods. My favorites are carrots, broccoli, apples, lemons, cucumbers, and avocados.
6. Stay active: This one is probably the easiest to incorporate, many vacations include sightseeing, walking, shopping, or even swimming in the ocean – all of which will keep you moving. An added bonus is if your hotel or resort has a pool or gym so you can get in a quick work-out.
7. Ask the locals: Those around you, and even waiters know what the healthiest options are on the menu or local spots to try. They know what they’re talking about!
8. Be flexible: Remember, it’s a vacation! It’s a time to enjoy everything that’s going on with the activities and people around you – enjoy the food, the sightseeing, the culture, and the relaxation!
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