Everyone has experienced feeling sick and run down by travel. A study implied that an average of 20% of plane travelers reported respiratory infections within five to seven days of flying. Sure, you know you need to wipe down the hotel remote and use your hand sanitizer on the plane, but what else can you do to assure you do not get sick while traveling? It turns out, there are plenty of small tweaks you can make throughout a trip that will keep you feeling as fit as a fiddle.
Get Enough Sleep
Whether you are jet-lagged, have to be up early for an urgent meeting, or are having so much fun exploring your holiday destination, it is easy to not get enough sleep while traveling. Maybe you can cope with being a little dozing at breakfast, but a cold probably is not what you thought was going to be on the menu. It turns out not getting sufficient sleep can make you very sick. People who sleep six hours a night or less are four times more likely to catch a cold than those who get seven or more hours of sleep.
Stay Well Hydrated
Speaking of dehydration, even without alcohol your body might not be getting enough water while traveling. There is a reason you always feel so thirsty while flying. Airplane air is low in humidity which can increase your risk of catching a respiratory virus, for instance, a cold. When there is humidity in the air, your airways are kept moist so the lining can help trap germs trying to enter your body. However, if you are breathing air that is too dry, then the mucus in your airways cannot protect as well against viruses trying to enter your body. So the humidity is good? Not exactly. If you are traveling somewhere super hot and humid, your risk of dehydration and heat illness increases. When the air is humid, sweat is not able to evaporate and cool your body as quickly as it usually would. Which means you need to be very careful regarding your body’s hydration. If not you risk headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.
You have probably experienced some food comas in the day, but what about a food hangover? You know, the feeling you get the morning after eating one too many rounds of bowling alley nachos? That is your body telling you it is not happy with what you ate. And anything super salty, fatty, sugary, or high in fat content can be a trigger. Why? Let us take a look at salty foods first. For starters, they lead to dehydration, which can lead to a headache and make your body retain water which makes you feel bloated. Fat takes a long time to digest which means you get that greasy feeling in your stomach which is going to stick around all day long. And just like you get mood swings and jittery when you haven’t had enough to eat, too much sugar and carbs can disturb your body’s blood sugar levels and make you feel icky.