Whether you're taking a plane, train or cab during your holiday travel, public transportation can be a breeding ground for nasty colds. Fortunately, you can stay healthy during holiday travel by following these tips:
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important for good health, but holiday travel is hectic and your regular sleep patterns may suffer as a result. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation can lead to everything from overeating to a suppressed immune system, which makes you more susceptible to colds and flus. To stop illness in its tracks, aim to get 6-9 hours of sleep each night, and take a short nap in the afternoons, if needed.
Holiday travel and family visits can cause stress, which can lead to depressed immune function. This makes us more susceptible to picking up holiday colds. While stress during the holidays is nearly impossible to avoid, it's important to take some time for yourself if you're feeling stretched especially thin. A meditative practice or a peaceful walk or run can help you keep your stress levels low and your immune function high.
3. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to keep your immune system strong during the madness of holiday travel. Drinking enough water helps the body produce lymph, which transports white blood cells and supports the immune system. Aim to drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day. Add slices of lemon for an added immune boost.
4. Eat Well
Eating well can help you stay healthy during holiday travel. Unfortunately, hectic travel schedules often lead to poor food decisions. To avoid these, pack plenty of healthy snacks to bring with you. Bags of mixed nuts and dried fruits or whole-food protein bars are easy to throw into a travel bag and can help you stay healthy during holiday travel.
5. Wash Your Hands Often
Hand washing is one of the best defenses against holiday colds and flus. Good hand-washing practices prevent you from picking up germs from public surfaces and transferring them to your eyes, nose or mouth. You should wash your hands every time you touch a public surface, like a handrail, and before eating or drinking.
To wash your hands effectively, follow these steps:
- Wet hands with warm water and rub vigorously with soap for at least 20 seconds
- Rinse hands well
- Dry hands thoroughly using a paper towel or hand dryer
- Use elbow or paper towel to open bathroom door
While holiday travel can be tough on the immune system, these five tips can help ensure that you stay healthy throughout your holiday travel. By getting enough sleep, keeping stress levels low, staying hydrated, eating a nutrient-rich diet and washing your hands, you can avoid the common bugs that often make holiday travelers sick.