My Top 8 Wellness Tips to Stay Healthy When Traveling...
(Including One that May Surprise You!)
1. Germaphobes unite!
Although having a healthy immune system is important, it’s true that there are a LOT of germs on an airplane. So, I always advise to take a few precautions when heading out on a flight. It’s somewhat well-known that the seat and the tray-table are the germiest places on the plane (other than the lav), so I advise taking along antibacterial wipes so you can wipe down the tray table and armrests as soon as you sit down. You can also use essential oils like peppermint and spray the seat and headrest as well. (I even make my own home-made spray… email me if you’d like the recipe!)
2. Exercise and stretches, both on the plane and off.
It’s super important to get in a little exercise while on a flight. And I don’t mean doing crunches in the aisle! But here’s a few I recommend, and you can do right at your seat: Ankle and feet rotations. Toe stretches, point and flex several times. Gentle back stretches by pushing your chest out and arching backwards, and then invert it by gently crouching inward. Side twists to the left and then to the right. Arm reaches, both forward and up. Neck rolls side to side. And of course, get out of your seat every hour or so and walk the aisles to keep the blood flowing throughout your body. This is especially important on long flights... move your body frequently to avoid stiffness, cramping, and to keep your blood moving. And once you arrive at your destination, walking is the best exercise, hopefully on a beach, right?
3. Get comfy!
Comfort = Relaxation, which is important when traveling. I recommend bringing along a travel blanket or lightweight jacket that you can cocoon yourself in if needed. You an even roll your jacket and use it for lumbar support behind your back. An eye-mask lightly sprayed with a lavender essential oil can be very soothing, it’s easy to pack, and helps keep the daylight out so you can rest easier. And even bring along a pair of travel slippers or fuzzy socks so you can take off your uncomfortable shoes, but still have something on your feet.
4. Bring (healthy) snacks!
Nobody wants to deal with a hangry person on a flight, so don’t let that be you! Always bring along a few snacks to stay energized and keep your blood sugar balanced. I definitely recommend bringing a couple pieces of fruit, some energy bars, and my favorite - chocolate covered sesame seeds… I’m pretty sure chocolate is good for you, right? But this way you don’t have to feel rushed to grab-n-go greasy fast food at one of the expensive airport restaurants. And no getting stressed when the snack cart on the plane is taking too long to get to your aisle. Trust me, it’s all about comfort and minimizing stress, so having a few snacks on hand that you enjoy is important.
5. The dreaded Jet Lag.
Being in a different time zone and getting off your sleep schedule can be very inconvenient. Even though most of us enjoy resting a little while on vacation, you don’t want to sleep your days away and end up roaming around late night like a zombie because you’re off schedule. It’s important to sync your body to the new time zone as quickly as you can. You can start while on your flight… Immediately set your watch/ phone/ sundial to the time zone that you are GOING TO. This will help get your head in the right place, so that your body can catch up easier. After you land, stay up according to the time zone that you are in, so avoid napping if possible, and go to bed at a normal reasonable time. If you can manage this the first day, usually your body can get on track pretty quickly.
6. Sun worshippers, you’re my people!
Get into nature! Soak up those rays! Swim in the ocean! Breathe in the fresh air! Walk around bare foot! Lay on the grass! Sing in the rain! Hug a tree! This is called 'Earthing' or ‘Grounding’… many think this is just for hippies, but turns out it’s actually good for you! Your body craves the energy that you get from being outdoors, at one with nature. It helps you FEEL better, happier, and more resilient. So even if your travels are more for business, always try to soak up some earth energy when you can!
7. Bring vitamins and supplements!
Nobody wants to get sick while traveling or on vacation, so even if you don’t normally take supplements, it’s a good idea to bring some along. That way, if you DO start to feel a little under the weather, you can start immediately boosting your immune system to combat any nasties you may have picked up. My go-tos are Vitamins B, C, and D. I have some essential oils that I always have on hand as well. It’s also important to avoid certain things when feeling sick; so say No to sugar, wheat, dairy, and alcohol (gasp!) and say Yes to fruits, veggies, broths, and of course…. Last but not least…
8. Good ol’ H2O!
I couldn’t possibly leave out how vitally important staying hydrated is when you travel. Get yourself a refillable water botte that you love, and cherish it, because it will be your best friend when you travel. DRINK LOTS OF WATER! Before, during, and after your flight. One of the main causes of feeling yucky when you travel, getting headaches, feeling irritable, etc. is because you are dehydrated. Water is life, so always make sure you are drinking as much as you can. *And THIS ‘juicy’ little tidbit that I learned from Wellness Expert and Naturopath John Ayo - add chia seeds to your water bottle! Yes! Besides Chia seeds being full of nutrients and omega-3s, they also help to keep your cells hydrated. So, when you add just a teaspoon to your water bottle, and drink them, you are really doing your body good, and helping to keep that water in your system. (*from the book Quench by Dana Owen)
I hope these tips may prove useful the next time you travel! Let me know what you think or if you have any of your own favorite wellness travel tips!