Written by Alison Bell
Travel has become a part of daily life. Gone are the times when only the privileged went on a plane or travelled overseas. To visit another country was once seen as exotic and out of reach of the common person. Today, most families take their children on holidays from an early age, and are not afraid to use any mode of transport from long drives, to aeroplanes. Travel now incorporates the lone backpacker, the family camping trip, the adventure seeker, the hiker, the resort lifestyler right through to the business executive. None of us are immune to travel, but how can we stay healthy and nourished through these experiences? How can we reduce stress and increase immunity?
While travelling is great fun, it can also be very stressful both physically and emotionally. It has a tendency to really make us run down. When traveling by plane there is a rush to make check-in on time, extended sitting times with poor food (unless you pack your own of course), cold dry air, lack of oxygen, exposure to new toxins and changing time zones. Daily routines are disrupted. And while that is part of the joy of travel, it can also be the double edged sword that causes harm.
New environments can be both invigorating and stressful. We introduce new foods to our bodies and sometimes ignore our regular balanced diets. Convenience foods can even sneak in. We tend to be busy and on the go. Sleep quality may drop as our not be as comfortable as our bed at home. There may be increased anxiety, bloating, fear, fatigue, gas and an overall lethargy. Even when travelling for pleasure, there is still stress on the body.
There are many things we can do to keep our bodies at optimal performance while travelling, and here are our 5 top tips!
1. Keep Hydrated
Oxygen used in an aircraft cabin is drying and dehydrating, it has even been said to be the equivalent of a desert! Drink plenty of water in the lead up to a flight and during. Have your own bottle, as cabin crew may not bring water as frequently as you should be consuming it. Avoid the complimentary tea, coffee and alcohol as they will add to the dehydration. Spritz your face to keep it hydrated and feel the benefits of your favourite essential oils at the same time (Mine is Twenty8 ). We love "Immune Boost" and "Instant Calm" when travelling. These will add a barrier for any bugs that may be floating in the air, settle the mind and promote sleepiness.
2. Bring Your Own FoodNever eat plane food. It is devoid of all nutrients and packed full of preservatives and additives. It can be an additional stress to pack your own food, but is well worth the effort when you feel the difference upon landing. Pack some seeds, nuts, fruit, vegetables and healthy fats. Eat a main meal before travelling to assist with hunger. Remember, people often eat on a plane out of boredom. Try to recognise this and focus on nutrition rather than hunger. Also pack some essentials for your time at your destination. This is one of the great advantages of dehydrated food, it is portable and light and easy to take on your travels.
3. Get outside and have fun!
It’s always more fun to go paddleboarding or scuba diving or hiking when those options are available. Instead of just lying on the beach or heading to a bar with colleagues after working in a boardroom, try to be active doing things native to your trip location. Not only will you have a great time doing something different but you’ll get some exercise and nature as well.
4. Restore Routine
It will be easier on your body if you keep routines similar to those at home, especially when crossing time zones. Try to adjust to the new time zone immediately and stop assessing what time it is at home. This will help alleviate effects of jet lag. Sleep is one of the most important part of our lives to help our bodies recover. Be sure to get enough sleep. This can sometimes be challenging in a new bed. Bringing the "Go to bed" time earlier will help.