Top Tips for Healthy Holiday Travel

The holiday season is an exciting time, but travel can take a toll on your health. It’s no fun feeling under the weather during the festivities, so follow these five tips for staying healthy during holiday travel.

1. Stay hydrated. When you’re on the go and rushing from one place to the next, it’s easy to forget to drink water, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. Dehydration makes you fatigued, weak, and cranky—not a good mix with travel. Drinking plenty of water helps you stay energized and alert, makes you feel less hungry, is good for digestion, headaches, and joint pain, and keeps your body and skin hydrated. That’s especially important if you’re flying, as the high altitude dries you out. So pick up a bottle of water after you’ve gone through security. Your body will thank you later!

2. Fight off germs. It’s all too common for people to get sick over the holidays. Stress, increased exposure to germs, and changes in sleeping and eating patterns can be the perfect storm for a cold or flu while traveling. That’s why it’s a smart idea to get your flu shot early in the season. Also be sure to wash your hands regularly and resist touching your face.

3. Eat healthy. The holidays tend to inspire overindulging on the sweets and carbs. It’s easy to pick up fast food when you’re on the go, but your body will suffer for it. Instead, plan ahead and take healthy snacks to go for the car or plane ride. Nuts, fruits, and trail mix make for easy, tasty snacks that you can stick in a plastic baggie. Let yourself enjoy the festivities, but keep the butter and sugar to a minimum. Don’t forget foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, strawberries, raspberries, red peppers, and broccoli, which help boost your immune system.

4. Get your eight hours. Travel can be exhausting, and the effects of jet lag are real. When you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system is more vulnerable to germs that can make you sick. If you’re flying, wear something comfortable and warm on the plane, and bring an eye mask or neck pillow to help you sleep. And while it may be tempting to stay up late during holiday festivities, stick to a normal bedtime.

5. Get moving. Depending on how far you’re traveling, you might spend hours at time sitting—not good for body aches, joints, or circulation. Therefore, exercise when you can. Start your day off with some yoga or stretches, take breaks from driving to go for a walk around the parking lot, or visit the stores in the airport while you’re waiting to board or during your layover instead of sitting at the gate.

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