The warm weather beckons the traveler in all of us. But let’s face it, as much fun as traveling can be it can also be rough on your health. So here are my top tips for healthier summer travel.
- Pack Your Probiotics. Many vacations include visits to exciting and exotic locales, which usually means an introduction to new, exotic foods—as well as water supplies you’re not used to. Your best defense is probiotics. These “friendly” bacteria help to break down hard-to-digest foods, as well as promote regular, healthy bowel movements. They also give your digestive system an “immune boost” by covering the walls of your intestines with healthy flora, and crowding out the other, less desirable bacteria.
- Stretch Those Legs. If you will be driving in a car or riding in an airplane for more than an hour or two, it is critical that you stretch your legs and feet to ensure your circulation remains healthy and normal. If you are flying in an airplane, try to get up and walk around every 30–45 minutes. You can also massage your calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Use long, upward strokes to help the blood move toward your heart, and take deep, relaxed breaths to keep plenty of oxygen in your bloodstream.
- Avoid the Sting. Studies have shown that taking 100 mg of vitamin B1 (thiamine) a day helps keep mosquitoes at bay. This regimen may also help reduce itching caused by bites. While the research is not conclusive regarding thiamine’s efficacy in this regard, since it is good for overall health, consider adding vitamin B1 to your summertime plans.
- Raise the Bar on Your Snacks. Long car and plane rides, hikes, and the like often warrant a bit of refueling between meals. Don’t turn to chips, candy, and other unhealthy snacks. Instead pack healthy snack bars made with whey or soy protein, fresh fruit, vegetables, and filtered water.
Now it’s your turn: Do you have a travel tip to share?