We talk about how important travel is to get away, to reduce stress and to take a break.
However, we seem to usually end up continuing to stress our bodies out while on vacation.
We’ll eat lots of fried food and other junk, we’ll stay up late, and we’ll sit a lot or lie motionless for hours.
Many people pause their fitness routines while on holiday, and between this and poor diet, it can lead to a hormonal imbalance.
Just about every Canadian will look out the window at least a few times during the winter and wish they were in Mexico, or somewhere where the air doesn’t hurt your face.
Go ahead and travel, enjoy the sunshine, and read these tips to help you stay healthy when you’re away from home.
1. Check For Travel Advisories
The government has health warnings for all countries.
You may also need inoculations before travelling to certain countries where certain illnesses and pathogens are more common, and you should make sure your booster shots are up-to-date.
Before you travel, be sure to check the travel advisory to see what precautions you need to take.
2. Be Aware Of Traveler’s Diarrhea
In many countries abroad, water filtration is not as good as here at home.
Traveler’s diarrhea is the result of being exposed to parasites, bacteria or viruses in the water or food.
It’s possible to be affected by E. coli, salmonella, campylobacter or shigella at home, but due to regulations and regular testing, it’s rare.
Salmonella, for example, grows easily on uncooked poultry, and if it’s left unrefrigerated for periods of time, it allows bacteria to grow.
At home, we have food inspectors check and signage to keep restaurants regulated, but this may not exist abroad.
Take the proper precautions, and speak to your naturopathic doctor for how to mitigate health risks.
3. Stay Hydrated
Water is an important part of staying healthy while on vacation, whether you’re on a beach or in a museum.
Carry a water bottle with you, and fill it up whenever you come across a safe water source.
However, in some countries, you may need to buy bottled water in order to stay safe.
In this case, never accept a bottle that is pre-opened for you; make sure to open it yourself.
When you’re in transit, drink plenty of water, as planes and trains can have very dry air.
Also, many people do a lot of walking while on vacation – which is dehydrating.
Carry water everywhere and you’ll never go thirsty.
4. Be Ready For Jet Lag
Jet lag affects even the most seasoned traveler.
There’s no way around it, even if you’re only going over a couple of time zones, but there are a few tricks to surviving it easier.
Pick up some melatonin from your local health food store – this is the hormone that tells your brain it’s time to sleep, so you can get onto your new schedule faster.
Electrolytes are key in staying hydrated and reducing jet lag, whether they’re in drink form or powder (that’s added to water).
Electrolytes are good to have while travelling because they can also help with fluid loss due to diarrhea, sweating, dehydration or vomiting.
5. Eat Healthy – But Plan Some Cheat Meals
One way of experiencing a different country or city is through its food – “foodie” tourism is extremely popular.
While you’re planning all the delicious restaurant adventures, consider the impact to your trip if you’re lethargic and fatigued from eating too-rich food.
One good way to avoid these pitfalls is to prepare your own healthy snacks and pack them in your luggage.
Try to find a hotel that has a kitchen in the suite, or perhaps stay at an Airbnb so that you can cook some of your own meals (for instance, starting off with a healthy breakfast before eating out for lunch and dinner).
Another approach would be to plan your cheat days and stick to them, and choosing healthier options on the other days.
Book An Appointment At The Mindful Healing Clinic
Are you planning on getting away this winter?
Smart plan – but be sure to plan to stay healthy even while you’re on your break.
Call now to book your appointment at the Mindful Healing Clinic and we’ll help you decide what you need to worry about and how to best prepare.
After all, you wouldn’t want to go all that way and end up sick the entire trip.
Until next time,
Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago and became a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga.