I'm leaving for a flight in T minus 40 minutes, and although I am looking forward to going home (and being in my friends wedding!), it inevitably throws me off my health game when my routine gets interrupted. I have a dependence on my OWN kitchen, and daily availability of fresh juice and salads. Even one day can really affect travelers and impact their trip, so here are a few of the ways I try to stay healthy during travel. I would love to hear your tips as well!
1. Plan ahead.
Airline travelers are more likely to catch a cold, so make sure you boost your immune system prior to traveling. Increasing your nutrient (especially Vitamin C) intake, getting plenty of rest, and hydrating well will help your body stay healthy. Adjust your sleep pattern on the days leading up to travel so your body is more in tune with your destination time zone.
2. Bring your own water bottle!
Airports will not allow you to bring a full bottle of water through security, but you can always fill it up once you get through. Many airports even have filtered water fountains. You can even bring chia seeds and add them to your water bottle to help you stay full and hydrated! Dehydration can easily occur due to extremely dry air on the flight, and drinking water while traveling, instead of coffee or alcohol, will help you fight food cravings, jet lag, and fatigue. You can also bring your own empty thermos and tea bags. Fill your thermos with raw sliced ginger, and you can have hot ginger tea for your flight! Ginger provides everything you need for travel: it reduces inflammation, improves curculation, and is antibacterial.
Last time I was traveling, I brought chlorella powder and chia seeds to add to my water... and after the initial awkwardness, it sparked a great conversation with a man next to me from Indy! I think I am going to skip the chlorella this time... messy!
3. Bring snacks
-particularly things that will keep without being refrigerated. Airport and airplane food is often heavily processed and will contribute to fatigue and discomfort while traveling. With a bit of planning, you can stay full and feel great during travel. My go-to carry on food items are apples, bananas, cucumbers, carrots, avocados, oranges. All of these can keep fairly well when kept whole (don't "break the seal" until you're ready to eat, and for that you can bring a butter knife). Throw together a simple trail mix with nuts, seeds, cacao nibs, and dried fruit. Make or pack a few healthy protein bars with simple ingredients. You can also pack pre-made sandwiches or salads, and the options are limitless if you bring an insulated cooler or lunchbox.
Avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes. While at the airport, walk or move around while waiting for your flight. Doing yoga or gentle stretches will decrease your chances of blood clots or muscle cramps, which are common for travelers. On the flight, try to stretch or get up and walk around to boost circulation.
4. Stay comfy and OM.
Wear loose-fitting and/or comfortable clothes, bring many layers so that you're ready for changes in temperature. Avoid tight socks or better yet bring or wear flip flops or slip-on shoes. Headphones can help you relax while you listen to your favorite tunes. Spritz some lavender on your neck pillow or sweatshirt for a soothing effect. Meditate. Take deep breaths and imagine that your travel plans go smoother than John Stamos playing Jesse from Full House (anyone??). But seriously, use the waiting times as a chance to visualize everything going absolutely according to plan. A positive mindset will always be your most helpful tool.
Happy travels, and please comment with your favorite healthy travel tips!
Here I am with my banana bunch at Chicago Midway Airport!