There is a difference between being healthy and being fit. Health is usually a term used when describing general wellness, while fitness is used to describe things like exercise regimens and your level of muscle tone or cardiovascular capabilities. If you are like most frequent travelers, you look for ways to maintain both health and fitness when on the road. You have your routines or tactics that let you get in workouts and also eat well, even when it might involve airport food or hours in a plane.
But, what can you do now with the recent surge in viral agents and worries about remaining healthy during travel of any kind (car, plane, train, boat, and so on)? It came as a bolt out of the blue to millions that a single virus could disrupt modern life. As we write this, there are travel bans, business closures, and even national borders or towns being closed or shutdown.
Basic Methods for Staying Healthy While Traveling
While health experts say that it is a matter of time before the virus is under control and all of the current restrictions lifted, it will be wise to know for future travel how to best remain healthy at even the very best of times.
As one group of experts said, there are 11 basic methods you can use to remain healthy at all times when traveling, and they are:
- Practice good hand hygiene – Now more than ever we all need to be far more aware of the gentle art of washing our hands. We’ve all seen the guides that say two minutes of soap and scrubbing are essential, but not many of us can stand at a basin and scrub for that length of time as a regular practice. We recommend always carrying sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, or sanitizing spray in your travel bag. Use this on your hands, rubbing between the fingers, but also on any surfaces you will touch (airplane trays and armrests, remote controls of any kind, railings, and so on).
- Eat well – This is very challenging when traveling, and so we always recommend that you choose one meal per day and make sure it is as nutrient-dense as possible. Breakfast may be the easiest option for this way of eating, but don’t limit yourself to that meal. If your evening meal is the only time you have to fuel up with vegetables and lean proteins, make sure you do so. Take a multi-vitamin, and try to be aware of your needs for the “macros” (protein, fat, and carb) to remain in top condition.
- Hydrate – Another challenge when traveling is to get enough to drink. We might hesitate to consume adequate water because we fear there may not be an adequate number of facilities when needed. However, it is best to get that hydration as it fuels the cells, including immune cells, that keep you in your best shape at all times – from the skin cells that are a barrier against germs to the brain cells that help you as you go about your waking hours and sleeping recovery times.
- Practice good sleep hygiene – When your body is fatigued it is open to all kinds of problems. Rest helps the brain to function and reboot, but it also delivers nutrients to the cells, keeps the body on its normal routine or pattern, and allows for the highest level of personal health possible. We get tired when ills for a reason – the body is asking for a refractory period in which it can recover and rejuvenate, and that is best done when sleeping. So, be sure you listen to your body and get the amount of sleep it requires.
- Think pacing – While you may be traveling for business or leisure, you can set the pace of your travel. For example, if you are in a luxury villa and want to enjoy a day trip to an area that is a considerable distance from the property, why not make it an overnight rather than a day trip? You can pace the journey accordingly, see more or savor what you are doing, and not run the risk of fatiguing yourself. Do the same when organizing your travel plans. You can set a healthier pace on the day of your flights and keep better control over your mental state, level of anxiety or stress, and even the cleanliness of your surroundings if you give yourself the time to do so.
- Get physical – Ten minutes of gentle stretching each day can work wonders, and especially during travel. Do some stretching and breathing in the morning, sneak in a bit of time during the day, and just before bed. Nothing rigorous, just a sort of check-in with your joints to ensure that nothing is sore, stiff, or out of sorts. This ensures optimal sleep, better body positioning during the day, and heightens self-awareness to help you be alert to any changes in your health.
- Breathing – Very few of us practice conscious breathing and yet it can work wonders for mental and physical health. You simply sit in a quiet and comfortable position, inhale slowly and deeply through the nose, and hold it for a beat of one or two. Then, release fully. Do this five to ten times and you will quickly learn the benefits of meditative breathing. It will purge air from the lungs, clean the sinuses, and clear the head in a way that allows you to feel your best.
- Walk it out – If you are traveling and want to remain healthy, be sure you are walking at least 30 minutes out of each day. Yes, you want time in that hammock or a few hours in that spa, but also be sure you get in those steps to keep the blood flowing to the limbs and brain. Plus, a bit of walking is essential if you want to take in the local sights!
- Book private – A strange, but increasingly popular way to remain healthier while traveling is to book a private villa rather than a hotel or suite. This is because a villa has far less traffic, is far more sanitary and clean, is private and yet large and spacious. It will have a kitchen, private amenities, your own entrances, and will guarantee the utmost in cleanliness and controls to ensure your healthiest possible holiday or trip.
There are many other steps to take to guarantee health and fitness when traveling, but those above are your best bets when you want to feel your best at all times.