Your Guide to a Healthy Trip

Posted by: BeneFIT Corporate Wellness
Date: June 4, 2015

Whether you’re going on a family vacation or a business trip, it’s often easy to pick up unhealthy habits when on the road. These tips will help you stay on track no matter where your travels take you:

Before you walk out the door, pack smart. Being prepared ensures that you can enjoy the rest of your trip. The Centers for Disease Control outlines what you should have in your travel health kit.

Choose safer foods and drinks, especially if traveling abroad. Contaminated foods and water can spread a number of unpleasant and dangerous diseases, from traveler’s diarrhea to hepatitis A and cholera. The Centers for Disease Control offers these suggestions to minimize risks:

  • Avoid eating foods or drinking beverages purchased from street vendors or establishments where unhygienic conditions are present.
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat and seafood.
  • Avoid any unpasteurized milk, cheese, ice cream or other dairy products.
  • Avoid eating raw fruits and vegetables unless you wash and peel them yourself. This includes salads.

Resist the urge to overeat. It isn’t necessarily what you are eating that is bad for you, but rather how much of it you are consuming at one time. According to a recent survey by the American Institute for Cancer Research, 67% of Americans say they finish their entrees always or most of the time. Many restaurants serve too much food for one person, so pay attention to portion size. A good alternative is to split entrees with friends, family or colleagues.

Stay hydrated. Men should aim to drink at least twelve 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day; women should aim to drink at least nine 8-ounce glasses per day. These are averages and may not take into consideration individual needs. For example, those who plan to spend a lot of time outdoors in extreme temperatures (whether hot or cold) will experience fluctuations in body temperature. In order to combat dehydration, it’s important to replenish lost fluids more often. Water is ideal, but healthy drinks (excluding alcohol) count toward daily goals as well.

Wash your hands. Wet. Lather. Scrub for at least 20 seconds. Rinse. Dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel or air dryer.  If possible, use your towel to turn off the faucet to protect your clean hands. The number one way to minimize the spread of germs is by thoroughly washing your hands. It’s the simplest step toward limiting infection to you and to others. Using soap and water remains the most effective method of hand washing. When soap and water aren’t readily available during your travels, carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) as your back-up.

Embrace chances to be active. Whether you’re on a beach, in the mountains, or in a foreign country, find out what locals do to enhance their workouts. Also, skip the bus tours in favor of a brisk walk around the area you are visiting. And for the seasoned business traveler, seek out hotels that have access to gyms so you can exercise when it’s convenient for you.

Be wary of your alcohol consumption. The general tendency is to increase alcohol consumption while traveling. Just remember to enjoy yourself in moderation. If you drink alcoholic beverages, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. One drink equates to 12-ounces of beer, 8-ounces of malt liquor, 5-ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of a shot of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor.

Maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Maintain your regular sleep schedule while traveling. Avoid caffeine and unscheduled naps, as they can interfere with your sleep too.

Other articles that may be of benefit to you include Which SPF is Right for Your Skin and Taking Steps toward Better Health.

For more information on maintaining overall health and wellness, whether at home or while traveling, please contact us.

Disclaimer: The information presented is for your general knowledge and does not replace the advice of a physician. All medical inquiries regarding your health should be presented to a physician.