Saturday, May 21, 2011

How to stay healthy while traveling

First light on the wing. En route Wellington t...Image via Wikipedia
Everyone is really concerned about contracting any of the disgusting little travel bugs that are around and just waiting to attack the unknowing host.  This particularly becomes problematic through air travel,  locally or internationally. After all, there are large numbers of people in close quarters breathing the dry, stale air. Remember, just a few winters ago the swine flu and ARD?  Here are some pointers that just might save you a trip to the doctor's office or, help protect you form antibiotic overuse.

Water for hydration

Canadian reserachers found that air travelers are 100 times more likely to get a cold than those who travel through other means.  Take along bottled water to stay hydrated.  The dry air on a plane can also dry out nasal passages creating cracks that can make one susceptible to bacteria infiltration.Water helps those delicate membranes stay intact.  The mucus lining can better do its job of protection when it is well hydrated.

Vitamins

Make sure that you get sufficient vitamin A and C.  Vitamin A is known to protect mucus membranes. Vitamin C is a great infection fighter and antioxidant.  This can be done by boosting the foods with a high vitamin content such as fish, citrus fruits and plenty of water.  Supplement with vitamins as well.

Exercise

Exercise is very important for stimulating immunity so make sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.  It also forces oxygen into all the cells of the body and strengthen the lungs.

Wash your hands

Health care workers are taught that the single most important means to halt the transmission of disease is through meticulous hand washing - about 30 seconds.  Be mindful that if you are near a person who has a cold  droplets can travel several feet.  That is why it is important to cover the mouth when coughing.  Also, flu viruses can survive on surfaces for up to two hours. So, be mindful of situations where handwashing may be warranted.

References:

Oz, Mehmet, MD "How I stay Well all season long" Oprah Magazine
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