All YLB followers know that I have just recently gotten married. After taking a look around on Trip Advisor, my wife and I decided on the amazing Carribbean island of Saint Lucia for our honeymoon destination. It couldn’t have been a more amazing trip. Traveling however, always presents its fair share of difficulties if you’re trying to maintain your health. Changing time zones, coming across a plethora of bacteria and even sick people themselves, not being able to exercise, or lack of access to healthy dinning options can all compromise our health situations and/or place stress on our body compromising our immune systems. One way I help come up with ways to combat all of this is to come up with my own travel checklist. So what exactly is in my travel checklist?
Stay Healthy While Traveling
My own medicine pack: I don’t want to sound like Jane Seymour from Dr. Quinn Medicine woman, but here are some things that are must haves in my travel pack.
1. Zinc lozenges:
In YLB’s first ever blog post we featured an article on the benefits of zinc. At the first sign of a scratchy throat, zinc lozenges taken within the first 24-48 hours help to minimize the symptoms and shorten the longevity of illness. Read here, to find out more about zinc.
There’s a lot of natural food proponents out there that don’t support taking a multivitamin but chances are pretty good that even those people aren’t getting all the nutrients they need. A multivitamin helps increase the exposure to minerals or vitamins that aren’t in my diet. Also, while my diet is pretty good at home, on the road my diet changes and the whole, nutritious foods that I’m used to at home likely won’t be there. A multivitamin is a way of helping my body maintain at least SOME nutrients while I go through diet changes on the road.
Why else do I think a multivitamin is an essential travel tool? Electrolyte maintenance. Most of the places I have personally traveled to have been very warm and tropical in nature. The body regulates itself by releasing sweat to stay cool (kind of gross but just stick with me here). It’s no secret that electrolytes are lost in sweat but in addition to that, for those consuming alcohol on their trip, a multivitamin will help out by replacing some of those electrolytes such as sodium and potassium
What’s the number one way to curb the spread of infection? Hand washing! Airports, public restrooms, and hotels, etc. – places like that are cesspools for bacteria. Airports and hotels are also hubs for thousands of people. Who knows what kind of sicknesses you’re going to be around? Hand washing might not always be a feasible option, especially when trapped in an airplane for hours on end. The next best thing? Antibacterial hand sanitizer – and keeping your hands away from your nose, mouth, and eyes.
Or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory or ibuprofen. Yes, the food purists out there in the holistic camp won’t like this, HOWEVER, you never know and you can never predict if you will come across a situation that you need some pain relief. If you’re traveling to another country or a very rural area, you’ll already have it on hand if you need it. Depending where you’re at, you might also be saving some money by already having it.
5. An Antioxidant
The stress of traveling and even the stress placed on our bodies from sun exposure can eat up whatever anti-oxidant supplies our bodies already have. In order to keep free radical exposure to a minimum (free radicals help promote cell destruction and cancer), a good antioxidant is also a keeper in my travel pack. Anti-oxidants help bind to free radicals making them less harmful inside your body. There are a plethora of anti-oxidants out there available in food and I do prefer to include a variety of foods that contain a whole variety of anti-oxidants. However, the common theme here is that you never know what foods you might have available to you on the road and it’s important to give your body an extra boost with all the stress. A good anti-oxidant can help supplement what you’ll be missing while you’re gone.
6. Sunburn Relief
Okay, so it should also go without saying that if I’m going to a region where I plan on getting a lot of sun, sunblock with an SPF of 50+ is also a necessity of mine, but an aloe containing sunburn relief is a mandatory item just in case I get a little bit too much sun. It’s soothing, relieving, and helps reduce the risk of sun cancer after heavy sun exposure.
This probably seems downright weird to some people but I’m very into my diet when I travel. I loathe the idea of losing muscle mass and being on the road for me means that I won’t have access to the same foods that I have in my kitchen. One way I keep on track is by bringing my own whey protein powder. It’s easy to pack and I bring enough protein to fulfill my daily protein requirements. The payoff? When I come back from vacations, any muscle loss is minimal.
When I’m at home in San Diego I enjoy a plethora of physical activities. I enjoy getting my heart rate up from the ole’ gym (weight training and circuits), an occasional run (I’m not the biggest fan of running because it’s really hard on the joints in the leg and hip but I do love The Spartan Race series), and surfing (I can’t get enough of that). Traveling obviously means I won’t be able to enjoy those activities. I also know that it’s important to let your body rest and heal every now and again but like I said, I hate falling off the bandwagon. What will I never leave home without? Running shoes and a set of workout gear. Although I won’t be in my element, as far as exercise is concerned, if I come across a park, beach, or hotel gym having some workout equipment on hand ensures I’ll be able to get in some fitness if I have the downtime on a travel schedule.
No gym, park, beach, or workout gear? No problem. A hotel room gives you the perfect arena to perform your own body weight circuit to get your heart rate up. Anyone ready to get their Nike on?
How did the rest of the honeymoon go once we took to the air? Check back for one of our next posts. In the meantime, what are some of your travel necessities for your health that you include in YOUR travel checklist?
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