Staying healthy while traveling is every traveler’s key to live your journeys to the fullest. It may seem stressful to keep on top of your health while you have frequent demanding travels for work. And during vacations, you know you’d want to enjoy yourself without feeling as if you’ve limited yourself because you needed to keep a healthy lifestyle.
Everything boils down to the basics. These health basics apply not just in travel, but in your everyday lives as well. These basics sound boring, and a few years back I would have rolled my eyes and said “Duh!” When someone told me to get enough sleep to keep myself energized throughout my travel. It’s because they are extremely mundane and plain. You’d sound like your mom or your grandma if you start preaching these. But even though they sound extremely ordinary, that does not mean they are easy to practice. So, what are these so-called basics?
Staying healthy while traveling: get enough sleep every day!
And this does not start during your travel or once you start your travel! The effort of getting enough sleep and having a good sleeping schedule starts before your trip. It may not be something viable for many people, but really, there is no substitute for sleep. A sufficient, good quality sleep.
Sleep is especially important to keep staying healthy while traveling. Your body is going to be exerting more compared to your day to day life. There is the taxing process of adaptation, and not to mention, the physical activities of simply traveling. Moving from one place to another, even when it’s just walking. Really can’t stress enough the importance of sleep.
To assist you with keeping up with the much-needed sleep, there are two major guidelines to follow:
1. Keep a regular sleeping pattern
Having a regular sleeping pattern would make it easier for your body to regulate your wake-sleep rhythm. This has a lot to do with the levels of energy your body is able to maintain throughout the day. And this translates to how energized you would feel in the entirety of your day. This is one of the elements of keeping good sleeping hygiene. You won’t want to get exhausted first and wake up late and missing some of your itineraries just because you sleep in.
2. Sleep before you’re too tired
This relates strongly to keeping a regular sleeping pattern. Being able to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern ensures that you didn’t get too tired before you sleep. Sleeping earlier is the ingredient to keep you from taxing your body from your travel activities and ended up waking late the next day.
If you have gotten “a second wind” then it’s a sign that your body’s producing cortisol, as a response of fight or flight response. It’s the clear indication that you are way past your supposed time to sleep. This lasts two to three hours, during which you may feel so much more awake. But wait until the side effects and the cumulative effects of waking up for too long settling in. Fatigue (sometimes accompanied by pain or a headache) hours even after you’ve been awake would rear its head. This is not something you would want to experience during your travel.
3. Sleeping aids do’s and don’ts
If you experience jet lag, then sleeping aid is a viable option. As an alternative to the conventional sleeping pills, you can take melatonin during or before your flight. Take note that melatonin is not supposed to be taken every day. It should simply aid you at certain times when you needed to reset your sleep. Travels are one of the common occasions to take your melatonin.
Staying healthy while traveling: walk, move, exercise!
Whether it’s after you’re washing your face or after you’ve had your coffee. Staying at a hotel or guesthouse that requires you to walk at least 1 kilometer to the public transportation of your choice during your travel is also a brilliant idea to exercise and keeping it a regular activity.
Don’t succumb to junk food
The first way to prevent this is by bringing your own snacks. The second is by not starving yourself or putting off eating until after you’re really hungry. In that case, anything would look good to you as long as you eat something. Enter the McDonald conveniently sitting just across the road, even though there is a supermarket or convenience store you can visit nearby.
Your habit for eating healthy during travel can start from bringing your own snacks! Here are some of my favorites:
Assorted types of fruits. My favorites are apples, especially if I needed something to last without refrigeration. Another favorite of mine is banana. They’re quicker to spoil but a perfect source of energy that’s both filling and delicious.
Hard-boiled eggs. Perfect if you want something nutritious and filling. Just two or three of these babies can last you a whole day of snacking before dinner time. During travels, bring them with their shells. It’s their best protection against the outside world. It would keep them from spoiling. More ideas for healthy travel food.
Go to the local supermarket
Going to the supermarket or a traditional/farmer’s market in the place you’re traveling to is a surprisingly effective method to support eating healthy. Grocery shopping at a foreign place can be a very unique experience in your travel. On top of it, you can save a lot of your travel meal expenses by doing your own grocery shopping! Aside from healthy, it’s a brilliant budgeting hack.
Allow yourself sweets and desserts
Eat what you want. Do it in moderations. In other words, don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’ve been thinking of a certain food you’ve been thinking a lot, then allow yourself to have it! Controlling your food intake is so much harder compared to when you’re not traveling. There’s no use in kicking and berating yourself over it.
Alternatively, you can eat small portions of it every day. And yes, this includes junk food, especially if you’re used to eating it often. The key is getting bits and pieces. It won’t do to deprive yourself of something and blow your healthy travel habit once the withdrawal symptom kicks in.
Progress a little bit at a time
This is extremely important especially if you’re just getting started. Remind yourself that it should not be stressing to keep staying healthy while traveling. Don’t pressure and push yourself into tackling unrealistic goals.
If you keep a journal while traveling, then note your healthy accomplishments along the way. No matter how small or trivial they seemed. Staying healthy while traveling should be a motivating, pleasant process. Not a stressful one.