Staying healthy when you travel
I love travelling. Before I have even returned home from a holiday I am already thinking about then next place to explore.
While travelling is incredible for the mind and soul, I know all too well that it can also take its toll on your body leaving you mid way through a trip confined to the toilet of a hotel room (yes I am talking about you India!) or completely run down, jet lagged, sleep deprived, nutritionally defficient and exhausted upon touch down to your homeland.
So, after many years of travelling under my belt and with thoughts of my next adventure to the Philippines on my mind, I wanted to share some of my personal tips on how I stay well when I travel:
Take your own food and a large empty water bottle on the plane
Yes, you can take your own food on international and domestic flights. The food served on planes in down right horrendous! It is full of salt, preservatives and makes you feel bloated and dehydrated. I usually make up a healthy wrap or salad, some fruit, nuts and other healthy snacks to munch away on while on the plane. Eating fresh and lighter foods means that when I touch down I feel ready to start exploring!
To combat the dehydrating effects of salty plane food, low cabin air humidity and drinking coffee and alcohol on board, remember to increase your H2O intake! Flying dehydrates you and the little bottles of water you get offered every few hours is not enough to keep your body hydrated. I usually take a large empty water bottle on the plane and ask the flight attendant to fill it up for me at the start of the flight. Sure going to the toilet more isn't ideal but believe me, it beats getting to your holiday destination feeling sluggish and with a killer headache!
Just remember that if you bring any liquids make sure that they are kept to 100ml.
Plan ahead and do your research
When I travel we love checking out the top restaurants and bars that a place is famous for. But dining out on rich food doesn't always agree with me. So, I always do my research before going on holiday and try and find one or two places near where I am staying that offer healthy foods. I usually do this by checking blogs written by local wellness warriors or finding out what the HappyCow website or app recommends! HappyCow is a free online restaurant guide, sorted by country and region, providing vegetarian and vegan restaurant dining and health food store locations.
Pack the probiotics and Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
If you are anything like me, when you travel you will notice that your bowel movements are either non existent or have you running for the toilet. Ever since I started taking probiotics and ACV on holiday with me I have noticed a dramatic improvement in gut related issues. Probiotics are useful in maintaining or restoring the body's bowls function and ACV is said to have antiseptic qualities, cleanses your digestive system and promotes bowl movements. It also encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the body. ACV has so many uses and if you aren't taking it or haven't heard of it I encourage you to introduce it into your every day, not just when travelling!
Hit the day spa and tee up a massage
This is probably my favourite and most recommended tip for overcoming jet lag and long haul flights! As soon as I land and check in I am off to the nearest day spa for a massage. It is a holistic way to get your body back into balance by stimulating your body's lymphatic system to help remove toxins, getting rid of shoulder and neck tension as well as decreasing the swelling in your legs.
Spend sometime in nature
Spending too much time in airports, on planes and in buildings really takes it toll on me. I usually feel pretty stressed out and irritable when I am travelling from place to place. One of my favourite ways to decrease my stress levels and improve my overall wellbeing is to spend some time in nature and get a few minutes of exercise as well. Whether it is in a city park, by a beach, lake or small garden you can always find some green space to decompress in. Interestingly, research has found that common soil bacterium which is inhaled when you are outdoors seems to boost serotonin levels making us feel happier!