With the holidays quickly approaching, odds are that you will be doing some traveling whether it be across town or across the world. Holiday travel can be stressful and cause disruptions to your daily habits leading to a lowered immune system response, which can make you more prone to becoming sick. Using some simple planning tools can help you stay fit and healthy this holiday season:
- Plan meals in advance and pack healthy snacks for the journey – Lack of planning can cause us to grab the quickest (and usually not the healthiest) food choices. Try packing nutritious snacks in individual portion sizes.
- Make sleep a priority – Prepare for your trip the day before you set off and make sure to get at least 6 hours of sleep before a trip. Research shows that skipping even a few hours of sleep can make you more likely to catch a cold.
- Stay active – Exercise boosts energy and improves stress levels while traveling. Take a walk around the airport while waiting for your flight or stop every two hours on a road trip to get the blood flowing.
- Avoid alcohol, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages – These drinks can be very dehydrating and cause fatigue or headaches. Instead, fill up on water to stay alert and energized.
- Prepare for the unexpected – Flight delays, traffic jams, and other unexpected hiccups can cause stress levels to rise. Plan ahead to leave yourself extra time and try to find a relaxing way to pass the time while waiting it out.
- Avoid the holiday splurge – When traveling, we tend to eat in spurts and skip other meals. Try to stick to a standard meal schedule with appropriate meal sizes and skip the splurge-and-starve cycle, which drives down energy levels and can cause weight gain.