We all look forward to our holidays, when we leave the worries of our daily life behind and explore new places, learn about interesting cultures and meet new people. But the stress of jet-setting through time zones can also compromise your health – ruining even the most carefully planned trip. Here are some common ailments that globetrotters face while on the move and how you can get your body in check to make the most of your well-earned holidays.
Hectic travel schedules can weaken your immune system, making you particularly susceptible to colds and flus while you’re on the move. Help maintain your immunity at healthy levels with a diet that is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, and ensure you get sufficient sleep to keep your body functioning optimally.
Vitamin C can not only help reduce the severity and duration of the common cold, but it also boosts healthy adrenal functions and supports the body’s response to stress, something even the most seasoned travellers are prone to when visiting a foreign country.
Spending long hours on the road dealing with changing time zones can lead to jet lag. Not only does this make you feel tired throughout the day (and awake when you’re supposed to be asleep), but jet lag can also cause an upset stomach if your body clock has not yet adjusted to mealtimes in your new destination.
Combat this common travel inconvenience by making time for a short 20-minute exercise session in the morning to boost your energy levels. Prevent sleepiness from setting in during the afternoon by eating complex carbs such as wholegrains, which release energy gradually and prevent blood sugar spikes. And when evening finally comes – but your confused body clock is stubbornly telling you it’s only nine in the morning – you might want to consider something like Swisse Herbal Sleep Aid, a traditional herbal medicine to help encourage some restful slumber.
If you find you’re not able to eat well on the road, supplement your diet with Swisse Multivitamins that are formulated with a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and natural botanical extracts to help ensure you get your daily intake of essential nutrients. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Zinc & copper will also play a key role in helping to protect the cells in your body from oxidative stress.
If you plan to go mountain trekking or will be visiting a destination 2400m or more above sea level, you may get altitude sickness, which can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, difficulty in breathing and fatigue. Take precautions by drinking more than the recommended eight glasses of water per day to prevent dehydration. You can also snack on juicy fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, oranges and celery, to increase your water intake. Limit the amount of coffee and tea you drink as caffeine can cause further dehydration.
Spending long hours out and about while you’re enjoying your holiday could lead to burns from excessive sun exposure. Prevent burning by applying sufficient sunblock to your face, neck, arms and any other exposed parts of your body before you head out for the day. Experts recommend using at least SPF30 and applying about a teaspoon’s worth of sunscreen to your face and neck. Stash a lightweight umbrella or lightweight long sleeve in your bag for when it gets too sunny, and reapply sunscreen every few hours – especially if you perspire a lot, or after swimming.
It’s easy to pick up germs and other infections while you’re travelling, because your immune system is unaccustomed to foreign microorganisms. While you can’t control your surroundings, you can certainly keep yourself as germ-free as possible. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitiser in your bag so you can disinfect your hands before you eat, after you’ve used the toilet and whenever you touch a doorknob or other much-used public surface.
Realistically, though, there’s absolutely no way anyone can avoid germs and bacteria without moving into a hermetically-sealed and sterile bubblesuit. But to support your natural bodily defences while leading an active and rewarding life, a supplement like Swisse Ultiplus Immune + Elderberry is a good step towards helping your system maintains a healthy immune system. Now go and enjoy that well-earned vacation!