There are a myriad of articles online providing tips for staying healthy while traveling abroad; stay active, wash your hands, eat well, be cautious of the tap water. However staying healthy should start at home, before you depart for overseas. How can I stay healthy while traveling the world?
Travel can put real pressure on our immune system, even if it’s for fun; the stress, breaking the routine, “plastic” inflight food, jet lag, exposure to sick people, and environmental toxins. These all take their toll.
So while washing hands with soap and using hand sanitizer while you’re away are all great tips, these practices won’t stop you from getting sick if you have a weak immune system before you go. A strong immune system will keep you healthy despite everyone else coughing and sneezing around you, and will protect you from that bacteria circling through the airline A/C.
So it’s important to take care of your immune system whether traveling for business or pleasure. And, if you prefer to spend your time abroad doing what you love rather than being sick in bed, there are a few things you can do to prepare your immune system by staying healthy before you travel.
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How to Strengthen Your Immune System Before Travel
Your immune system is your body’s defence against infection and illness. It recognises the cells that make up your body, and will try to get rid of anything unfamiliar. It destroys germs (bacteria and viruses) and parasites. If your immune system is weak it allows germs and parasites to take hold and you get sick. How can I boost my immune system naturally?
A strong immune system can’t be built overnight. You should try to maintain a healthy digestive system and keep stress levels in check most of the time. Make strengthening your immune system a priority two weeks before holiday travel time. A few things to consider: How to make your immune system strong.
Maintain a Healthy Diet:
Eat high-protein, high fiber, low carb meals, which are easy to digest, with plenty of fresh veggies. Like any fighting force, the immune system army marches on its stomach. Immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment. How to not get sick overseas?
Eat fermented foods (sauerkraut, pickles, yoghurt) which contain probiotics. Take extra Vitamin C and B to naturally boost your immune system too.
Drink at least 8 glasses of 8 oz of water per day. Rehydrate with water, not soda, while traveling. What should I eat while I’m traveling overseas?
Be as active as possible to maintain proper blood circulation, and a healthy weight. Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases.
Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. By maintaining good blood flow and circulation, you are allowing the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.
It only takes 30 minutes of aerobic exercise—a brisk walk counts—to sweep white blood cells back into circulation, making your immune system run more smoothly. What kind of exercise can I do when traveling overseas?
Get Plenty of Good Quality Sleep:
At least 8 hours each night. Sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system and make it more vulnerable to developing an illness. Sleep produces more natural levels of melatonin, restoring the immune system.
The perfect example: college students who get sick after pulling all-nighters cramming for exams. How much should I sleep to stay healthy?
And don’t be around your friends when they do. Smoking is obviously terrible for the whole body, though secondhand smoke can be just as harmful.
Avoid secondhand smoke as much as you can—including spending time with people while they smoke. Encourage anyone in your everyday life (husband, coworkers, or neighbor friends) to quit. Is smoking bad for you?
Throw Out the Antibiotics:
Those who are addicted to antibiotics at the first sign of a runny nose can often make themselves resistant to these drugs over time, causing more serious infections. Will antibiotics help my immune system?
“Researchers found that certain patients taking antibiotics had reduced levels of cytokines, the hormone messengers of the immune system. When your immune system is suppressed, you’re more likely to develop resistant bacteria or become sick in the future.” How to boost your immune system?
Take antibiotics only for bacterial infections, use them right away, and take the entire course. Don’t use antibiotics preventively unless prescribed by your doctor, and don’t save or share unfinished courses.
Minimize Your Stress:
The relationship between your mind and body are closely linked, and a wide variety of illnesses, including stomach upset, hives, and even heart disease, are linked to the effects of emotional stress. Best healthy travel.
If you can maintain a positive attitude, and a good outlook on life this may be good for your health. How to avoid getting sick overseas.
“One study of law students showed that their immune systems kept pace with their thoughts about how tough school would be. When they felt better about school, they had a better immune system. When they were worried, their immune system slowed. The upshot: Looking on the bright side might better equip your body to fight illnesses.” Will I get sick overseas?
Maintain Good Oral Health:
Many people overlook oral health when it comes to preventing a cold, but it can play a big role in your overall health. teeth and your immune system.
Brushing, flossing and using antiseptic mouthwash before your trip will keep bacteria away. How to brush your teeth overseas.
Pro Tip: Remember when traveling that if the tap water in your destination is not good to drink, you shouldn’t brush your teeth with it either. Source bottled water or use a filtration device first.
Carry Your Own Pen:
When you get up in the morning, don’t leave the house without a pen in your pocked or purse. Taking one where-ever you go will help prevent picking up cold and fly germs which are easily passed through hand-to-hand contact.
Anyway you can avoid touching public objects like the communal pen at the bank, the doctors, or the delivery guy, will cut down your risk of picking up a virus. Should I travel overseas if I am sick? Weak immune system.
There are many products out there which claim to boost or support immunity, however it is largely your lifestyle which will lead to an improved immune response when it comes to tackling disease.
Taking a daily multivitamin is great to stay healthy if you eat poorly. But taking stupid doses of a single vitamin or supplement has not been proven to help the immune system, and is not necessarily a good thing. For example, athletes who pump blood into their systems to boost their number of blood cells and enhance their performance run the risk of strokes.
The problem is that there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. Which cells should you boost, and to what number? So far, scientists don’t know. You should primarily aim to boost your immune system naturally.
These tips were brought to you by IndividualHealth.com. We might do everything we can to stay healthy before we travel, however when it comes down to it, covering ourselves with a comprehensive international health insurance plan is the only way to guarantee avoiding out of pocket medical expenses if you get sick overseas.
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