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Maintain Your Health on the Go: Tips for Travelers

by Mara Welty September 07, 2023 7 min read

 Maintain Your Health on the Go: Tips for Travelers

Embarking on new journeys and exploring the world is undeniably exhilarating, but amidst the excitement, it can be easy to throw personal health to the wayside. However, maintaining proper nutrition and supporting your mental health while traveling can help fend off jet lag and promote your overall well-being. 

Keep reading as we share a few tips on staying healthy while traveling.

#1 Prioritize Healthy Eating

You should not only prioritize eating healthy at work but also during your travels. Eating healthy foods that are high in essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals is critical to our health and development. Whether you’re at the airport or on the road, it’s important to fill your diet with:

  • Vegetables – Pack healthy, on-the-go healthy snacks, like carrot sticks, celery, broccoli and bell peppers. Most vegetables have high water content, low fat and limited calories. They’re also packed with vitamins and high in fiber, which can assist with travel constipation.
  • Fruits – Fresh fruit is sweet, refreshing and easy to travel with. Bring along a banana or add strawberries, grapes, berries, watermelon and/or oranges to a Tupperware container for a smorgasbord of potassium, vitamin C, folate and fiber. 
  • Protein – High-protein foods can jumpstart your metabolism, reduce hunger levels and help lower blood pressure (which can be beneficial for those who have an increased risk of spikes when flying on planes). Convenient high-protein foods to take with you include almonds, peanuts, Greek yogurt, pumpkin seeds and protein bars. You might also consider bringing along sandwich meat, such as turkey breast. 

Generally, it’s advised to steer clear from foods that are high in sodium, sugar and saturated fats. Unfortunately, these types of unhealthy foods often line the shelves of airport convenience stores and gas stations.

As such, it’s recommended to pack your own healthy snacks that you can eat in between every meal, rather than reaching for a can of Pringles or a roll of Oreos. If you’re staying in an area for a longer amount of time, consider going to the grocery store to pick up a few essentials, such as oatmeal, granola and apples, to start your day. This way, you can avoid the sweets that typically overflow within continental breakfasts. Learning how to eat mindfully will help make this step much easier.

#2 Manage Your Stress Levels

When traveling, it’s natural to become stressed or agitated. That said, stress can have significant impacts on your physical and mental health and may cause:

  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach upset
  • Sleep problems
  • Restlessness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Over- or under-eating
  • Drug and alcohol misuse
  • Social withdrawal

Part of knowing how to stay healthy while traveling involves bringing a zen-like mentality to your vacation. To that end, be sure to take time to:

  • Practice deep breathing – Before you leave your house, board your plane or begin your day, take a few moments to close your eyes and regain center. Breathe in deeply through your nose, hold the air in your lungs for a few seconds and then breathe out through your mouth. Repeat as needed until you feel your mind clear and your body relax.
  • Meditate – Meditation is all about returning to the present moment. During meditation, there’s no room to worry about boarding times, transportation or in-laws. Instead, you can practice mindfulness by finding a quiet place to sit. While you meditate, allow your mind to wander without casting judgment on any thoughts or feelings that arise. When in doubt, always return to your breath. If it’s difficult for you to self-facilitate a meditation session, you can also put on some headphones and listen to a guided meditation to recenter your thoughts and emotions. It can also be incorporated into your healthy morning routine.
  • Journal – It’s always a good idea to make your way to a sunlit beach chair or find a cozy nook by a fireplace to curl up with some pen and paper. Journaling can help you make sense of your thoughts, emotions and fears and provide an opportunity to practice positive self-talk to decrease mental distress.
  • Prioritize self-care – If you’re traveling with a large group of people, it can be difficult to make time for yourself. However, prioritizing self-care is one of the best healthy habits to develop and can actually help you build stronger relationships with those around you, while also supporting your mental, emotional and physical needs. If you need time alone, make your needs known and spend a few hours of the day exploring a cultural sight by yourself, such as a museum. If you still feel the physical strain from your travel day, make an appointment at the hotel spa or hire a local masseuse to relieve any tension you may be feeling. 
  • Get outside – Connecting with nature is a fantastic way to improve your mood and reduce any feelings of stress or anger. It would be a good idea to leave your phone in your hotel room and venture into the natural world, whether it’s swimming in the ocean or walking along a popular path. Research has found that getting outside can improve your memory, support cognitive flexibility and boost your attention span. If you don’t have the opportunity to go outside, the sounds of nature are beneficial, too. Before you go to bed, find a playlist of birdsong, crashing ocean waves or soothing rainfall. 
  • Talk to a travel companion – Reaching out to those around you about the difficult emotions you’re feeling can help you work out concerns, reduce stress levels and potentially reframe your perspective.
  • Limit alcohol – Research has found a link between stress and alcohol. While people often use alcohol to cope with stress, alcohol may actually perpetuate negative feelings or encourage anger-fueled behavior. As such, if you’re not feeling your best, it’s better to avoid any cocktails or beers until you’ve stabilized your emotions.

#3 Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential to our overall well-being, particularly during traveling when jet lag and time changes can disrupt our circadian rhythms and moods. Giving yourself enough time to sleep can help your mind recharge and your body fend off any sickness that you may have contracted along your journey.

A lack of sleep can significantly impact your ability to think critically, concentrate and process memories — which can make getting from point A to point B all the more difficult.

To ensure you get enough sleep while traveling, here are some travel tips you should consider:

  • Planning ahead – When booking tickets or making your cross-country travel plans, find departure times that won’t disrupt your natural sleep cycle. Essentially, avoid traveling too late at night or too early in the morning.
  • Packing sleep essentials – If you know you’ll have the opportunity to sleep during your journey, make sure to pack sleep-supporting essentials, such as sleep masks, travel pillows, earplugs and sleep medication if needed. 
  • Maintaining a healthy bedtime routine – While you may be glued to your TV on your overnight flight to France, it’s critical to practice healthy nighttime habits, such as avoiding screens before bedtime. Instead, while you’re winding down, read a book, listen to music or play a game of cards with your seatmate. Also, practice normal nighttime habits, such as changing into pajamas, brushing your teeth and washing your face before you sleep. Once you arrive at your destination, maintain the same practices and avoid disrupting your sleep schedule too much while on vacation.

#4 Stay Hydrated 

When traveling on an airplane at high altitudes, the body loses roughly eight ounces of water per hour. Dehydration can put you at a higher risk of:

  • Contracting illnesses
  • Having dry skin
  • Experiencing poor mental health
  • Experiencing poor cognition
  • Feeling groggy or fatigued

When prolonged, dehydration can even negatively impact kidney function. As such, it’s critical to stay hydrated when flying and avoid sugary drinks and sodas. Instead, bring along a reusable plastic water bottle that you can fill before your flight or, if you don’t have your own supply, be sure to ask your flight attendants for plenty of refills throughout your flight. 

You can also snack on chia seeds. Chia seeds have been found to be incredibly effective in water retention, meaning you’re unlikely to lose large amounts of water while flying. Your Tupperware of water-dense fruits and vegetables can also help you stay hydrated during your journey.

#5 Move When You Can 

When seated in a plane, car or train for hours at a time, your body can become tense and you may experience poor mental health. If you’re driving, make time for plenty of rest stops and if you’re flying, make time to walk the aisles and stretch to promote blood flow and relieve muscle tension. 

You can also practice in-seat exercises, such as ankle circles, knee lifts and shoulder rolls.

Once you’ve settled in at your destination, be sure to leave space in your schedule where you can make time for physical activity. And this doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. If you’re beachside, for instance, consider running along the beach or swimming laps in the ocean. If you’re in a mountainous area, fill your day with strolls along streams or hikes to nearby peaks. 

Overall, physical activity can help you improve your mental and cognitive health, manage your weight, strengthen your bones and muscles and reduce your risk of getting a travel bug. 

Travel Well With INVIGOR8

For a healthy and fulfilling journey, it’s critical to prioritize your health while traveling, even when you’re on the road or on a plane. To that end, make sure to get enough sleep, hydrate, stay physically active and ensure proper nutrition. 

Looking for effective weight loss support? Fortunately, on-the-go nutrition is easy and delicious with the INVIGOR8 Superfood Shake. Made with natural protein powder ingredients, such as super green veggies, unflavored collagen peptides, and probiotics, the INVIGOR8 Superfood Shake is designed to provide you with a convenient, nutrient-rich option while traveling. Plus, it comes in tantalizing flavors such as Triple Chocolate Brownie, Natural Strawberry and French Vanilla.

Fuel your wanderlust healthily with INVIGOR8.

Sources:

USDA. Vegetables

USDA. Fruits

Healthline. 16 Delicious High Protein Foods

CDC. Healthy Eating Tips

Mayo Clinic. Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior

The NY Times. How to Meditate

American Psychological Association. Nurtured by nature

Sleep Foundation. Why do we need sleep?

CNN. 10 tips for staying properly hydrated on your next flight, according to experts

CDC. Benefits of Physical Activity

About the Author

 Mara Welty
Mara Welty

Mara Welty is a copywriter who specializes in health, wellness and CBD topics. With a background in journalism, she aims to deliver engaging, research-based content that builds trust and engages readers through informative storytelling.

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