We spend all year planning and looking forward to our vacations. Don’t let your dream trip be ruined by a cold, stomach bug or health emergency. Here are 10 great stay-healthy tips from In Health Clinic:
1. Start out healthy! Schedule a doctor visit a month or two before you go, especially if you’ll be traveling outside the country.
2. Give your immune system a boost. Take your supplements, eat well and get enough sleep. If you work day and night preparing for your time off, it’s likely that you’ll start your cherished vacation time with a vulnerable immune system.
3. Stress can also create havoc with your immune system. Getting packed, arranging pet and house care, rushing to the airport and long term parking can get you in a dither! Have a plan and take your time. When you get to your destination, remember to book some time to just relax and unwind.
4. Dehydration is a serious health concern. Make sure to have water with you wherever you go and encourage the family to drink it, even if they’re not thirsty. When kids are busy and having fun they’ll often forget. And remember, you CAN get dehydrated while swimming so take water breaks.
5. An upset stomach can ruin your vacation. While overindulging in food and drink is tempting because you’re “on vacation”, you’ll feel much better if you stick your normal diet. Of course, you can’t miss the local specialties—in moderation of course!
6. Motion sickness is no fun and can be brought on by bumpy, curvy roads or even just being confined to the back seat where it’s hard to see out the front window. There are non-drowsy forms of medications available or try the bands that you wear on your wrist which are also very effective.
7. Be aware of altitude sickness. Avoid strenuous activity such as skiing, biking or hiking, in the first 24 hours at high altitude and then ascending slowly. As alcohol tends to cause dehydration, which exacerbates altitude sickness, avoid that glass of wine or cocktail until you have acclimated.
8. Sunburn can ruin a vacation! Arm yourself with a high SPF waterproof sunscreen. Lather it on liberally before hitting the pool or beach on sunny AND cloudy days! And don’t forget those extra-sensitive parts like the ears, top of the feet and scalp! Re-apply frequently.
9. Wash your hands frequently and always carry hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes. So often people believe they have food poisoning when it is actually a bacteria they picked up on their hands that caused the illness.
10. Make sure to bring an adequate supply of your prescription medications and don’t ever check them in your checked bag. Bring copies of the prescriptions in case you lose them. Without a normal routine, it’s easy to miss a medication dose. If you load the prescriptions into pillboxes labeled with the days of the week you’ll never wonder…did I or didn’t I, take my meds?