10 Tips for a Healthier Vacation

Boost your health and avoid immunity-busting pitfalls with these pro strategies.

10 Tips for a Healthier Vacation
10 Tips for a Healthier Vacation
Germany, Cologne, Mid adult man looking through widow
packet of face wipes
Almonds in a bowl
Cropped Hand Reaching For Drinking Glass By Airplane Window
Black man listening to earbuds on airplane
Woman stretching on airplane
Middle aged man in jet-plane cabin with influenza wearing surgical face-mask,
Suitcase with first-aid kit
Older woman sleeping in a bed.
A young athletic man exercises at home.
Woman opens window over sea, in bath robe
|

Stay happy and healthy in transit with these expert-endorsed tricks.
Let's get this out of the way: While navigating congested airline terminals, sitting in cramped plane cabins and eating unhealthy in-flight snacks, it's easy to get sick in transit. But happily, there are time-tested techniques for beating fatigue, aches and other travel ailments. That's why U.S. News got the inside scoop from fitness gurus, wellness buffs, medical experts and avid travelers on their top tricks for maintaining their health and well-being on the fly. Keep reading for expert-approved hacks for a healthier getaway.
(Getty Images)

Arrive prepared.
"It's important to keep your immune system strong at all times, but especially before a long flight to a foreign destination," says Anne Dimon, industry journalist and CEO of wellness travel site TravelToWellness.com. She advises getting plenty of rest ahead of your trip and packing strategically to avoid germ-invested services. "I bring antibacterial wipes with me and use two every time on a plane. One for the overhead and the tray table – don't forget the back of the seat in front of you – and one for the chair and armrests," says Heather Peterson, CorePower Yoga's chief yoga officer, who travels up to 40 weeks per year.
(Getty Images)

Carry vitamins and nutritious snacks and beverages.
Carrie Dorr, founder of Pure Barre, likes to load up on vitamin C with oranges or a drink supplement like Emergen-C, before traveling. Peterson also stows away nutrition bars as emergency in-flight food. She also brings "bitter greens, whole grains like brown rice or quinoa, and good fats like coconut or olive oil that reduce inflammation. I always carry dark chocolate in small quantities as a treat," she explains. Peterson also cites vitamin D3, unsalted nuts and fresh apples as top travel items. "They all pack well and will get you through with great energy," she says.
(Getty Images)

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
The key to preventing in-flight and post-flight achiness and fatigue is dodging dehydration. "Coconut water is at most airports now, so I grab that plus water, then I get hot water with lemon on the plane," Peterson says, noting that sipping hot water is an ancient Ayurvedic practice (a 3,500-year-old traditional Hindu healing remedy) to hydrate the body. Dimon also recommends staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout all stages of your trip. If your final destination, hotel or restaurant can't ensure safe drinking water, pick up bottled water, she adds.
(Getty Images)

Practice meditation.
To get yourself in vacation mode, Peterson suggests unplugging with meditation before takeoff. "I meditate with Deepak Chopra or listen to great books on the plane," she says. "I work, too, but I always use the first and last part of the flight for meditation, then I am grounded during the travel process and arrive refreshed to my destination," she adds. Some free, travel-friendly meditation apps worth downloading include Simple Habit and Calm.
(Getty Images)

Take mid-flight stretch breaks.
While flying, "get up and stretch when possible," Dorr says. "If you can't stand, even seated stretches are beneficial," she says. Peterson also recommends moving whenever possible. She circles her ankles and does a seated twist every 20 minutes and walks around the cabin every hour. If you're gearing up for long-haul international trip, try to snag an aisle seat. That way, you can enjoy the flexibility of standing up and walking around more regularly (without irking other travelers) to reduce the risks of blood clots after sitting for extended periods.
(Getty Images)

Mitigate contact with germs from fellow passengers.
"A face mask is the most helpful if worn by the person who has the respiratory illness, so that they don't shed disease germs into the environment around them," explains Dr. Phyllis Kozarsky, travelers' health consultant to the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a professor at Emory University's School of Medicine. If you're seated next to an ill passenger, ask the flight crew if you can switch seats. Also use hand wipes or gels liberally before eating, Kozarsky adds. "It is unrealistic to think that those cleaning the cabins in between flights can decontaminate the cabin," she cautions.
(Getty Images)

Pack other essential items.
Kozarsky suggests packing a basic travel health kit stocked with first-aid items and supplies that you would "have at home in the event of a minor ailment." She also stresses the importance of carrying your own prescription drugs and ensuring you bring them on the airplane rather than checking them to ensure you don't lose them. Other must-have essentials: workout clothes and sneakers, a moisturizer for your hands and feet, lavender essential oil and ear plugs, Dorr says. Dimon also recommends bringing sunscreen and a "sun-safe, broad-rimmed hat," particularly if you're planning to be in the sun for an extended period.
(Getty Images)

Fight fatigue and jet lag.
If you'll be switching time zones, make sure to reduce undesirable effects of jet lag, including irritability, disorientation, fatigue and hunger, by prepping your body. Dimon suggests "easing your system into that time zone several days before your flight." For instance, "if you are heading to Europe, try to get to bed a little earlier each night leading up to your departure," she says. In addition to getting a quality night's sleep, Dimon recommends eating meals at the mealtimes of your final destination several days before your trip. Aside from modifying your inner clock, drink plenty of water and, if possible, get exposure to sunlight after you arrive to reduce the toll on your body.
(Getty Images)

Keep up your fitness regimen in your hotel room.
Stay calm with a workout, such as a yoga session, after you arrive. If you can't access a yoga studio, you can keep up your usual routine in your hotel room, Peterson explains. She suggests laying down a towel or yoga mat and striking a travel-friendly pose, such as downward-facing dog, a supine twist, a supine figure four (or pigeon-hold) and holding your legs against the wall. Dorr also suggests incorporating a towel or utilizing your own body weight to optimize an in-room workout. "If you can squeeze a resistance tube in your suitcase, it can double as a tool for strength training as well as stretching," she explains.
(Getty Images)

Establish a healthy living space.
To rest easy, seek out wellness-focused accommodations and make sure to boost air circulation by opening your hotel room windows, Peterson says. She also recommends using an antibacterial spray to sanitize all living quarters, including bathroom areas. Kozarsky recommends washing your hands often. "Some studies have shown that items such as telephones and TV remotes harbor large amounts of bacteria," she cautions, adding that wiping down items with alcohol hand wipes can help reduce contact with germs. Another concern: germ-infested bedspreads. Consider whether your hotel has duvets, which are encased with covers that can be washed easily, rather than bedspreads, which are laundered less often than bedsheets and covers.
(Getty Images)

Germany, Cologne, Mid adult man looking through widow
packet of face wipes
Almonds in a bowl
Cropped Hand Reaching For Drinking Glass By Airplane Window
Black man listening to earbuds on airplane
Woman stretching on airplane
Middle aged man in jet-plane cabin with influenza wearing surgical face-mask,
Suitcase with first-aid kit
Older woman sleeping in a bed.
A young athletic man exercises at home.
Woman opens window over sea, in bath robe

Stay happy and healthy in transit with these expert-endorsed tricks.
Let's get this out of the way: While navigating congested airline terminals, sitting in cramped plane cabins and eating unhealthy in-flight snacks, it's easy to get sick in transit. But happily, there are time-tested techniques for beating fatigue, aches and other travel ailments. That's why U.S. News got the inside scoop from fitness gurus, wellness buffs, medical experts and avid travelers on their top tricks for maintaining their health and well-being on the fly. Keep reading for expert-approved hacks for a healthier getaway.
(Getty Images)

Arrive prepared.
"It's important to keep your immune system strong at all times, but especially before a long flight to a foreign destination," says Anne Dimon, industry journalist and CEO of wellness travel site TravelToWellness.com. She advises getting plenty of rest ahead of your trip and packing strategically to avoid germ-invested services. "I bring antibacterial wipes with me and use two every time on a plane. One for the overhead and the tray table – don't forget the back of the seat in front of you – and one for the chair and armrests," says Heather Peterson, CorePower Yoga's chief yoga officer, who travels up to 40 weeks per year.
(Getty Images)

Carry vitamins and nutritious snacks and beverages.
Carrie Dorr, founder of Pure Barre, likes to load up on vitamin C with oranges or a drink supplement like Emergen-C, before traveling. Peterson also stows away nutrition bars as emergency in-flight food. She also brings "bitter greens, whole grains like brown rice or quinoa, and good fats like coconut or olive oil that reduce inflammation. I always carry dark chocolate in small quantities as a treat," she explains. Peterson also cites vitamin D3, unsalted nuts and fresh apples as top travel items. "They all pack well and will get you through with great energy," she says.
(Getty Images)

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
The key to preventing in-flight and post-flight achiness and fatigue is dodging dehydration. "Coconut water is at most airports now, so I grab that plus water, then I get hot water with lemon on the plane," Peterson says, noting that sipping hot water is an ancient Ayurvedic practice (a 3,500-year-old traditional Hindu healing remedy) to hydrate the body. Dimon also recommends staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout all stages of your trip. If your final destination, hotel or restaurant can't ensure safe drinking water, pick up bottled water, she adds.
(Getty Images)

Practice meditation.
To get yourself in vacation mode, Peterson suggests unplugging with meditation before takeoff. "I meditate with Deepak Chopra or listen to great books on the plane," she says. "I work, too, but I always use the first and last part of the flight for meditation, then I am grounded during the travel process and arrive refreshed to my destination," she adds. Some free, travel-friendly meditation apps worth downloading include Simple Habit and Calm.
(Getty Images)

Take mid-flight stretch breaks.
While flying, "get up and stretch when possible," Dorr says. "If you can't stand, even seated stretches are beneficial," she says. Peterson also recommends moving whenever possible. She circles her ankles and does a seated twist every 20 minutes and walks around the cabin every hour. If you're gearing up for long-haul international trip, try to snag an aisle seat. That way, you can enjoy the flexibility of standing up and walking around more regularly (without irking other travelers) to reduce the risks of blood clots after sitting for extended periods.
(Getty Images)

Mitigate contact with germs from fellow passengers.
"A face mask is the most helpful if worn by the person who has the respiratory illness, so that they don't shed disease germs into the environment around them," explains Dr. Phyllis Kozarsky, travelers' health consultant to the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a professor at Emory University's School of Medicine. If you're seated next to an ill passenger, ask the flight crew if you can switch seats. Also use hand wipes or gels liberally before eating, Kozarsky adds. "It is unrealistic to think that those cleaning the cabins in between flights can decontaminate the cabin," she cautions.
(Getty Images)

Pack other essential items.
Kozarsky suggests packing a basic travel health kit stocked with first-aid items and supplies that you would "have at home in the event of a minor ailment." She also stresses the importance of carrying your own prescription drugs and ensuring you bring them on the airplane rather than checking them to ensure you don't lose them. Other must-have essentials: workout clothes and sneakers, a moisturizer for your hands and feet, lavender essential oil and ear plugs, Dorr says. Dimon also recommends bringing sunscreen and a "sun-safe, broad-rimmed hat," particularly if you're planning to be in the sun for an extended period.
(Getty Images)

Fight fatigue and jet lag.
If you'll be switching time zones, make sure to reduce undesirable effects of jet lag, including irritability, disorientation, fatigue and hunger, by prepping your body. Dimon suggests "easing your system into that time zone several days before your flight." For instance, "if you are heading to Europe, try to get to bed a little earlier each night leading up to your departure," she says. In addition to getting a quality night's sleep, Dimon recommends eating meals at the mealtimes of your final destination several days before your trip. Aside from modifying your inner clock, drink plenty of water and, if possible, get exposure to sunlight after you arrive to reduce the toll on your body.
(Getty Images)

Keep up your fitness regimen in your hotel room.
Stay calm with a workout, such as a yoga session, after you arrive. If you can't access a yoga studio, you can keep up your usual routine in your hotel room, Peterson explains. She suggests laying down a towel or yoga mat and striking a travel-friendly pose, such as downward-facing dog, a supine twist, a supine figure four (or pigeon-hold) and holding your legs against the wall. Dorr also suggests incorporating a towel or utilizing your own body weight to optimize an in-room workout. "If you can squeeze a resistance tube in your suitcase, it can double as a tool for strength training as well as stretching," she explains.
(Getty Images)

Establish a healthy living space.
To rest easy, seek out wellness-focused accommodations and make sure to boost air circulation by opening your hotel room windows, Peterson says. She also recommends using an antibacterial spray to sanitize all living quarters, including bathroom areas. Kozarsky recommends washing your hands often. "Some studies have shown that items such as telephones and TV remotes harbor large amounts of bacteria," she cautions, adding that wiping down items with alcohol hand wipes can help reduce contact with germs. Another concern: germ-infested bedspreads. Consider whether your hotel has duvets, which are encased with covers that can be washed easily, rather than bedspreads, which are laundered less often than bedsheets and covers.
(Getty Images)

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By Liz Weiss | Staff Writer May 4, 2017, at 4:13 p.m.


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