By Bentz Tozer, Jr., B.S., CPT
Travel can be very challenging. Making arrangements, packing, sticking to the schedule, the crowds, jet lag – it can all add up to create a stressful experience.
However, there are some things you can do to minimize the stress of traveling. Sticking to good habits can keep you feeling well. This can help keep your stress levels down and make traveling run smoothly.
Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water will help your digestive system stay on track and will help you stay energized. It can also help you avoid muscle cramps during long-seated periods, such as on an airplane or bus trip. Bottled water is a plus when traveling to a foreign country. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, there’s a 20- to 50-percent chance of developing intestinal problems from drinking the local water. Having bottled water on hand will prevent this issue.
Pack your food: You’re most likely packing a suitcase anyway, right? Taking a little extra time to pack healthful foods for your trip will keep your diet on track and can help you avoid the temptation of fast food or vending machines. Pack a small bag with fruits, veggies, protein bars and almonds. This will also help keep your blood sugar stable and your energy levels up during your trip.
Take your workout with you: Most hotels these days have gyms, but they may be crowded or be unmaintained. Plan to do some form of exercise during your trip. Pack exercise bands or some small hand-weights to exercise in your room. You could also do body-weight exercises, such as planks, pushups, squats and crunches. This will help get the blood flowing after a long trip, plus stretch your muscles if you’ve been sitting for a long period of time. Consult a professional to customize a “traveler’s workout.” The change from your regular exercise routine will also be good for your body.
Get plenty of sleep: If you are traveling across time zones, you may experience jet lag. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these can disrupt your sleep. Before your trip, begin acclimating yourself to the local time of your destination. Adjust your meal times an hour or two as digestion can interfere with sleep. Go to bed a little earlier or later for a few nights prior to your trip. These things will help your body adjust more easily once you arrive.
Some simple planning can minimize the stress of traveling and possibly even make it an enjoyable experience. Preparation is the key to traveling well!
Be Well Tips
–Pack your food.
–Plan a “traveler’s workout.”
–Get plenty of sleep.
–Adjust your schedule slightly prior to your trip.