Whether you’re flying out of state for the holidays or making a long drive the last business conference of the year, you’re likely dreading the possibility of putting on pounds or developing the sniffles in your travels. There are plenty of precautions to take while on the move to ensure you maintain the kind of health you work so hard for in your usual element. Here are the basics.
Plan for Food
Being on the go without a meal plan is a recipe for unhealthy, spontaneous eating. Pack as many meals as you can ahead of time to avoid fast food stops (but be sure to avoid spoilage of your packed food). Avoid packing food in plastic, even if it says BPA-free, since it’s likely still filled with a harmful alternative called bisphenol S. Instead, opt for stainless steel containers or bento boxes, and be sure to fill them with nutrient-dense organic fruits and vegetables instead of genetically modified or pesticide-ridden varieties.
Related Read: Benefits of Traveling
Remember that Radiation is Unsafe at Any Dose
Airports are now homes to body scanners. Remember that these are entirely optional and no one should be pressured into using these in favor of seemingly more invasive but safer pat-downs. Radiation accumulates in the body, raising your risk of:
- Genetic defects in future generations, especially in unborn children in exposed mothers
- Gastrointestinal damage leading to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death
- Thyroid damage (potentially cancerous)
- Bone marrow damage
Sip Water Throughout Your Day
Water plays the crucial role of removing waste and toxins from our body—but it doesn’t help to drink toxic water to begin with. Be sure to ask experts if your destination has safe drinking water, and drink only purified water in high risk areas. Boiling your water is the easiest, bare minimum safety precaution you can perform. And once you do, avoid putting it in plastic bottles (remember the BPA and BPS dangers) and instead opt for glass, ceramic, or stainless steel containers. You can even bring your own container with you onto a plane rather than contributing to pollution (of the environment and your body) by getting water in a different plastic cup every leg of the way.
Don’t let the dangers of plastic deter you from drinking water on the go, though It’s important to hydrate while traveling, especially in low-humidity conditions like those of airplanes. In fact, staying hydrated on airplanes or during business meetings is a sure-fire way to ensure that you don’t sit for too long, since you’ll be frequenting the lavatory. Remember to drink pure, filtered water again when you’re able.
Although the World Health Organization posts that 1 in about 4,500 airline passengers develop deep vein thromboses from immobility, extended sitting raises insulin levels in the blood, contributing to about 92,000 cancer cases and 3.2 million deaths annually. Increased awareness of this danger is leading to a few noteworthy trends like standing desks and standing meetings.
While traveling is by definition an active pursuit, most of us find ourselves sitting in planes. Even if you’re hopping across oceans, however, there’s plenty of time and opportunities to walk or even stand in the aisle. On road trips, you have more freedom to plan the trip to allot time for frequenting rest stops along the way. Finally, when you arrive at your destination—whether it’s an afternoon in Tuscany, a week at a business conference, or the holidays with the family—remember to take numerous activity breaks throughout the day.