Three Wellness Tips for Travel
PHOTO CREDIT: The Yoga Blog
Tips to stay healthy and vibrant on the plane, in the car, and in between.
This is the season for travel! In fact, as I write this, I am at LaGuardia airport, awaiting a flight. Many of us will take to the roads, rails, or skies this summer to visit loved ones or vacation destinations, but will self-care take backseat in the process? Travel can put your body through the wringer, but it doesn't have to. I wanted to share a few of my personal favorite travel-sized health and wellness practices with you, so that you can be your most vibrant, and more fully enjoy whichever destination you are heading to!
1. Drink Water!
This is my biggest wellness tip in general, but especially when it comes to travel! Most people are unknowingly dehydrated as it is, and become much more so when they travel. You may have heard that airplanes in particular are incredibly dehydrating, due to the high altitude and lack of humidity in the recycled air, but to contextualize it for you: the standard "comfortable" indoor environment has a humidity of 40-65%, while airplanes have a humidity of 10-20%. When there is less humidity in the air, our body lets off water at a higher rate, just as we retain more water if the air contains a high level of humidity. So, drink water before, during, and after your flight to ensure that your body has enough water to complete the processes it needs to complete. I always bring a reusable water bottle (I have a Vapur foldable water bottle which is amazing for travel, as it rolls up and I have it in my pocket right now) that I fill up at the airport before and after I land.
The only drawback of drinking lots of water is that, yes, you'll have to use the restroom more. But compare that with the alternative (dehydration headaches, constipation, dry and itchy skin, fatigue, and more compromised immune system) and it's an easy choice to make. The same goes for cars. They are less dehydrating than planes, but it is still important to stay hydrated and be willing to take those rest stops.
As for the skin which is affected by the dry air in planes, I travel with a small jar of coconut oil, my favorite moisturizer, which I apply to my face, hands, and neck while I travel, or just before traveling.
2. Boost Your Immune System
Any space that contains many people has a heightened risk of sicknesses floating around, not to mention that drier air makes you more susceptible to infection. Take care to stock up on vitamin C before traveling, and even after. I like a nice orange or grapefruit, or I carry packets of Emergen-C. After flying, the body has been exposed to radiation, bacteria, and dry air and will feel out of sorts, no doubt. Personally, I try to spend the rest of the day (after traveling) to detoxify. I make a big smoothie containing orange juice for vitamin C and coconut water for electrolytes, and eat as many nutrient rich fruits and veggies as I can.
The more you help your body, the more it will help you transition more seamlessly from transit into your destination!
Stiffness and poor circulation become issues on long flights and drives, and what better way to address them than yoga?! Check back through any of my former posts regarding yoga for the desk, and any of these poses are doable in a car, bus, train, or plane. Doing simple spinal twists and seated cat/cow can keep the back loose. Seated figure four stretch opens the hips and back. Simple neck stretches and prevents spasm and irritation. Ankle and/or hip circles improve circulation.
After you land and arrive at your destination, take 15 minutes to practice a few sun salutations and hip openers like low lunges or lizard pose to increase your comfort and circulation. I always travel with my mini massage ball that I can use in my feet or neck in my seat to increase circulation.
Happy travels, and remember that any moment you spend taking care of yourself is time well spent.