How to Stay Healthy and Happy While Traveling

Terri Carr

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While many people are not traveling much during the pandemic, many countries are open to US tourists who have a negative Covid-19 test result and are able to comply with quarantine restrictions. In any case, we’ll all be traveling again sooner or later.

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It’s nice to sample exotic cuisines and indulge your spontaneous impulses while traveling, but some preparatory habits may allow you to enjoy your trip a whole lot more.

Yoga for relaxation and easeful sleep

If you have a long journey before reaching your destination, your sleep schedule can be disrupted, leaving you cranky and exhausted when you finally arrive yet still have to check in to your accommodation.

But by maintaining a frequent yoga practice, even some simple breathing exercises, you’ll find it easier to adapt to a long journey and catch catnaps while you’re enroute.

Yoga for travel stress

In general, a yoga habit helps us to flow with unexpected changes more gracefully. Just as yoga creates flexibility in our body, it fosters the same suppleness in our mind and spirit. An ability to flow with change rather than feel annoyed by it will make for a more pleasant trip.

When you’ve heard airport personnel announce that your flight is delayed another 5 hours you might understandably feel frustrated and say you’ll never fly that airline or through that city again. Or you can make acquaintance with some fellow travelers and stroll off to find a good airport restaurant together.

Yoga stretches for circulation

While traveling, you might be sitting for long periods leading to muscle stiffness or even circulatory problems, if you’re prone to that. A few minutes of stretching every few hours, even at the back of a plane, will ward off some of the discomfort of a long journey.

Yoga to even out a variety of imbalances

When traveling, you might forget to drink enough and end up exhausted from dehydration. Or maybe you’ll go overboard with caffeine and find yourself unable to sleep.

The soothing effects of yoga practice will balance out some of the agitation of travel and help you adjust your water and coffee consumption.

Yoga to prevent injury

Gentle daily stretching will help you avoid back strain from increased walking, on unusual surfaces, climbing stairs while carrying a backpack. These situations set you up for a sore back at day’s end.

Standing yoga poses will protect your feet and angles from sudden strains and sprains.

Curb fast food consumption

Just because that airport burger place is open for business doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to chug down a greasy patty before a 12 hour flight. Remember, airplane bathrooms often have waiting lines.

Besides processed foods are not going to give you the same bouyant energy you’d get from a freshly made meal. Even an average restaurant meal is better than fast food or super-sized portions of anything.

Water - hotel water is usually OK; though if in a third world country, it’s probably safest to drink only bottled water. When I travel outside developed countries, I generally use tap water for brushing teeth only and don’t swallow it.

Food

In third world countries, you have to consider your own travel experiences but also be smart. Ask yourself if other travelers from your part of the world have acclimated to the local street food without too much trauma. If so, then you probably will too. If you are in southeast asia and you’re visiting from North America or Europe, use extreme caution when eating any street food.

Probiotics to boost your gut health - increase your defense against unusual germs and exposure to more germs than you’d see in daily life. Also help your digestion keep pace while eating a more exotic foods than you’re used to.

Following these tips won’t guarantee you’ll have the trip of your lifetime. But they’ll dramatically increase the chances you won’t be lying in bed with an ice pack or moaning from stomach cramps.

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I write fun, inspiring stories about food, travel and yoga.

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