Whether you’re flying across the country or across the world, it’s important to take steps to ensure your health while traveling. Read on for a few expert tips.
Feeling nervous about traveling given the recent headlines about the Wuhan coronavirus?
It’s understandable, but the risk of getting the disease is far from the only health-related concern that business travelers need to keep in mind before, during, or after a big trip.
Here’s a list of travel tips that could help ensure your safety before you land and after you get home:
Take a proactive approach before a big trip. In its “survival guide” to safe travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends understanding the nature of the travel—researching your destination ahead of time—as well as seeing a doctor before you go. Any existing illnesses you might be facing or special health needs—say, if you’ve had surgery recently, if you’re traveling with a disability, or if you’re pregnant—should be kept in mind before you hit the road. The federal agency recommends planning ahead in case of potential illnesses.
Eat nutritiously and safely. One strategy to ensure that you stay healthy on the road is to eat nutritiously to keep your defenses at their strongest, well-known travel expert Rick Steves states on his website. He says that falling into the trap of eating cheaply is a mistake: “Budget travelers often eat more carbohydrates and less protein to stretch their travel dollars,” he says. “This is the root of many health problems.” If you’re traveling to an off-the-beaten-track place internationally, Steves says, be careful about what restaurants you go to and make sure you order your food well-done.
Get some exercise in. In a recent healthy travel guide on its website, The New York Times notes that it helps to do a bit of exercise on the road, too. If you’re going to be moving around a lot, the paper recommends getting in a quick “10-minute high-intensity do-anywhere workout.” “High-intensity workouts are effective for a number of reasons: Obviously you save time because they’re so short, and when you work really hard for short bursts of time, you burn a lot of calories,” the paper states. “And since they’re short, they feel manageable for people who don’t necessarily love exercising ‘just because.’”
Watch for health signs when you get home, too. Even if you aren’t coming home with the coronavirus, odds are good that you might get something while you’re traveling. And because of that, you should be particularly mindful of any health signs you see when you get home, the CDC notes. “Fortunately, most after-travel illnesses are mild, such as a head cold or an upset stomach,” the agency states. “However, other travel-related illnesses may be more serious, and symptoms may not show up until long after you get home.” If you need to, go to the doctor—while making sure to mention that you’ve been traveling recently, as well as relevant details such as how long you were gone, what you ate and drank, and whether you received healthcare while traveling.
Any on-the-road health strategies you use? Share them in the comments.