With the arrival of summer, many of us take this time to escape on an exciting vacation.
While this may be great for you mental health, traveling for pleasure or work can easily derail your physical healthy routine.
As a traveling yoga teacher and health coach, I have plenty of experience with the challenges of staying healthy on the road. Having just returned from my third time in India I have had a plethora of obstacles to face in order to stay well and strong.
Digestive problems are likely to occur when traveling to foreign countries, as our systems are not used to the different bacteria we are exposed to. The first time I visited India I was very ill and got a bad case of Delhi belly—a funny name for a miserable experience! As a rookie traveler I made the silly mistakes of not taking the following preventative measures (not to mention I foolishly thought it was okay to eat seafood thousands of miles away from the sea in the hot Indian hills of Munar).
I am happy to report that my more recent visits have been much smoother. I have been able to incorporate some of these tips into my traveling routine and have successfully avoided any more intimate encounters with the inside of a not-so-clean toilet bowl.
1. Take lots of vitamins and minerals to keep the immune system strong.
With all the bacteria and viruses floating around in confined places like planes and trains it is important to flood your system with Vitamin C, B Vitamins and important minerals. There are plenty of great products in a powder form to mix in with water that are actually quite tasty! I personally like Emergen-C the best and always have packets on me while on the road.
2. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
This is helpful to keep you body temperature normal as you acclimatize to external temperatures that you may not be used to. In addition to this, drinking lots of water helps you avoid accepting the free soda on the plane, which actually leads to further dehydration. Thirst is often misidentified with being hungry. A glass of water can fill up the belly to help resist the temptation of reaching for that bag of candy or chips tempting you in the vending machines at the airport or train station.
3. Pack healthy snacks like nuts, organic trail mix, hummus and carrots, an apple or a banana.
When I am traveling long distances for a long periods of time I often bring a whole box of Kind bars with me so when I feel the need to snack I can indulge in goodness rather than a sugar packed candy bar.
Probiotics help promote healthy bacteria that the digestive system needs to ward off any bad bacteria growth you may come in contact with on your travels. I recommend the kind that does not need to be refrigerated if you are traveling and don’t have access to keep them cold.
5. Bring powdered greens with you.
Many places may not have access to fresh leafy greens or fresh fruits. Powder greens containing kale, spirulina, parsley and wheatgrass have many phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins that help keep your immune system strong protecting from you from getting ill. My favorite powder is the berry flavor from the Amazing Grass brand, so delicious!
This powerful antibacterial can be taken in a pill form or from the concentrated oil. For me it is most efficient to dilute a few drops into water. For those who are really brave, you can take the drops directly and drink water after, but be mindful how potent the oil is! It is not recommended to take Oil of Oregano daily at home, but it can be excellent when traveling. If possible it is also suggested to have fermented food after cleaning out your system with Oil of Oregano.
7. Integrate a physical self-practice—whether this means the Ashtanga Yoga primary sequence, a Pilates routine or 40-60 minutes of cardio.
Breath is integral to staying healthy and it plays a crucial role in detoxification. Pick a form of movement or exercise to deepen your connection with breath and help remove toxins from your body.
When on the road there is risk of running the system down and eating for convenience rather than for nutrition. To keep the self fueled it is imperative to make healthy conscious choices and plan ahead to feel your best.
I have found adding these simple things into my travel routine keeps me strong and inspired to plan for the next adventure!
Based out of New York City, Sarah Walsh trains Yoga Teachers around the Globe with her school Drishti Yoga International Teacher Training to places like India, Italy, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica and Bali . A Holistic Health Councilor, she coaches clients on nutrition and is a travel lover, spiritual gangster and health nerd who loves sharing her passions with other seekers of healthy and adventurous living!
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Assist Ed: Olivia Gray/Kate Bartolotta