4 Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling this Holiday Season
Nov. 20, 2015
Holiday travel can put you at a higher risk of getting sick, especially if you’ll be around a lot of other people on airplanes. The holiday season coincides with cold and flu season, making travel a potential health issue. Seasonal flu affects up to 20 percent of people in the U.S. each year and causes around 200,000 people to be hospitalized, according to the CDC. The common cold usually isn’t as serious, although it can make the holidays an unpleasant time. If you’ll be traveling this season, keep the following tips in mind, so you can stay happy and healthy.
1. MAKE WASHING YOUR HANDS A HABIT
Your best line of defense against germs that cause colds, flu and other contagious illnesses is washing your hands. Whether you’re traveling on the road or by plane, wash your hands with warm water and soap after using restrooms and before eating. This significantly cuts down on your risk of getting sick or spreading germs if you’re already ill. You can also keep your hands clean when soap isn’t around by using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Carry travel-sized ones with you on your trip, so you can keep your hands germ-free this holiday season.
2. DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE
Germs that cause colds, respiratory illnesses and other viral or bacterial infections can get into your mucus membranes and make you sick. Even if you wash your hands often while traveling, you still pick up germs when you touch commonly used objects, such as doorknobs at rest stop areas or armrests on planes. You can lower your risk of having these germs infect you by avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
3. GET YOUR SHOTS
You might remember from our September blog, making sure you’re vaccinated against seasonal flu, whooping cough and other illnesses that are around during the holiday season helps lower your chance of getting sick. While you might be up-to-date on whooping cough and other shots, you’ll need to get a flu shot each year since different strains of this virus go around. Take time to visit the doctor for a flu shot or to make sure you’re current on other vaccinations.
4. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Eating right and exercising can be hard to do when you’re traveling. Pack healthy snacks to eat if you’ll be on the road, and look for the most nutritious options available if you stop at restaurants along the way. If you’re flying, bring healthy snacks to eat at the airport. No matter how you’ll be traveling, make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Take advantage of opportunities to exercise while traveling, even if that means walking around or doing stretches during stops on a road trip or at the airport. By taking care of yourself through diet and exercise, you’ll keep your immune system strong during cold and flu season and protect yourself from getting sick.
If you’d like to help keep others healthy this holiday season, consider becoming a nurse or medical assistant. Contact Concorde to learn more about all of our programs.