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Now Take A Few Minutes To Do The Most Important Travel Planning Of All--Learn How To Stay Healthy While You're En To Travel

May 2, 2008
Healthy Travel

* Important Note: Traveling and Illness

As you are preparing for tarvel, please be sure to continue to focus on measures to ensure your good health: eat a balanced diet, get plenty of rest, avoid smoking and be sure you are effectively managing any ongoing health issues. In the unlikely event that you become ill with a fever or respiratory illness the day prior to your scheduled departure date, please see your doctor to determine whether you are healthy enough to travel and participate in the event. Your health as well as the health of participants is important to yourself.

* Your Travel "First Aid" Kit

Be sure you bring the following to ensure a safe, health and convenient travel experience:

Your prescription medicines (enough to cover your days away from home), in their original containers with clearly identifiable labels.

If you are generally in good health, there are some typical minor ailments that travelers frequently encounter which may necessitate use of non-prescription medicines.

Consider bringing a few doses of medicine if you are prone to the following:

upset stomach
sinus congestion
motion sickness

* During Travel

Bring enough of any required medicines in carry-on bag.

If seated next to a person with respiratory symptoms on the plane, contact the flight attendant for a change in seating if available. When a change is not possible: avoid direct contact (face-to-face); avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; be conscious of the surfaces you touch and wash your hands frequently.

Drink plenty of fluids (preferably water) before, during, and after your flight. Not only will you feel better, but keeping up your fluid reserves also helps your body fight illness and risk of jet lag. If need be, use moisturizer and lip balm to combat the dry air in the flight cabin.

If you wear glasses, don't fly with contact lenses -- wear your glasses instead. Contacts will only dry out and further irritate itchy or burning eyes.

Take frequent walks in the aisles, stretch and exercise your lower limbs while seated to keep blood your blood flowing and prevent conditions attributed to sedentary positions (swollen ankles, muscle cramps). If you can take aspirin safely, a low dose (81 milligrams) taken on the day of departure can be helpful in preventing clot formation.

Try to get as much fresh air and exercise as you can between flight connections.

Clear your head with a hot, steamy shower after you land. Avoid smoking areas while you wait for a connecting flight and when you reach your destination.

To minimize the discomfort of pressure building in your ears, here's how to make them pop: pinch your nostrils closed and inhale deeply. Then exhale through your nose, blowing out in short, firm bursts until you feel your ears pop. Yawning, drinking liquids, and chewing gum also helps.

* jet lag

Anyone who's suffered from the fatigue of crossing time zones can attest that it's no fun being bleary-eyed and groggy for the first couple days of and after your trip. There are ways of minimizing the effects of jet lag, so take note:

Adjust your sleeping and eating patterns to the new time zone a couple days before your flight -- usually one day per time zone.

Upon boarding the plane, change your watch to the destination time zone. Drink plenty of fluids, keeping yourself as hydrated as possible. While trying to knock yourself out with a couple glasses of wine or wake yourself up with coffee may seem like good ideas while flying, think again -- alcohol and caffeine dehydrate the body, making your even more tired when you arrive at your destination.

If it's daytime in your destination, take a walk after you get settled. The exercise will stimulate your body and help convince it to stop producing sleep-inducing hormones.

Use earplugs and blindfolds to help dampen noise and block out unwanted light while sleeping.

A variety of over-the-counter products are available that purport to ease jet lag or encourage sleep on lengthy flights.

Fortunately, your adjustment in New Zealand will likely go smoothly as you will be getting plenty of exercise!!

Stay heallthy

Focusing on these key areas will help you to "Stay Health"

1. Pay attention to personal hygiene and handwashing
2. Eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water
3. Be physically active
4. Get plenty of sleep
5. Manage strees
6. Avoid smoking
7. keep immunizations current
8. Manage any ongoing health issues

Eating a balanced diet is perhaps the most direct action you can take to nurture your immune system

- The immune system requires a balance of nutrients to function properly
- Without this balance,you can become sick more easily and have a longer recovery time
- Ensure your daily meals include:
- vegetables(especially leafy green)
- fruits
- whole and fortified grains(any food made from wheat,rice,oats,cornmeal,barley or other ceral grain)
- dairy products,with small amounts of fish and meat(or alternative protein sources)

Your body requires a minimum amount of daily fluid intake to maintain health

- Fluids help to keep mucous membranes moist enough to combat viruses on contact
- Requirement 6-8 cups (1.4-1.9 liters) per day
- Avoid drinks like coffee, tea, and colas with caffeine;they deplete your body of fluids

If you are exercising and sweating, drinking water is doubly important

- 1to2hours before exercising: 10 to 14 ounces of cold water (about a cup and a half, or 295 to 414 ml)
- 10to15 minutes before exercising: 10 ounces of cold water (about a cup and a half, or 295 ml)
- While exercising: 3to4 ounces of cold water every 15 minutes (about a cup and a half, or 89 to 118 ml)
About the Author
Abrahamson Owen is the professional freelance writer. He's also the webmaster of Savehealthguide.com
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