With the busyness surrounding the holiday season, none of us can afford any sick days. Whether you’re driving or flying, it can be easy to catch a cold or flu virus when you’re on the road. But no need to fear. A few simple and easy methods can help keep you healthy and happy for all of your holiday celebrations. Here are 6 ways to avoid getting sick during holiday travels.
1. Wash Your Hands
Your first line of defense to avoid sickness is washing your hands. Germs can stay on surfaces long after we first make contact (up to 72 hours), so washing your hands is the best way to prevent colds and flu viruses. Soap and water is always best, but not always as handy when you’re on the road — so keep some disinfectant nearby for those times when you can’t get to a sink.
2. Saline Spray
In addition to washing your hands, washing out your sinuses (also known as nasal irrigation) with a saline spray is a great way to help prevent sickness, since viruses enter the body primarily through our nose. If you are looking for a more intense nasal cleansing — try a neti-pot. But make sure you use bottled water and not tap water in the neti-pot, since it is loaded with nasty bacteria.
3. Don’t Skimp on Sleep
It’s easy when you are traveling to not get the appropriate amount of shut eye your body needs to function properly. But for the sake of your health, make the time. Catching those zzz’s helps your body recuperate and boosts your immune system, which in part helps stave off a cold. So, shoot for at least 7 hours when you’re on the road.
4. Think Positive
Don’t underestimate the power of the placebo effect. In other words — if you think you are not going to get sick, chances are you will not. This is backed by science. Studies have even found that just thinking that a vitamin or cold medicine will work for you dramatically ups your chances of feeling better.
5. Create a Barrier
With stale air and close quarters, airplanes are a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. But don’t worry, a simple solution is to switch on your overhead air vent to the highest setting, and aim it downward on your face. The air helps to push those germ particles away and build a barrier to help keep you cold-free.
6. Get Moving
If you are really wanting to stay healthy this holiday season, get up and move. Exercise stimulates white blood cell production, which helps the body fight viruses and bacteria. Plus, the move you move, the less guilty you will feel about splurging on your favorite holiday foods. So win, win!
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