If being healthy at home is a treat, then being healthy on the road is a luxury. Each year I fly about at least 50,000 miles to give speeches and presentations. This year, I’ll rent about four dozen cars and sleep in 120 strange beds. I’ll stay in a lot of hotels, too (ha!). Despite my incessant travel schedule, I rarely get colds and feel good almost every day.
Whether you travel for business, or are just getting ready for a fun vacation, here are 5 Cool Ideas for healthy travel.
1. Avoid sleeping with the enemy.
Towels and linens get washed daily, but bedspreads get laundered much less frequently. Bedspreads often provide a home to bacteria, dust mites, and other undesirable bedmates. Anyone who lounges on hotel bed covers is inviting problems.
2. Airplane rides cause dehydration.
Hydration serves you especially well if you’re 3,000 feet or more above sea level for an extended period of time. Most commercial airplanes fly at about 30,000 feet with cabins pressurized to about 8,000 feet. Bottled water can be a healthy constant for you when air quality and air pressure are in flux.
3. Use the shower to humidify the hotel room.
During dry winter months, run hot water through the hotel room shower head to humidify the room and put some much needed moisture in the air. I often run the shower while I unpack.
4. Wash your hands at least ten times per day.
Many people infect themselves by not keeping their hands clean. Avoid rubbing your eyes and putting your fingers near your mouth or nose. Wash your hands with hot, soapy water every time you return from a public place.
5. Healthy thoughts are an advantage.
Say or think “I get sick every February” or “I’m catching a cold” and you could be coaching yourself into ill health. In some cases, you think you’re catching a cold because you have cold symptoms, but the symptoms actually indicate that the malady is leaving your system. In reality, you’re not “catching a cold,” you’re getting over one — unless your brain is behind the times.
Eat safely on the road by visiting established restaurants with good reputations. Avoid purchasing food from dubious street vendors. Take some bismuth when in doubt about water and food quality. The bismuth will kill low-grade bacteria and give your digestive tract a fighting chance.