When traveling takes a toll…
If you’re anything like me then traveling is a big part of your life whether it’s for work, vacation, or both.
In fact, this Summer has been packed with travel. I’ve been to Sedona, Las Vegas, Maui, and Mexico already, and I’m due to depart for Palm Springs and Portugal in the coming weeks.
As much as I love traveling, it used to wipe me out and set my health back, but I know how to do it differently so I can feel as good, if not better, upon my return than when I left.
You probably don’t normally notice the true toll that traveling takes on your body because…
…if it’s work-related you tend to see it as “just part of the job” and so you continue to push through…
…and if it’s vacation-related, well, it must be all good right?
Traveling is a type of stress we just don’t typically address.
Think about it. How many times have you come home from a trip and:
- Come down with the worst cold or flu ever
- Felt extremely exhausted even if your trip was a vacation
- Had a flare-up of muscle or joint aches and pains
- Struggled to get your sleep back on track
- Noticed your weight shot up
- Or experienced a relapse in your autoimmune symptoms, anxiety, skin breakouts, or other health issues
These are all signs of the stress your body experienced while traveling.
Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling and I would never give it up. Over the years, I noticed the toll it took on my body too, and the proactive actions I could take to prevent a health setback that I’m going to share with you.
Stress is anything that places a burden on your body resulting in inflammation which leads to any of the health issues you might encounter.
Stressors can include the foods you’re eating that aren’t right for your body, getting inadequate sleep, over or under-exercising, emotional or physical stress, toxins that you encounter, and hidden stressors such as parasites, bacteria or yeast overgrowth in the gut, hormone imbalances, liver congestion and more.
The not so obvious, but typical types of stressors you encounter when traveling are:
- Having fewer options for food and water quality
- Not so supportive beds or environments that negatively impact sleep quality
- Sitting for prolonged periods of time or getting less movement in general
- Dehydration from flying or not being in your normal routine
- Crossing time zones and messing with your natural hormone balance
- And an abundance of toxins circulating the air in airports and hotels
These stressors can add up quickly while traveling.
As your stress load increases, it can suppress your immune system making you more susceptible to getting sick, disrupting your natural hormone balance which drains your energy and mood, overloading your liver causing a backup of toxins in your body, and destroying your gut resulting in digestive upset.
You may not have complete control over these travel time stressors BUT you can reduce their impact on your body when you take the right steps.
In this week’s video, I help you identify the toll that traveling might be taking on your body and provide you with proactive tips to prevent a health setback so you can feel like your best self, always.
In the game of living a healthy life, the key to your success is NOT living in a bubble and avoiding all “unhealthy” things, but the trick is learning to navigate life differently so your body and health are more supported.
As I already pointed out, there are quite a few types of stressors you are typically encountering while traveling; some might be within your control and some may not be.
Instead of stressing about finding the perfect place, food, and toxin-free environments while traveling, here are some simple steps that I take, and that you can take too, in order to proactively support your body and prevent any health setbacks…
Prioritize Food & Water
- Make eating gluten and dairy-free your #1 priority to reduce inflammatory food factors
- Increase your water intake 1 day before and while traveling to prevent dehydration
- Be mindful of your alcohol intake – if tired or jet-lagged, opt for a mocktail instead
- At night set your room to 68 degrees for optimal sleep temperature
- Cover all ambient lights such as alarm clocks, and smoke alarms, and tightly seal curtains shut (Ninja trick! Pack electrical tape to cover smoke alarm lights and place pillows against curtains to seal the cracks)
- Get sunlight exposure upon waking up to balance your circadian rhythm
Reduce Physical Stress
- Stretch, stretch and stretch! Daily and intermittently on the plane for long flights
- Opt for less intense exercise such as walking or yoga
- Schedule a massage, acupuncture, and/or chiropractic adjustment within 1 day of returning home
Decompress and Revitalize
- Pack lavender essential oil to use anytime you need to unwind throughout your trip
- Start and/or end your day with a cycle of deep breaths, meditation, or journaling
- Schedule some time at the spa or book a massage to relax and restore your body
Tone Down Toxins
- Pack a travel-size salt lamp to help purify the air, reduce allergens and negative ions
- Drink purified bottled water ONLY – grab Life Water, Fiji or Essentia brand bottled water when you can and look for glass bottled water such as Pellegrino in restaurants
- Get in touch with nature – open windows when possible, get outside daily, and even put your bare feet in grass or dirt to offset toxin exposure
I love helping my coaching clients learn how to navigate life differently so they can enjoy traveling AND have their ideal health and weight at the same time.
If you’re a busy, health-minded professional who travels a ton and wants to learn how to support your body better while doing it, then follow me closely on Instagram to catch all my travel tips with my upcoming trips!