It’s been a bit of a rough January over in these parts, with me having the fortune of having two colds in the span of a few weeks. As we still have half of winter to go, I figured this would be a good time to remind myself and my readers of how to avoid getting sick while traveling.
A note: I am not a doctor by any means – this list has been compiled from my personal experience and from the sources at the end of this post.
Wash hands often – Every time you travel think of how many places you touch that other people, who are probably sick, have touched! Whenever you get a chance, wash your hands, or if possible, carry hand sanitizer for a quick clean up.
Shower regularly – While I’m a big fan of daily showers because I don’t like how my skin and hair feel after more time than that, showering frequently – at least every two to three days, is also essential to helping avoid infections and germs.
Sleep well – Lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you are less able to fight off bugs. Give yourself enough time to get proper night’s sleep, as your body will thank you for it.
Dress warmly – It’s essential to bundle up to keep warm in winter, as lower temperatures can weaken immune defenses.
Avoid excess drinking – Tied in with sleeping well above, alcohol may help you get to sleep fast, but it reduces the restorative phase of sleeping called REM (rapid eye movement), which puts you at risk for lowering your immune system.
Stay hydrated – Staying hydrated helps the body circulate blood more freely, allowing white blood cells to better fight off viruses.
Give yourself down time – If you are actively sightseeing during your travels, make sure to allow yourself time to relax and regroup each day.
Take vitamin C – Vitamin C enhances the immune system which helps fight off the common cold. A few good sources of vitamin c are oranges, red peppers, or once-a-day tablets.
Update from March 23, 2017
Ever since writing this post, I’ve been really conscientious of following the advice within it. I started taking a daily vitamin C pill and really prioritizing getting enough sleep, and I’m pleased to say I haven’t gotten sick at all since January (January was one of the roughest months I’ve had ever). Sometimes a friendly reminder of what we should try to be doing goes a long way!
What are your tips for avoiding getting sick?