Spending Christmas with family can be wonderful and gives you a great chance to create new memories, reminisce on old ones, and catch up on the craziness of the previous year. Unless you live in the same area as your family, you are likely going to be doing some traveling this holiday season. We all know how hard traveling can be on your routine. You don’t have time for exercise, you’re eating unhealthy food that you didn’t cook yourself, and you’re doing a lot of sitting. But believe it or not, it is possible to take care of your body while you’re away from home. Here is our survival guide for how to stay healthy as you travel this Christmas.
Pack fruits and veggies
Whether you’re gassing up your car for an all-day road trip or headed to the airport for a three-hour flight, you’ll likely get hungry sometime during your travel day. Instead of relying on greasy convenience store offerings or overpriced airport food, pack fruits and vegetables with you. Airlines allow you to carry some food in your carry on, just be sure to pack it in an area that is easily accessible for when you get peckish. Load up a cooler in your car with trail mix and other healthy snacks.
Long layovers mean great opportunities to get your heart pumping and your legs moving. Don’t just sit at the gate on your phone, utilize this time to walk through the airport and people watch or jam out to your favorite music in your headphones. You’ll feel so much more refreshed once you get to your location and won’t suffer through that icky feeling you get after sitting down all day. If driving, make frequent stops at pretty locations along the way to get out and take pictures or run a few laps around the car.
As always, staying hydrated is critical. It is even more important when you’re traveling since it is easy to forget and sometimes you just don’t want to have to stop at the bathroom so frequently. Bring along a reusable water bottle (preferably with a filter) and fill it up at water fountains. In the car, you can even pack a few gallon jugs of water in the trunk to help you avoid having to buy more along the way. Remember to empty your water bottle before going through airport security.
Wash your hands
Christmas is, unfortunately, one of the prime times for cold and flu bugs. When people who are sick don’t wash their hands, these germs linger on whatever surfaces they touch, just waiting for you to touch the same place and touch your face or mouth without washing your hands first. If that imagery of lingering predators hiding in plain sight scares you, good…it should. Washing your hands is one of the single most effective ways to halt the transmission of disease and keep you happy and healthy this holiday season.
Long travel times aren’t exactly good for your muscles and joints. If you experience stiffness or soreness after traveling or take a few days to recover from your trip, this will cut into the enjoyment of your time away and make it harder for you to get back into a routine and regular exercise once you get home. Stand up, lift your arms above your head then bend down and touch your toes. Doing this simple stretch, even every 30 minutes will keep you loose and help improve your posture.
Manage your stress properly
The holidays can be an incredibly stressful time. While family can be delightful and a joy to be around, certain family members may rub you the wrong way and cause you an undue amount of stress. Whenever possible, remove yourself from situations that increase your cortisol levels and focus on clearing your mind and positive thinking exercises.
Stay ahead of the weather
Christmas often brings inclement weather with it, and instead of risking your and your family’s safety by trying to master the elements, play it safe and take every precaution on the road. If it seems icy or you are driving through a snowstorm, pull off and get a hotel for the night. Your safety is more important than your travel plans. Travel with an emergency kit and extra blankets and water if you are going through an area with winter weather.