In this month’s newsletter, we will offer some tips and strategies to help you stay healthy and happy while traveling and beyond.
Did you Know:
- low humidity levels on an airplane break down our protective mucus layers letting germs in? We’ll look at ways to stay hydrated and fight off the germs.
Read time: 7 minutes
A study referenced in a Wall Street Journal article found that you have a 20% higher chance of catching a cold on a plane. Why is this and what can we do to avoid getting sick?
1. Stay Hydrated
The humidity levels on a plane are 12% to 15%, versus 30% to 60% on land. This dryness is bad for our sinuses and can break down our protective mucous membranes. When these tissues dry out, it is much easier for viruses or bugs that may be present to infiltrate or nasal passages.
To combat the low humidity, we need to stay extra hydrated. Be mindful to drink at least 8 oz of water every hour you are in the air.
Alcohol and caffeine both dehydrate your body even more, so avoid them if possible.
You may want to bring a travel sized (< 3.4oz) bottle of saline nasal solution or a nasal mist on longer flights, to help keep your sinuses stay moist.
2. Keep your hands clean
Germs lurk on airplane surfaces: lavatory door handles, contaminated trays and armrests, etc.
Bring sanitary disinfectant wipes and wipe down the tray table, armrests, air vents, and seat buckles. The flu virus, as one example, can live on a hard surface for up to 24 hours.
3. Use the air vent
Keeping your air vent on can prevent catching a virus. The airflow from the vent can help to ward off another passenger’s floating germs.
HEPA filters found on planes remove 99.97% of airborne viruses and bacteria. Contrary to popular belief, airplane air is not “stale”, the air is getting refreshed about 20 times per hour, twice the rate of a typical office.
Traveling internationally brings a host of stressors, from new foods, time zone changes, decreased quality and quantity of sleep, rising stress levels and exposure to new viruses and bacteria we don’t encounter at home.
Before traveling, you can start preventive measures to avoid getting sick. We are going to look at the top 8 travel supplements and homeopathic medications.
1. Gut Health
Probiotics can make the difference between an incident-free vacation or one spent missing out on activities and feeling unwell. Probiotics can help digestion and they can help prevent and stop travelers’ diarrhea and boost your immune system.
Probiotics keep the gut from holding onto bad bacteria and encourage the body to fight infection by increasing the good bacteria.
Start supplementing at least 2 weeks, preferably 4 weeks, before leaving and continue taking it until you’ve been home for 1 week.
We recommend Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Complete, which has a blend of 12 strains.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our circadian rhythm by working as a darkness signal. It’s naturally secreted by the brain’s pineal gland. Supplementing melatonin is commonly used for jet lag treatment and it’s been shown to help with both sleep and reducing jet lag symptoms.
Take 3mg 30 minutes prior to sleep. It can also be taken en-route to your destination to help you adjust to the new time zone. Take 30 minutes prior to your target bedtime at the arrival city.
We recommend Melatonin 3mg by Pure Encapsulations.
Scientists think Adaptogens work by helping the body’s autonomic nervous system return to its normal, healthy, relaxed state. It also helps the body recover more quickly after stressful situations have passed.
An article published in the peer-reviewed Alternative Medicine Review said Adaptogenic herbs can help people adapt to prolonged stress caused by “malnutrition, surgery, chemical exposure, excessive exercise, sleep deprivation, or a host of other environmental causes” and minimize some of the effects of stress.
Travel is stressful and a blend of Rhodiola and Ashwagandha can help us adjust to new time zones, poor sleep and stress.
You can start taking these 2-3 weeks before travel.
4. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is made by burning something carbon-based, like wood or coconut shells to remove all of the oxygen. What’s left is a highly absorbent material filled with millions of tiny pores that trap and bind gas and toxins and can carry thousands of times its weight.
And it has a ton of uses for the constant traveler:
5. Bug Bouncer
Mosquitoes, ticks, and other pests can sometimes keep you from enjoying the outdoors to the fullest. Though typical spray repellents keep the bugs away, they are made from a toxic blend of chemicals that you don't want to put on you or your family.
Bug Bouncer is a safe, all natural homeopathic insect repellent. Bug Bouncer utilizes the repelling properties of the Delphinium plant (Staphysagria), which repels mosquitoes naturally. Bug Bouncer tricks bugs into thinking you are a giant Delphinium flower so they stay away!
If a bug bite were to occur, Bug Bouncer reduces swelling, burning, and itching with a blend of time-tested homeopathic ingredients.
6. Motion Sickness
If you are prone to motion sickness, nausea, vertigo, dizziness, and gastric disturbance, these homeopathic travel sickness drops will help you feel better.
Digestive enzymes help to efficiently break down food, and are especially great to take when traveling since you will likely be eating richer foods that your digestive system isn’t accustomed to. They can also help prevent bloating. Take at the start of each meal.
Constipation is a common issue for many while traveling. The common mineral Magnesium can help with this, plus a whole host of other potential travel related issues.
300 mg taken before bed will also help you sleep deeper, can help with sore muscles or cramps and will help to keep you regular.
We have at least another month of social distancing. I know many of us are struggling with the disruptions to our lives.
If you are feeling disjointed, here are a few strategies to help you cope during these trying times:
Forty-seven percent of Americans report experiencing higher levels of anxiety than the prior year.
The human brain is wired to experience anxiety when it signals something is not right and can help us avoid a dangerous situation. But persistent anxiety that disrupts our lives can signal an anxiety disorder. One-third of adults will grapple with this at some point in their lives.
When we experience anxiety, the brain signals to our gut we are under stress and a combination of hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol are released. This can affect us in different ways. Common reactions to anxiety are heart palpitations, knots in the stomach or dizziness and light-headedness.
While encountering a saber tooth tiger may not be a problem these days, there are many less-lethal stressors that affect us today.
Winter is the time for rest. In many places, the land becomes barren, frozen and appears dead. Trees shed their leaves. Animals hibernate or spend more time in their dens and burrows. Birds migrate to warmer places.
But all is not dead, it’s simply hidden. Winter is the time when living things rest and replenish.
How can we better rest and replenish ourselves to cultivate what will bloom in the spring?