Staying healthy in the airportRecord numbers of Americans will travel to visit family and friends this holiday season.  AAA predicts that more than 54 million of us will travel more than 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  Another 100 million people are predicted to travel over the Christmas to New Year’s period.  Travel can be stressful on our bodies, upsetting our normal routines and exposing us to illnesses.  Here are some tips for staying healthy so that you can enjoy the holiday festivities away from home.

Air Travel

Traveling by air exposes us to large crowds and lots of germs.  Use hand sanitizer and carry disinfectant wipes to clean tray tables, arm rests, and seat belt buckles.  Avoid bathrooms on planes, if possible.  Many airport restrooms have less germs because they are cleaned more frequently.  Studies have shown that TSA security bins are loaded with germs, so wash hands thoroughly after clearing security.

Get Enough Rest

Lack of sleep can leave our bodies vulnerable to viruses.  Try to maintain your regular sleep schedule while traveling.  If you do get sick, rest will help in your recovery.

Stay Hydrated

Low humidity levels in planes and heated rooms dry out mucous membranes, making it easier to pick up germs.  Drink plenty of water.  Remember that caffeinated beverages and alcohol actually dehydrate the body and are not good substitutes for water.

Eat Healthy        

Maintain healthy eating habits to keep your immune system strong.  Avoid the temptation to overeat at holiday gatherings.  Choose healthy snacks and eat holiday treats in moderation to avoid putting on extra pounds.  Fast food is often convenient when traveling but opt for a salad rather than a burger and fries.  Limit alcoholic beverages, as they add extra calories.

Stay Active

Try to stay physically active even if you are not able to maintain your regular workout routine.  Take a brisk walk or utilize the hotel fitness center.  Exercise gives us more energy and burns those extra holiday calories we’ve consumed.