How ironic that on a Wellness Wednesday, I am unwell. In an effort to address this horrible cough I have developed, I have been upping my vitamins, trying to rest, drinking lots of fluids and throwing every immune-stimulating, anti-viral essential oil I have at whatever it is that’s causing me grief. Turns out I have a viral cough that I can do nothing about except wait it out.
Imagine being overseas when you become sick with no reputable health care provider in sight?
As the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and there’s a lot to be said about being prepared. A significant part of the premise of Weal World Travel is just that: staying healthy abroad naturally.
Prevention, as we see it, is getting healthy and staying that way by building the immune system and making a habit of health promoting diet and lifestyle practices.
- Sleep tight
Ensure you get adequate sleep; duration and quality are key. How many hours each individual needs can vary while quality refers to the “complete sleep cycles” one should experience each night.
- Eat well
Nutrition is key to health of the body and mind. Eat a variety of nutrient dense foods healthfully prepared and avoid processed/refined foods and excesses of sugar, alcohol and caffeine. (For more nutritional guidance, check out our sister blog Weal Food)
Make a habit of doing exercise routines that work cardio health, muscle conditioning, flexibility and core.
See also, Wellness Wednesday – Fitness & Travel
- Active living
Known in certain circles as NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), this is activity that accounts for approximately 20% of your metabolism. Ways to be more NEAT: take the stairs instead of the elevator, opt for the walking tour rather than the Segway one, roll your luggage and walk with it rather than taking the moving sidewalk and just standing there. Even those with mobility challenges have options to incorporate more NEAT (e.g. manual rather than electric wheelchair).
- Manage stress
There is good stress ‘eustress‘ (e.g. travelling the world!) and bad stress ‘distress‘ (e.g. jet lag and culture shock), both of which can impact the mind and body. The bad stress has also been implicated in a host of diseases (e.g. heart disease, cancer). Stress is a part of life and the goal is to manage it rather than eliminate it all together. Some things that help manage stress better are yoga and stress-reducing essential oils (e.g. lavender).
Forming and maintaining these habits on the road may be a challenge but it is doable. Stay tuned for more posts on how to incorporate these habits into your daily travel life i.e. staying healthy abroad naturally.
Of course there are travel clinics and doctors who specialize in travel medicine to advise you on what Occidental (i.e. Western) medicine has to offer the traveller. Often this is focused on specific illnesses/diseases e.g. yellow fever, malaria, travellers diarrhea etc. These should be used in conjunction with healthy habits to help you prepare appropriately for travel.
Have you ever fallen ill while travelling? How did you handle it?