Between holiday parties, jam packed schedules, and travel, the holidays pose a threat to our immune systems. While we spend increased time with our families and friends, more time in public spaces like trains and airplanes, and long days of celebration with minimal sleep, it is important for us to practice sickness prevention.
We’ve put together six ways to prevent sickness so that you can enjoy the holidays to the fullest.
1. Practice frequent hand washing.
Wash your hands before eating, after touching public surfaces, and whenever you come into contact with somebody else. Use a paper towel to prevent direct contact with restroom door handles. Also, be sure to pack hand sanitizer for those moments when you have limited access to a sink, like when you are sitting on the plane.
2. Work on stress reduction.
The holidays can be a stressful time for us between traveling, preparing for visitors, and fulfilling holiday wish lists. Stress raises cortisol, which suppresses the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep and are staying hydrated. Avoid added stress through effective planning, time management, and purchasing gifts ahead of time.
3. Order tea on the plane.
The steam from tea stimulates the cilia, the hair follicles in the nose, to move out germs more efficiently. Consider adding lemon, which thins mucus, and honey, which has antibacterial properties.
4. Avoid hand railings, water fountains, and other germ bearing surfaces.
While it is hard to not touch any surfaces in public, it pays dividends to be conscious of excessive contact with these germ filled areas. Since we are in enclosed spaces while traveling, it is worth considering getting a flu vaccine to reduce chances of getting sick. The Center for Disease Control recommends getting a flu vaccine once every six months.
5. Bring along disinfectant wipes for your cell phone and laptop.
As we make our way through the airport, we set our phones and laptops on tabletops and chairs, which are notorious for hosting germs. Then we touch our food and faces, increasing the likelihood we pick up the germs. Plan ahead and pack cleansing wipes to avoid contracting unwanted viruses.
6. Hit the gym.
Research has shown that even small amounts of physical activity can help ward off the common cold and flu by boosting our immune systems. Stop into ROAM Fitness at the Baltimore Washington International (BWI) airport for a quick sweat session during your travels. For a limited time, score discounted day, month, and year passes during our pre-sale.
Don’t forget to enjoy yourself and the time spent with family and friends. Happy holidays on behalf of all of us at ROAM Fitness!
MORE: 50 Ways to Stay Healthy + Fit While Traveling