How to boost immunity before, during and after travel

For most of us, it’s been a long time since we last boarded a plane, sailed into a new city, or explored anywhere outside of our sterile bubbles. But now, policymakers are in on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention They say that people who are fully vaccinated have them Proceed with booking domestic travel. So, with a big post-pandemic flight looming, it’s time to start thinking of ways to strengthen your immune system after more than a year of weakening. It is no secret that travel can have a ruthless effect on the body. Even before the pandemic, savvy airline pilots knew the importance of prioritizing their health before, during and after vacation. But is it really possible to boost your immunity?

The truth is, our immune systems are still somewhat mysterious – researchers are still trying to decipher them completely. In general, our immune systems do an extraordinary job of defending our bodies against disease-causing microorganisms and pathogens. But as the name suggests, it is a complete system, not a single entity, so there are many moving parts.

While scientists continue to explore the links between factors such as age, diet and exercise on our overall immune response, there are several lifestyle habits that can help strengthen the body’s natural defenses. We hired a group of experts to find out what travelers can do to stay healthy on the road and avoid seeing a doctor after a vacation. We divided their advice into “before,” “during” and “after” buckets, but you can use many of these indicators in tandem throughout the year to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

How to boost your immunity before the trip:

1. Get a full vaccine

“From a medical perspective, it is important to get the Covid-19 vaccine at least two weeks before travel,” says Pooja Uppal, MD, Board-Certified Family Medicine Physician and Founder / Chief Medical Officer at Think healthy. It also recommends making sure that all of your vaccinations are up to date. Think about other contagious infections, such as shingles, hepatitis A, and diphtheria. Last but not least, she recommends “Get to know the CDC Travel Tips Page. There you will find the most recent internal travel recommendations and lots of other helpful resources.

2. Focus on eating healthy foods rich in nutrients

“The gut is literally the zero point for a healthy immune system,” he says Stephen Gendry, MD, One of the best cardiac surgeons in the world, a pioneer in nutrition, and Prof. The New York Times The bestselling author of several books (including his latest edition, The energy paradox). “Our microbiome is not limited to defending against invading bacteria and viruses, [but] If it works properly, it educates our immune system around the friends and foes we face and enables it to fight foreign invaders like the Coronavirus. “

Eileen Ruhoy, MD, PhD, founder Nerve Healing Center And the Gut Board Member for Jetson Corporation He recommends eating a lot of red, orange, and green vegetables. “Phytochemicals found in golden or yellow beets, sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, nectarines, and pomegranates have intense anti-inflammatory activity,” she says.

3. Promote sleep health

It’s easy to stay up until the wee hours of the morning, but all that binge eating late at night can have harmful effects. Alex Saffy, a certified sleep science trainer and founder of Sleeping Ocean. Studies show that poor sleep, or poor quality of sleep, can affect and often lead to some functions of the immune system. Higher risk From infections and some diseases. “

One of his tricks for getting a better night’s rest include sticking to a regular sleep schedule and observing time zone changes before take off. “If your future trips will involve travel fatigue, you can prepare in advance,” he advises. “Start shifting your schedule a little toward the time zone you will be traveling in. You can change your bedtime in increments of 20 to 30 minutes every few days to make the transition to the new time zone a little easier.”

You can also store These sleep-enhancing products for help.

Illustration of a glass of water and vitamins and a man exercising
Drawing from Will Dolan

How to boost immunity during your trip:

4. Don’t forget to stay hydrated

Although you may be good about drinking enough water in your regular daily life, it is easy to slip up when you step outside of your regular routine. But don’t let that be an excuse. Grant Hosking, co-founder, says Total hydration. “Proper hydration is critical for your body to function properly. Water is present in every cell in the body, which means that it is part of all the tissues, organs and systems that we need to function and feel our best.” He also recommends maintaining an appropriate balance for Electrolytes. Depending on where your travels take you, it may be a good idea to stick to bottled water or boil tap water before taking a dose.

5. Consider adding supplements to the mix

In addition to eating nutritious foods, you can choose to strengthen your immune system by taking nutritional supplements. Jendry recommends the following:

  • A minimum of 5,000 to 10,000 international units per day of vitamin D3
  • 1,000 mg of timed-release vitamin C twice a day (or chewing or swallowing 500 mg four times a day)
  • ~ 100-200 mcg of selenium daily
  • 500 mg of quercetin a day
  • 500 mg of green tea (or EGCG extract) daily
  • 30 mg of zinc lozenges daily may also be helpful

“All of these are useful supplements to support the immune system,” says Gendry. There is no magic formula that will do the trick for everyone, so you can always consult with your doctor to develop a customized game plan.

6. Practice self-care and stress management

The whole point of taking a vacation is to escape from the worries of everyday life. In reality, it can be very stressful. “The travel logistics alone can be cumbersome, such as arriving on time at the airport or on the road, booking a hotel or Airbnb, planning trips, etc.,” says Jolene Caufield, senior advisor at Howard is healthy, Which is a non-profit organization that advocates healthy lifestyle choices. Most people use unhealthy strategies to deal with this, such as overeating, drinking, or smoking. To avoid this, make time before, during and after your trip to seek healthy self-care.

“Reduce any stress by getting out every day for at least an hour,” suggests John La Puma, MD, board-certified internist, founder of Icomidicin, And the The New York Times Best-selling writer. “Time spent in nature has been shown to lower cortisol levels, lower blood pressure and improve immunity. Nature activates your natural killer cellsWhich is an important first defense against viruses. “

Fortunately, it shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve this while The next getaway.

An illustration of a disinfected bottle, a pair of dumbbells, and an illustration of abstaining from alcohol
Drawing from Will Dolan

How to boost immunity after a flight:

7. Cracking cleanser

Troublesome little germs. No matter how much hand sanitizer you pump during the flight, they are sure to find you. Max Harland, CEO of dentist. “Even if you use best safety practices while traveling, you can still accumulate some germs and microbes. For example, your clothes and backpacks contain dust and germs only through external exposure. So, it is important to dispose of them before they enter your personal space.” Says. Harland recommends using sterilization sprays and wipes to disinfect your clothes, luggage, and other personal belongings after you return home. “This helps you avoid any unwanted risks and protects your immunity,” he adds.

8. Get rid of alcohol

This can be difficult to handle, but staying vigil during and after the vacation can help you stay healthy. “I know that when you stay at beach resorts, there are unlimited opportunities to enjoy alcoholic beverages, but alcohol has been shown to dampen many of the body’s immune responses,” says Chris Airy, MD, MD, Clinical Director at BestA telehealth clinic for men with low testosterone. This could lead to an inability to fight viruses effectively. So, it is worth controlling your consumption of piña colada if you want to boost your immune system, he says. “Try abstaining from alcohol for the month following your vacation to give your immune system some time to recover,” which may help avoid catching illness after your flight.

9. Return to your fitness regimen

We know it can be tough to get back to reality after a vacation. But don’t let that take you off your game (especially if you’re already relaxing due to social isolation and the never-ending Zoom calls). ”Physical activity It improves the circulation of immune cells and anti-inflammatory cytokines, which help your immune system to function better, in addition to reducing stress hormones, which may help protect against respiratory infections such as SARS-CoV-2, ”says Reggie Wilson. From coach to business guilt in Fit for freelance work, Which builds adaptive business leaders through compassionate health training. “Following a regular exercise routine also improves cardiovascular conditioning while reducing factors that can make COVID-19 more dangerous.”

The good news is that you don’t need to hit the gym to increase physical activity and get your health goals back on track. “You’ll notice benefits from walking, cycling, yoga, using stairs and bodyweight exercises,” he says.

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Written by Joseph

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