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Dr. Wilson’s Tips for Healthy and Stress-Free Travel

Posted May 10, 2018

Travelingwhether it’s a drive to the next city or a flight to another countryis inherently stressful, even when the trip is enjoyable. In addition to the usual stresses of planning, staying on schedule, navigating new surroundings, and trying to stay healthy in new environments, there are a number of physiological changes that can make the experience of being in a moving vehicle unpleasant and physically stress the body.

The inner ears, eyes, skin pressure receptors, muscle and joint proprioceptors and central nervous system) control the sense of balance by reporting the orientation and direction of movement of the body to the brain. The typical nausea and dizziness of motion sickness happens when the incoming sensory information conflicts. For example, in a plane in flight, the inner ears and proprioceptors sense the motion, but the eyes only see the stationary cabin interior.

Some of the discomforts of travel are also caused by changes in electrolyte and fluid balances in the body and brain, causing local swelling, stiffness and headache. Dehydration, which often results from travel, can cause headaches, lethargy, constipation and general malaise. Being aware of and taking measures to minimize these changes will increase the likelihood of arriving at the destination feeling fresher and less stressed.

Here are some tips for safe and healthy travels this summer (and beyond):

  • Get enough rest. Sleep supports both the stress system and the immune system. Going into a trip rested and healthy increases stress resilience.
  • Wash hands frequently. This is still one of the best ways to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Drink plenty of water. This keeps mucus membranes of the respiratory system hydrated and better able to resist bacteria and viruses.
  • Eat healthy foods. Don’t use vacation as an excuse to eat all things sugar, which also impairs immune function.
  • Travel with immune support. The herbal combination, Dr. Wilson’s Body-Guard®, can temporarily but quickly aid an immune system under attack.
  • Learn to roll with the punches. Travel invariably brings unknowns and surprises. By accepting these changes as part of the adventure stress—and the resulting immune changes—is kept to a minimum.