Frequent travel means constant exposure to germs. And during the holiday season, this only gets worse. Although some people swear by flu shots, I’m not a huge fan of getting them. Flu shots generally tend to attack influenza from past seasons. And since a lot of what gets spread around in the here and now are mutations of what this year’s Flu shot is fighting, it seems somewhat pointless. That said, these travel tips can help boost your immune system and help you avoid catching something while traveling during the holiday season.
- Get Sleep: I’ve said it before, and I’ll restate it again: Sleep is instrumental to healthy travel. Not only does it help you stay alert, productive and energized, but sleep is important in maintaining a healthy immune system. Make sure you get a lot of rest before, during and after your business trip or vacation, especially in flu season.
- Take Supplements: There are a variety of immune boosting supplements on the market. Vitamin C, Echinacea and Zinc are all natural supplements that support immune function. However, you can also try products, such as Weider’s Immune Shot, which is a cocktail of Vitamin C, Zinc and ResistAid, that promises to boost your body’s natural defenses. These are sold in 2 ounce shots, making them perfect for travel.
- Up Your Intake of Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and veggies are high in antioxidants which naturally boost the immune system. Immune boosting fruit to incorporate into your diet include berries, pink grapefruit, and blueberries. While flu fighting vegetables include tomatoes, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. Finally, yellow-orange fruits and dark green vegetables, such as apricots, carrots, pumpkin, kale, spinach, squash and mango, are also very helpful.
- Get Your Omega-3s: Omega 3 fats are also natural immune boosters. They increase the activity of macrophages, the white cells that eat up bacteria. Pack Fish Oil supplements for the business trip or vacation to ensure you are getting your daily dose.
- Stay Clear of Sugar: Finally, avoid sugary foods or beverages. Studies have shown that too much sugar in one’s diet can have a dramatically negative impact on the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection.
Granted, the next tips won’t boost your immune system function, but they are still preventative in attracting germs and bugs.
- Stay Sanitized: Although I think there’s such a thing as over-sanitizing, washing hands regularly is a must. This will help you eliminate the spread of germs or picking something up from all of the things you touch when you travel. For those times you don’t have access to a bathroom, carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer is a great backup plan.
- Avoid Sharing Airplane Linens: Airline pillows and blankets are breeding grounds for germs. If linens weren’t cleaned before your flight (which is highly possible), then there’s a good chance you may catch something from them. Dress in layers for a warm and comfortable flight and bring an inflatable travel pillow to sleep on longer flights.
What travel tips do you have to boost immune system function when you travel in flu season?