Airplane travel means extra exposure to viruses -- but you can reduce exposure and symptoms with the right steps.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy During Holiday Travel

This Thanksgiving, over 51 million Americans plan to travel for their turkey (or turducken!) dinner. Whether traveling by car, plane, or train, there are a handful of tried-and-tested ways to both feel great and prevent viral infections like cold and flu this holiday season. Read on to learn more about keeping your family well this fall.

1. Get Plenty of Rest

Many Americans do not get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Add the stress of holiday planning and travel, and you may find you’re catching even fewer zzz's in November and December.

Here are a few tips you can integrate to improve your sleep quality when travelling:

  • Avoid brutal jet lag by gradually adjusting to a new time zone a few days prior to your travel
  • Treat yourself to a luxurious set of eye shades and a nice pair of earplugs. Together, they’ll make falling asleep on an airplane -- or at your in-laws’ house -- that much easier.
  • Dress comfortable and try to fall asleep naturally. Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills on flights, especially if the flight is short or you are headed west.
  • Don’t overeat before a long flight. You’ll sleep better with a balanced, light meal.

Since sleep helps boost immunity, make it a priority this holiday season.

2. Break a Sweat

A nice yoga class or a quick jog before a long flight or road trip can help you relax during travel. Whether you’re behind the wheel or just relaxing aboard a plane, the mix of endorphins and calm should make for a more pleasant experience.

Plus, some believe running could cure the effects of jet lag. Even if it’s not proven, it feels great and will help you feel happy, fit, and calm. So go for it!

Remember to stay hydrated during your travel so you’re ready to break a sweat once you arrive.

3. Pass on Junk Food

We’re not here to stop anyone from indulging in their holiday favorites. But save room for your beloved stuffing and pumpkin pie by forgoing fast food that’s full of additives and devoid of nutrients.

When traveling, prepare on-the-go meals that are full of vitamin C and the other nutrients your immune system needs to fight off viruses.

We like the following snacks to boost immunity and fight off hunger:

  • Hummus with vitamin-C rich veggies like bell pepper and carrots  
  • Zinc-rich fortified cereal mixed with your favorite nuts and dried fruit
  • Nut butters spread on fruits like apples and bananas, or your favorite whole-grain bread

4. Wash Your Hands Religiously

Washing your hands properly is a necessity all year round, but it’s never more important than when you’re traveling.

If you’re traveling by air, try to remember to wash up before you drink or eat. Yes, that means an extra trip to the lavatory, but it’s well worth it. And don’t forget to wipe down your tray table with an alcohol-only based wipe before chowing down, too.

As a reminder, the CDC defines proper hand washing technique as:

  1. Wet your hands with running water, then apply soap.
  2. Lather hands, including back of hands, between fingers, and under fingernails.
  3. Scrub for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse hands under running water.
  5. Dry hands with a clean paper towel, or allow them to air dry.

5. Be Prepared With EZC Pak

Don’t get caught with cold and flu symptoms on the road, with no way to address them! Keep the vitamins, nutrients, and supplements you need on hand so you’re ready to nip them in the bud with the first sneeze or cough.

Remember, antibiotics won’t treat the symptoms of a viral infection. Instead, you’ll want to prevent infection with better sleep, regular exercise, healthy eating, and proper hand washing.

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