Travel with your Health in Mind

It’s that time of year where many fellow Canadians are looking for a little adventure in a new place or to bask in the sun on a beach down south.  More often than not, I see patients coming back from trips with sinus congestion, colds and flus and overall feelings of being “worn out”.  More than likely, whatever bug has been picked up was done so on that long plane ride to whatever destination was calling you.  So how can you prevent these nasty colds and flus and keep up your energy so you’re not out for a second week of work?  Here are my top three tips to stay healthy on those flights.

Get a little sleep

Depending on how long your flight is and where you’re traveling to, getting a little shut-eye while in the air is definitely a good idea.  Lack of sleep can significantly impact our immune system and we need it in top shape for defending us against all the lovely things we’re likely to be exposed to.  Especially if you’re traveling to a different time zone, popping some melatonin can do wonders in helping to prevent jet lag.  I recommend that patients start taking melatonin a week or two before their flight so they can find an appropriate dose for themselves and on the evening of the flight, to take the melatonin at the time of night you’d be going to sleep at in the new time zone you’ll be traveling to.  And when it comes to melatonin for sleep, less is definitely more.

Pop a probiotic

If you’ve ever read any of my previous articles, I’ve mentioned a number of times how important gut health is and there is no exception when it comes to the immune system.  Certain strains of probiotics have been shown to support immune health by helping your body fight infection as well as prevent infections from occurring.  Getting probiotics from your diet in the form of fermented foods such as kombucha, kefir and kimchi are great options, as is investing in a high-quality probiotic.  Especially when it comes to travel, that high-quality probiotic supplement can offer a few more benefits above and beyond immune health, such as protecting you from the ever-fun Montezuma’s revenge that can pretty much ruin a vacation.

Try an immune-boosting infusion

Infusion therapy, or intravenous nutrient therapy is an excellent way to pump your body full of nutrients at a level that can’t possibly be obtained through diet and oral supplementation alone.  Anti-infective infusions are excellent at supporting your body’s immune system, especially when you’re going to be spending a number of hours sitting on a plane with that person a few rows ahead of you with the runny nose.  I recommend for patients to sandwich their vacation with a series of anti-infective infusions to help bolster the immune system and as an added bonus, support energy levels.

And as always with any recommendation, consulting your local naturopathic doctor is a great idea when it comes to finding the right doses, products and treatment plan for you.  Happy travels!