Whether you’re hitting the slopes in the mountains or chasing the sun to a warm island, these winter wellness tips will help you stay healthy and active for your trip.
Winter wellness tips for travelers
During my health coaching certification studies, I realized that optimal wellness isn’t always the result of big, sweeping lifestyle changes or following the next big trend. The most powerful wellness measures are usually the simplest. And that’s good news for your next vacation.
Travel can be exhausting and stressful. Sometimes it brings you into contact with new-to-you ingredients, unclean water, fast foods and other not-so-healthy circumstances. The lack of a routine, time-zone changes and a whole host of balance-disruptors are par for the course.
Fortunately, your winter trip doesn’t have to be a petri dish for illness or discomfort. Keep these simple winter wellness tips and routines in mind before, during and after your next trip to stay healthy and happy.
Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning
It’s so important to hydrate first thing in the morning. As soon as you wake up, drink a glass (or two or three) of room temperature or warm water to improve digestion and energy. For a boost of vitamin C and potassium, grab a lemon from the local market or grocery store and squeeze a slice into your morning H2O. Just remember to wash the lemon before dropping it into your glass.
Reach for the herbs and spices
Are you prone to travelers’ tummy and constantly looking for ways to soothe stomach aches, nausea or digestive troubles? Put down the antacids, potions and pills and reach for herbs and spices.
My favorite herbs and spices for travelers are:
Cinnamon: Hello, antioxidants! Cinnamon boasts more antioxidants than any other spice. In addition to being an all-around healthy spice, it’s antimicrobial, can help reduce nausea and provides important minerals.
Mint: Another great one for reducing nausea. Mint tea, mint oil, mint gum, or just chewing on a sprig will help soothe digestive upset and headaches. Mint oil can also be used as a mosquito repellant or to treat insect bites.
Oregano oil: Taking an oregano oil supplement can help with a number of travel sickness issues. It’s known for having potent antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It’s also said to help combat parasites and foodborne illness. It can also be used externally to promote skin healing.
Garlic: Did you know that garlic was first used throughout history as medicine? Adding plenty of garlic to your meals isn’t just a delicious ingredient choice, it’s a wellness supplement. Garlic has also been shown to boost the immune system and prevent the common cold and flu.
Ginger: Ginger just might be a traveler’s best friend. It’s widely known for reducing nausea and stomach upset. It can even soothe burns on the skin. Plus, ginger’s warming properties promote perspiration which helps to break a fever…or will just warm you up on a cold day.
Take probiotics before, during and after your trip
This is my number one healthy travel tip. We’re understanding more and more that gut health is the foundation for overall health. And for that reason alone, probiotics should be a regular part of your wellness routine. For travel, it’s especially important. Taking probiotics two weeks before your trip, during your trip, and for the few weeks following your trip will help prevent stomach and digestion issues that are so common to travel. And when your gut is healthy, you’re more likely to stay healthy.
Travel with a humidifier
Dry, cold air contributes to cracked skin, dry nasal passages and sore throats. Using a humidifier can make you feel more comfortable, especially after a long flight where the humidity levels are ultra low. A humidifier can also help relieve symptoms of cold and other respiratory conditions. A quick Google search will bring up a number of travel humidifiers that won’t take up too much space. Just make sure to keep it clean. A dirty humidifier could actually make you sick.
Eat local and seasonal whenever possible
This is a good rule to go by no matter where (or when) you are. Food that’s local and in season is more nutritious and delicious. A win-win if you ask me! When traveling, look for restaurants that serve local and/or seasonal foods. Or head to the local market to pick up your own ingredients.
Use a natural hand sanitizer
A good rule of thumb: Wipe down everything in the airport before you touch it. Millions of people flow through airports and airplanes every day and cleanliness isn’t exactly top priority. No one is even wiping down the airplane tray tables, let alone the check-in kiosks, security buckets, onboard entertainment systems or seatbelts. Wash up or wipe up, people.
Supplement with magnesium
Magnesium is crucial for optimal health, but how does it help travelers? It relaxes muscles, prevents cramping and eases anxiety. This comes in quite handy after cramped flights or active days spent exploring. It can also help relieve menstrual cramps, which are a total downer anytime, but especially when you’re traveling. Magnesium is also known to promote sleep (um, jetlag anyone?).
Use immunity boosting essential oils
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen a lot of people promoting essential oils all over your Instagram or Facebook feeds. Even if you’re turned off by the network marketing approach (I know I am) essential oils deserve a spot in your healthy travel toolkit. Quality is key when it comes to oils, so do your research first and find a reputable brand. And yes, there are reputable brands that aren’t MLM companies!
Some great essential oils for travel are:
Lavender: Promotes sleep, eases anxiety and can help heal skin wounds and sunburn.
Peppermint: Eases nausea, boosts energy and focus and relieves nasal congestion.
Thieves: A blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary known for improving immunity.
Lemon (or any other citrus oil): Just smelling citrus oils can brighten your mood, they’re also known to disinfect thanks to their antiseptic and antifungal properties.
Embrace the season’s restorative power
Wellness is about much more than just not being sick. Staying physically healthy is key, however, it’s important to nourish your mental and emotional wellbeing too. Instead of feeling down about the winter months, embrace them for what they are…quiet, introspective and restorative. After all, there’s always hygge.
Do you have any winter wellness tips for travel? Let me know what works for you in the comments.
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