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Holiday travel tips for health and happiness

Holiday travel tips for health and happiness

Holiday travel is exciting. You hit the road, relax and spend time with your favorite people. Fun as the holidays are, they can sometimes leave you worse for wear with exhausting travels and holiday indulgences.

This year, cruise back home to NOLA, happy and healthy, with these travel tips.

Save holiday calories for holiday events

Whether by car or plane, holiday travel can lead you to eat more calories than you do normally. Avoid this by planning ahead and saving the extra calories for special events with loved ones. While on the road or recovering from jet lag, keep your calorie count in check and stay healthy with these tips:

  • Pick a light side. Fast food and holiday travel often go hand in hand. Make your fast-food breaks a little healthier by avoiding fries. Opt for fruit, a baked potato or salad instead. Do this the first time you eat out to set a healthy eating tone for your entire trip.
  • Pack snacks. When it’s snack time, focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. Since they can be hard to find, take some with you. A small handful of nuts also gives a healthy boost.
  • Water up. Gas stations and airports have a lot of drink options. Most of them load you up with calories, sugar or caffeine. Drink water instead to stay hydrated and help your immune system and body work well. Keep a water bottle on hand to make it easier to resist sodas and other sweet drinks.

When at a holiday gathering, don’t let your guard down. Fill up on water and healthy foods first. Then enjoy a small sample of a holiday favorite or piece of your favorite dessert. Savor the flavor. Instead of focusing on wanting more dessert, fill up on time with loved ones.

Squeeze in exercise during holiday travel

To stay healthy this holiday season, get up and get moving. Wherever you are, talk short walk breaks: around the block, at the mall or through the park. Here are some ways to sneak in some exercise.

  • At a rest stop: Do some jumping jacks, take a quick walk or do some stretches.
  • Waiting for a plane: Put your palms on an airport seat and hold yourself up with your legs extended in front of you. Lower yourself toward the floor and push back up. Repeat.
  • While pumping gas: Stand on your toes for a few seconds and then lower yourself. Repeat until your gas tank is full.

Stay clean and get the vaccine

Though visiting loved ones can help your mental health, the holidays arrive during cold and flu season. That means germs await wherever your holiday travel plans take you.

Reduce your risk of sickness with these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Get vaccinated. A quick vaccine lowers your risk of flu or COVID-19. Even if you haven’t gotten your shot yet, it’s not too late. Talk with your provider if you haven’t had yours yet.
  • Keep your hands away from your face. Germs enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth. Stop them short by not touching your face.
  • Love sick folks from a distance. It’s hard, but stay away from anyone with cold or flu symptoms. (This includes your favorite auntie.)
  • Practice food safety. Wash any surface that touches meat, and make sure all food is cooked to the right temperature. If there are any leftovers, get them in the refrigerator ASAP.
  • Wash your hands. Door handles, counters and phones all have germs on them. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water to help your hands stay germ-free.

Ready to stay healthy through the holidays? Request an appointment with a primary care provider at LCMC Health today.