When planning a future trip, one question always comes up. Will I be in shape when I get there? Everyone has already experienced it, the beautiful trip turns into an ordeal far from home. The purpose of this article is simple; to identify the key factors in your preparation and to give you some advice to have all the chances on your side to be in full possession of your means during your trip, whether it is professional or for pleasure.

To simplify the equation, the success of your trip depends on 2 distinct and independent parameters. The first is you, your state of fitness, your stress level, your fatigue and the quality of your diet. On the other hand, there are risks that, when they occur can negatively impact your body and ruin your stay. Maximizing the chances that everything will go well is not so complicated; it is mostly a matter of anticipating the main risks and preparing yourself accordingly.

Prepare Your Body for the Trip

The level of fitness before departure has of course an important impact on the risk of getting sick during the trip. Of course, from one person to another, factors such as age, possible health problems or, for example, weight can play a role. We are not all equal; some have a robust nature and are better equipped than others to protect themselves from external aggressions.

This being said, this does not change the fact that an adequate preparation, simple gestures and an analysis of the context in which you will be traveling often allow to limit the risks.

Avoid Leaving Exhausted on a Trip

The level of fatigue is a primary cause of the immune system's decreased effectiveness in fighting and eliminating pathogenic microbes that enter the body. Stress level is an important factor, as it affects the quantity and quality of sleep. Taking care not to let stress overwhelm you and giving yourself the time you need to properly rest and sleep in the weeks and days leading up to your trip is a useful tip. Even if it seems obvious, the organization of the trip and the departure generate a rush that must be anticipated. Traveling is a source of fatigue and stress and the body will be put to the test. The fact of leaving rested and in shape is an important thing that is unfortunately often neglected.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

Just like fatigue, the quality of your diet, in other words, your body's absorption of the nutrients needed to keep your immune system functioning properly, is a very important factor. The immune system is the body's defense mechanism for keeping you fit and healthy. It is always on alert, detecting pathogens such as viruses or bacteria and destroying them. The immune response is a complex mechanism, a chain involving different organs and cell types, all of which must work well to be effective. A diet that is not varied enough can limit the intake of nutrients that are essential to the optimal functioning of your immune system. Certain vitamins such as vitamins C, D, B6, B9 and B12, probiotics and certain minerals such as zinc play a role in the proper functioning of the immune system. Too rich or unbalanced, the diet can also harm the digestive system and particularly the intestinal microbiota, this group of microorganisms that plays a key role in immunity. If it is not always easy to organize a rich and varied diet in all circumstances, it is also possible to use adapted food supplements to maintain a high immunity and limit the risks. If some food supplements allow to activate the immune system before leaving, others are more adapted to obtain a fast response in case of contamination and allow an effective and fast recovery. It is therefore important to get detailed information before choosing a solution and thus have the best possible protection.

Exercise on a Regular Basis

Regular exercise has several positive effects on the immune system. Regular physical activity of moderate intensity reduces the frequency of chronic inflammation, promotes the circulation of cells involved in the response to pathogens, improves the activity of these immune cells and slows down the progressive loss of the immune system's effectiveness that occurs during aging.

Thirty to 60 minutes of walking per day, most days of the week, is enough to stimulate the immune system. According to the latest studies, this can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 40%. If you travel regularly, it is therefore advisable to maintain regular activity to keep germs at bay. However, you must be careful not to overdo it, as intense and prolonged exercise can weaken the immune system, facilitating the entry and multiplication of viruses in the body. So stay reasonable.

Managing External Risks Encountered While Traveling 

When traveling, the body is always challenged. Many external elements can be harmful to your health and make your stay more complicated. To keep away from risks, it is first important to measure the environment and the climate of the arrival destination and to prepare oneself in order to face the risks inherent to each trip.

Climate Changes at Destination

Of course, the climate and environment that the organization will have to deal with at destination must be taken seriously. Upon arrival at the destination, the body may be challenged by significant changes in temperature and humidity. This is very well observed at the change of season, the sudden arrival of a cold snap surprises many people who are not well prepared. A cold and humid climate is favorable to the proliferation of viruses that most often cause respiratory illnesses as well as a flu-like condition. The mucous membranes of the nose tend to dry out in colder weather, which increases the risk of viruses entering the body. It is therefore recommended to pay attention to them. Today, there are effective food supplements that help to maintain fully functional nasal mucous membranes.

When the climate at the destination is significantly warmer than at departure, there are fewer problems with respiratory diseases. However, great care should be taken with air conditioning settings during travel (plane, bus, taxi, train, etc.) and in the hotel upon arrival. Air conditioning set below 21°C (70 F) or with too high a flow rate can completely dry out the respiratory mucosa and cause flu-like symptoms. On the other hand, hot and humid climates are more favorable to the proliferation of bacteria, some of which are harmful to health. It is therefore necessary to be more careful with the food you eat, especially fresh fruit and vegetables. Running water can also be dangerous. To avoid contamination, it is best to use bottled water or sterilize tap water with antiseptic tablets or by boiling it.

Simple Actions and Precautions to Take When Traveling

Areas of large gatherings in closed environments are particularly conducive to the transmission of diseases, whether in the air or on surfaces that are likely to have been touched by many people. To limit these risks, it is necessary to apply the recommended barrier measures.

 Author - Boris Hueni

Boris Hueni is a biologist by training and has worked for over 10 years in research and development laboratories. He holds an MBA in business development and currently works as a consultant and entrepreneur in the biotech and agro-food sectors.


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