Top Tips for Staying Healthy During Winter Travel

"According to the CDC, keeping your hands clean can prevent one in five respiratory infections and one in three diarrheal illnesses"

Colds, flus, and respiratory illnesses tend to be more common in colder months.1 This is especially true if you’re surrounded by potentially sick people in an enclosed space like an airplane cabin. Since COVID-19 is sticking around and flu season is now upon us, it’s time to start thinking about how to best protect yourself so the holiday season isn’t ruined by a holiday bug.

From practicing proper hygiene to getting your vitamin D, here’s how to stay healthy in winter, especially if you’re traveling.  

Practice Proper Hygiene 

Practicing proper hygiene is crucial when it comes to protecting yourself from illness and protecting others. And one of the most important things you can do is wash your hands frequently with soap and water. According to the CDC, keeping your hands clean can prevent one in five respiratory infections and one in three diarrheal illnesses.2 Some other ways to practice proper hygiene during winter months include the following:

  • Avoid touching your face, especially your nose, eyes, and mouth, where germs can more easily enter your body. 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow. If you use a tissue, properly discard it and wash your hands.
  • Carry hand sanitizer with you for those times when you do not have access to a sink, running water, and soap.
  • Though mask mandates are lifted, it’s still a good idea to wear a mask while traveling, including when you’re at the airport or train station. 
  • Take disinfectant wipes with you to clean regularly used spaces and objects like pull-down trays and arm rests. If your vacation includes rental equipment like skis, snowboards, and similar items, be sure to sanitize those as well. 

Prioritize Eating Healthy and Sleeping Well

Following a nutritious diet and sleeping well help to keep our immune systems strong and healthy. Such basic lifestyle habits have a massive impact on the generation of protective cytokines, antibodies, and many immune-active proteins and metabolites that fend off pathogens. When we do not provide our body with quality sleep or nutritious foods, inflammation runs rampant, lowering immune function and leaving us more vulnerable to getting sick.3 Prioritize your diet and sleep by following these tips this winter season: 

  • Holiday sweets and salty airplane snacks are great once in a while, but try not to overdo it. Too much sugar can negatively impact your immunity and your sleep quality. Aim for more vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins when you can.
  • If you’re traveling to a faraway destination, avoid jet lag by adjusting your diet a few days before your trip. Try to line up your meal times with your destination time zone.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene. Avoid looking at screens in bed, reduce caffeine intake, and practice a relaxing bedtime ritual to wind down, relax, and decompress before bed. 

Stay prepared with healthier
medicine for a faster recovery.

Stay Hydrated 

Skip the airport cocktail and opt for water when traveling to reduce your chances of getting sick. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you could do for your health, especially when you’re traveling. When you do not drink enough liquids, your body cannot properly transport nutrients to your organs, your lymph system cannot drain toxins, and your immunity plummets. Everybody’s water intake is different, but it’s recommended to drink a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Follow these tips to prioritize hydration:  

  • Plain water too boring? Try adding chopped up fruit to your glass for a punch of flavor.
  • Invest in a good quality bottle you can take with you, so you always have access to liquids.
  • Track your water intake by using an app or setting reminders to take a sip or get a refill.
  • Make hydration a habit by hooking it onto another habit you already have, like brushing your teeth or eating a meal. 

Get Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for bone health and nerve functions, but it also helps your immune system fight off bacteria and viruses like those that cause colds and flus. Research shows that deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection.4 But since our bodies do not naturally make vitamin D, it is important to get it from other sources. These include:

  • Sunlight: Our bodies make vitamin D when direct sunlight converts a chemical in our skin into an active form of the vitamin.
  • Food: Foods that include vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon and tuna, egg yolk, and fortified cereals.
  • Supplements: Taking a vitamin D supplement is a common way that people ensure they are getting enough of the vitamin, especially if they spend much of their day indoors and out of sunlight. 

Wear Travel and Weather Appropriate Clothing  

Though cold weather does not cause illness, it can make you more susceptible to catching respiratory infections. This is because the body is not as effective at fighting viruses when cold air enters the nose and upper airways.5 Even worse, dressing inappropriately in frigid temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. Some tips to wear travel- and weather-appropriate clothing include the following:

  • Dress in layers to ensure you are warm indoors and outdoors and prevent overheating.
  • Invest in waterproof boots for wet weather. Studies show that cold feet can actually lower your immune response.6  
  • Don’t forget your workout gear. Keeping active won’t just keep you warm, but it will also keep your immune system functioning properly.
  • Opt for versatile outerwear that protects you from the rain, snow, and wind. 

Try Preventative Methods like Homeopathic Medicines 

Vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea can all help strengthen your immune system, but so can homeopathic medication like Brillia Health products.7 Brillia Health Cold-Flu Recovery contains groundbreaking antibody ingredients that target the specific proteins in the body responsible for producing cold and flu symptoms and prevents their effects on the body. One such antibody is lapine interferon gamma immune globulin, which works to strengthen immune cells and recruit even more cells to ward off illness and keep it at bay. 

And if you’ve heeded all of our winter travel tips and still end up sick, both Brillia Health Cold-Flu Recovery and Cough Control can help you recover quickly. Free from harsh, synthetic chemicals and harmful side effects, the non-prescription medications are clinically proven to shorten illness severity and duration without making you drowsy. Instead of overloading your body with harsh, synthetic chemicals like those found in other cold/flu medications, Brillia Health works with your body so you can feel better faster and still enjoy your winter plans.

Learn more about Brillia Health and find more tips on how to stay healthy throughout the year at the Brillia(nce) Resource Center.

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References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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