Pack good health when planning summer travels

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Pack good health when planning summer travels

Summer travels are full of fond memories – days spent at a beach, hiking trails, seeing faraway sights, and trying out new foods.  But to get the most out of your summer adventures, be sure to pack good health. Year-round health is best but when on vacation, a dose of feeling healthy and well will make the trip especially enjoyable.

Be prepared before you leave

In the months or weeks leading up to your summer getaway, you need to check off your good health to-do list. Staying healthy and safe while away from home makes everyone feel more secure and less stressed than not planning ahead. Here is a list of what you should do before you pack your bags:

·      Get a medical check-up

Allow yourself at least 4 to 6 weeks before departure to see your doctor for a checkup.  This is an excellent time not only to have an overall physical but also to review your vaccines such as tetanus and hepatitis A. Depending on where you are traveling to, you may need to discuss the need for additional vaccines to protect you from possible diseases within certain regions of the world. By seeing your doctor several weeks before you leave, allows time for vaccines to offer protection.

·      Review medications and stock up

When you see your doctor at the checkup, do a review of all medications you take.  It will be important to take along more than you need of medications you must take daily in case your return home is delayed. It’s also smart to bring along a complete list of all your prescriptions and any medical reports you might need, such as a copy of your most recent electrocardiogram if you have a heart condition. When traveling, keep your medications in their original bottles and pack them on your carry-on and not in your stowaway luggage in case it got lost.

Another consideration is asking your doctor about packing an antibiotic in case of diarrhea.  This may help prevent an unnecessary turn for the worse situation.

·      Get in shape

While you may have visions of taking it easy while away, it’s not unusual to find yourself standing and walking more than usual when on a trip. Even on the most casual trips, walking is a big part of travel so building up endurance before you leave is recommended. If you are inactive, start several weeks before leaving by beginning a walking program gradually working up to 30 to 45 minutes a day.  Wearing an activity tracker can show the progress you make helping you gauge improvements.

·      Drink more fluids

Every day should be a day of adequate hydration but especially so when traveling. You may be spending more time outdoors than usual or spending hours at a time on airplanes notoriously known for low humidity.

Instead of waiting to get thirsty before you drink, a good target to aim for is to consume about 10 cups of water or other fluids such as coffee or unsweetened tea a day (unless advised by your doctor not to). It’s best to avoid sugary beverages, energy drinks, or juice-flavored drinks as they contain too much sugar.

Another good source of adequate hydration is eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies each day. Water-rich foods to try are oranges, watermelons, berries, cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomatoes.

In conclusion

Getting sick or not feeling well while on vacation is a surefire way to spoil a good time. Don’t neglect healthy habits – just like you plan what clothes to take along or where to stay at, be sure to have a plan for staying healthy while away from home. Just a few simple health reminders can keep your vacation destination a fun and memorable trip.