Top 5 Healthy Travel Tips to Keep You Energized

Top 5 Healthy Travel Tips to Keep You Energized

Healthy travel has always been important, given our need for energy and a strong immune system while on the go. This year, optimizing our health has become even more of a priority. Since we have been inside for longer periods of time, our immune system has not been exposed as much to all the good and bad bacteria that forces the body to adapt and defend against pathogens.

We have to build back the diversity in the gut microbiome in order to have the strongest immune system possible. In addition to the tips below, there are ways to strengthen gut health even before you head out for the trip by incorporating daily fermented foods (sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi), resistant starches (sweet potatoes, root vegetables) and lowering stress.

While you are in the midst of travel, here are top tips to keep you energized, healthy and strong.

Top 5 Healthy Travel Tips to Keep You Energized - Incorporate Deep Breathing

Tip #1: Incorporate Deep Breathing

 Travel can increase anxiety and create a fear response in the brain. One of the best ways to calm a stressed state and improve overall satisfaction during travel is with deep breathing. Deep breathing  improves relaxation response which is crucial to ease anxiety, and improves REM cycles which allow for deep restorative sleep. Guided breathing slows down the activity of Beta brain waves, which can make the brain feel scattered.  When we take 5-10 minutes for guided breathing, our brains produce more alpha theta and delta brainwaves, responsible for deep relaxation. Deep breathing also increases melatonin production, which acts as an extremely powerful antioxidant responsible for regulating circadian rhythms and activating the immune system.

Abdominal Breathing: 

Benefits- reduces stress and calms the nervous system

Begin to deepen your breathing by inhaling for a 5 count and exhaling for 5. Bring attention to your stomach. Inhale presses the belly out, exhale pulls the belly in. Inhale 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, exhale 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (continue at your own pace)

Energy Breathing:  

Benefits- Strengthens the nervous system, boosts immune system, expand lung capacity 

Rapid and continuous breath 

Sit nice and tall. Deeply breath in through the nose, close the mouth and make short continuous exhalations through the nose 20 times. (Show example)

Begin together.

Repeat at your own pace.

Top 5 Healthy Travel Tips to Keep You Energized - Legs up the Wall

Tip #2: Legs up the Wall

Legs up the wall stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest), which is responsible for calming the body and mind, reducing stress and fatigue while stimulating circulation to lower inflammation. This pose is a supportive inversion, which helps regulate blood sugar, stimulate digestion and reduce fatigue. Lie with legs up the wall for 5-15 minutes after a long flight or right before bed. It will have an immediate calming effect on the body and increase circulation. 

Top 5 Healthy Travel Tips to Keep You Energized - Enjoy Honey at Night

Tip #3: Enjoy Honey at Night

Adding 1-2 tablespoons of honey into tea or hot water before bed, our bodies will be able to naturally repair throughout the night. The liver is responsible for regulating sleep hormones, increasing fat metabolism and lowering inflammation in the body. Our liver needs glycogen in order to do this and keep stress hormones (like cortisol) at bay. Honey restocks the liver selectively without digestive burden or spiking blood sugar and forms a stable supply of liver glycogen. Honey also contributes to the release of melatonin, which is the hormone required for both the recovery and rebuilding of body tissues during rest. Melatonin is highly anti-cancer and absolutely necessary for healthy cells. Look for raw honey or take it with you during a trip. This can be done during the 8 hour eating window. 

Top 5 Healthy Travel Tips to Keep You Energized - Boost Metabolism and Energy with Productivity Planks

Tip #4: Boost Metabolism and Energy with Productivity Planks

A four-minute plank routine will ignite the metabolism, improve circulation to the brain and prepare the body and mind to reach peak performance. Planks engage the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, obliques and glutes. This is important because each muscle group serves a different purpose and gives you a different definition. The transverse abdominis increases abdominal pressure so you can lift more weight. It also helps to flatten out the stomach. The rectus abdominis improves performance in sports that require jumping and it gives you the 6-pack look. The obliques are responsible for side bending and waist twisting moves. Developing these muscles also gives you that nice hourglass shape. The glutes take pressure off the back and reduce risk of injury. Any type of plank will boost energy and improve productivity. 

Four-Minute Workout: 

Forearm Plank:

Come onto your forearms with legs extended straight back. Clasp hands and bring elbows directly under the shoulders. Come up onto the balls of your feet, forming a straight line from head to heels. 

Draw the belly button toward the spine. Engage quads and glutes the entire time. Hold for 30 seconds to 1-minute. 

Side Plank:

Come onto your right forearm with elbow under shoulder and feet stacked. Lift hips up as high as possible, forming a straight line from head to heels. 

Extend left arm directly over shoulder and press right hand into the mat. Keep core engaged the entire time. Hold for 30 seconds each side. 

Straight-Arm Plank:

Place hands under shoulders and come up onto the balls of your feet. Keep your arms extended straight and gaze toward the floor. 

Squeeze shoulder blades together and draw the belly button toward the spine. Keep quads and glutes engaged the entire time. Hold for 30 seconds to 1-minute. 

Straight-Arm Plank with Shoulder Touch:

Place hands under shoulders and come up onto the balls of your feet. Bring feet wider than mat width. Keep arms extended straight and gaze toward the floor. 

Keeping hips still, bring the right hand up to touch the left shoulder. Return to center and bring your left hand up to touch your right shoulder. Continue to alternate, keeping the torso and legs as still as possible. Perform for 30 seconds to 1-minute. 

Top 5 Healthy Travel Tips to Keep You Energized - Travel with Superfood Snacks

Tip # 5: Travel with Superfood Snacks

Dark chocolate (70% and above) is made up of powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals, which is the culprit for premature aging. The polyphenols and flavonoids in dark chocolate serve as the cleanup crew in the cells, which boosts the immune system, brightens skin, strengthens hair and delivers sustained energy.

Walnuts are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which protect the brain and improve cognitive health. Their high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals also improve mental alertness. The properties of walnuts also protect against inflammation which can affect the brain.

Raspberries and blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants, which fight oxidative stress and boost the immune system while traveling. This in turn fights wrinkles, signs of aging and reduces inflammation in the body. Raspberries are also high in water content making it a prime candidate for weight loss and staying hydrated on the road. 

Macadamia nuts are one of the only food sources that contain palmitoleic acid (a type of monounsaturated fatty acid that may speed up fat metabolism, thus reducing the body’s ability to store fat). Contains both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, which helps you feel full while removing toxins from the body and assisting in proper digestion. High in copper, which helps with the utilization of iron and aids in the functioning and protection of the thyroid (very important for proper weight management).

Author: Nora Tobin, performance enhancement and executive coach, nutrition specialist and CEO of Nora’s Naturals coffee, highlights the effects that all stages of travel can have on your overall health and wellbeing.

About the author
Mrs. Hatland is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.

4 Comments

  1. This was a fun post to read and really has some great tips for healthy travel that I have to remember to do.

  2. I also suggest spending enough on good accommodation for the night. Sleeping well is the most important.

  3. I love the great tips! As grandparents, we bring our grandkids for little day trips or to camp. We sure do need the energy!

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