5 tips to stay healthy when you travel

5 tips to stay healthy when you travel
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Here are tips to nix the five most common issues travellers might face.

Winter Itch

If you constantly suffer from irritated and dry skin in chilly climes, Dr Robyn Gmyrek, a US-based dermatologist offers the following advice: take lukewarm, not hot, showers, but if that seems unbearable after a long day in the freezing cold, keep bath times short, and limit the amount of soap used.

You might also want to swap tropical-weather moisturisers with petroleum-jelly instead. It might seem odd to apply this all over your body and face, but it'll greatly improve your comfort and hydration levels in a snap.

Heat Exhaustion

Coming from somewhere sunny, it's easy to let our guard down with this dangerous condition that might cause nausea, dizziness, cramps and fainting.

Be sure to drink lots of fluids (not alcoholic or caffeinated beverages which might dehydrate you), wear a wide-brim hat, and apply sunblock regularly.

Avoid getting sunburnt at all cost, as it could reduce your body's natural ability to shed heat, shares a Mayo Clinic report.

Cold and Flu

If you're prone to these conditions before or during trips, up your intake of soluble fibre to boost immunity, reports a study from the University of Illinois in the US.

Good sources include apples, oats, and nuts. Already down with symptoms?

Both Vitamin C and elderberry extract (available as a supplement) have been proven to reduce the severity and duration of each bout.

Illnesses Caught on the Plane

After each flight, the cleaning crew does their best to sanitise the plane, but there are spots where germs can linger for days.

According to a report presented at an annual meeting for the American Society for Microbiology, staph bacteria, which can cause boils and food poisoning, lingers as long as a week on seat pockets, while tummy-turning E. coli can stay on armrests for up to four days. Wipe down these spots, or better yet, avoid touching them altogether.

Food Poisoning

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, 30 to 70 per cent of holidaymakers may experience food poisoning, making it one of the most common travel-related conditions to watch for.

The old adage "boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it" may be helpful, but going a step further, it's a good idea to bring along hand-sanitisers to get rid germs on grubby mitts, especially when there's no soap or water around.

Also, when you're ordering, avoid ice, uncooked food, dishes that have been sitting out for hours, and vendors who don't wash their hands or put on gloves after handling money.

Shape, the only women's health & fitness magazine in Singapore is now available in both print and digital formats. Log on to www.shape.com.sg to subscribe!

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