Body

5 ways to stay healthy while you travel, according to a toxicologist

Getting sick while you're on a much needed holiday is never an enjoyable experience. Here, an expert shares their best tips for how you can avoid germs while you travel.

As we head into the cooler months, many Kiwis jet off to warmer shores for a quick getaway, but after forking out a considerable amount to go to some far flung places, the last thing you want is to fall sick from the change in climate and new environments.
Speaking to wellbeing website Mind Body Green, Rhea Mehta, a molecular toxicologist who studies how toxins in our environment and how they affect our health, shares her expert tips on how to avoid toxins and germs while travelling.
Whether you're heading on a train, plane or taking a roadie (Queen's birthday weekend is just around the corner!), here's five ways to ensure your well-deserved holiday isn't ruined by feeling under the weather.

1. Disinfect your seat

If you're heading on any form of public transport, whether that be a bus, a train or even a plane, not to freak you out, but the chances are, a lot of people have sat on your seat before you.
Rhea tells Mind Body Green that she carries baby wipes with her to clean seats and screens that she comes into contact with on public transport.
And since according to a study in 2016, one third of plane travellers reported feeling unwell after a long journey, it's probably best to be more safe than sorry by giving yourself a better chance of staying well and bringing along a pack of wipes – ideally ones that are made without phosphates and phthalates.

2. Bring along your immune-busters

If you're flying into a different time zone, chances are it'll take a while for your body to get up to speed with your new sleep time, add in the excitement of travelling to a new place and you may not be able to sleep at all!
While that's completely understandable (we're the same), these changes can sometimes mean your body's immunity may take a hit.
To make sure your body's in peak shape, try adding a multi vitamin supplement that contains ingredients like vitamin C, zinc, B vitamins and chlorella – all of which will help boost your immune system.
If you're flying into a different time zone, chances are it'll take a while for your body to get up to speed with your new sleep time.

3. Have a plan B

If you do have the misfortune of coming down with a sickness while you're on the road, Rhea says there's a few secret things she has up her sleeves if she's feeling weak or irritable.
Oregano oil, which you can purchase as a supplement, is one of Rhea's go-tos. The oil has a host of antibacterial properties that have been shown to help fend off everything from bacterial infection to parasites.
And if her stomach is feeling a little funky, she says detoxifying activated charcoal is a great supplement to have on hand.

4. Grab that natural "reliever"

If your body's going through the unfortunate case of holiday constipation (because let's be honest, it happens) Rhea says reaching for magnesium supplements may be your best bet at relieving the symptoms.
Taking magnesium can also help to calm stress and counteract jet lag.

5. Make sure you’re getting the essentials

Having a good night's sleep, moving and keeping hydrated are basically the essentials for good health.
To make sure you're getting enough of each, Rhea suggests making your water interesting – she likes to drink ginger and lemon tea.
She also takes melatonin or valerian root tea to help get optimal shut-eye, and to make sure her body's moving she always, always, always, takes the stairs!