Danica Patrick: Stay healthy on the road

December 07, 2016 | by Danica Patrick

I do not have time to get sick.

Who does, really? Even a run-of-the-mill cold can be enough to knock you off course for much longer than you’d like.

Traveling can make it even harder to stay healthy. When you’re out of your home environment, you’re more vulnerable. You may come across bacteria you wouldn’t normally run into. You may not be sleeping as well as you do in your own bed, which can sap your energy and your immune system.

You won’t always get sick while traveling, but it’s better to be prepared.

As frequently as I travel, I’ve found some things that work well for me.

  • Wash your hands. Do not neglect this one. Hand washing is crucial. Follow up with hand sanitizer if you’re around other sick people.
  • Get enough rest. Sleep deprivation weakens your immune system. Pack what you may need for a good night’s sleep.
  • Bring your tool kit. I never travel without dental floss, nail clippers, a nail file, bandages, antibiotic ointment, pain reliever and hydrocortisone cream. These are things you may not think to put on the packing list, but you’ll be really glad you did when you need them.
  • Don’t touch your face. This is the way cold and flu viruses enter your body: through your eyes, nose and mouth. Try really hard to keep your hands off.
  • Eating and drinking? Don’t overdo it. Of course, I enjoy food and wine. Especially on vacation! When I’m traveling, though, I am more cautious about what -- and how much -- I eat. Feeling bloated or hung over takes away from your trip, and you want to enjoy it.
  • Keep moving! There is something to be said for lying on a beach or camping out on the couch watching movies with your family over the holidays. A little exercise (yoga on the beach? A jog? A winter walk with your family?) will help you better enjoy your rest time.

Staying well while traveling isn’t tricky. It just requires smart packing, healthy habits (did you get your annual flu shot?) and self-awareness. You’ll enjoy your next trip so much more without the sniffles!

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