Are you planning to travel? If you’re looking to stay safe while traveling, you’re already considering how to shop, pack, and prepare. You’re also probably thinking about supplements, nutrition, exercise, and emergencies. Here are five ways to protect your health while traveling.
Best Choice: Supplements or Whole Foods?
Are you trying to decide if supplements can replace whole foods? Nutritionists are quick to remind us that supplements are not intended to replace whole foods. Supplements are exactly what the word sounds like: supplemental. Whole foods offer key benefits such as:
- Complex nutrition includes micronutrients that are not the same as those in supplements.
- Essential dietary fiber, found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. This fiber can help reduce the risks of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.
- Protective substances such as health-promoting antioxidants.
Supplements may be very helpful and can support your health especially if you are on a restricted diet, have certain medical conditions, have digestive disorders, or have trouble getting nutritious foods.
Many travelers find that with unpredictable conditions, using supplements can help with common issues. Travelers often rely on supplements to support bone health, digestive health, and balance food allergies.
The Truth About Choosing Supplements
If taking supplements while traveling is on your mind, be sure to follow some common-sense guidelines about choosing and using supplements.
- Check labels. Find out the appropriate serving size, and amount of nutrients per serving.
- Follow guidelines. Some supplements are best taken on an empty stomach, others work better with food.
- Avoid overdosing. Taking more than the recommended daily amount could increase your risk of side effects.
- Check with your doctor. Let your doctor know about any supplements you are taking. This is important, especially if you’re having an upcoming surgery or are also taking prescription drugs.
Picking Supplements for Your Bone Health
Whether you are in your mid-20’s or several decades older, you may be wondering about how to support strong bones. Getting enough calcium and Vitamin D along with regular exercise and a healthy diet can go a long way towards reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
Calcium and Vitamin D work together to help your body absorb calcium. In addition to helping bone strength, these important bone supplements help support muscle and immune health.
Exercising for Bone Health
In terms of exercise, weight-bearing and resistance exercise is generally recommended to help bone health. Weight-bearing activity includes walking, running, dancing, climbing stairs, playing tennis, and hiking.
Resistance exercises include things such as lifting weights, which can also strengthen your bones. Swimming and biking are not the best ways to exercise your bones, although these both have positive cardiovascular benefits.
Ideally, find an exercise that you enjoy doing. This is the hidden ingredient that will help you start being active, and continue making physical activity a daily priority. If you enjoy walking, running, dancing, or other activities with friends. This is a great way to strengthen social connections while you strengthen your bones.
According to the Surgeon General, the optimal goal for exercise is thirty minutes a day. Aim for at least half an hour of activity on most days to support your health. However, if you have any concerns, talk with your medical provider or doctor, before beginning an exercise program.
Eating Well While Traveling
Do you have some travel on your calendar? If so, you’re probably wondering how to Eat a healthy and balanced diet when you’re traveling. With a bit of planning and attention, you can support your health goals—even while trekking about in remote places.
Three things will help you achieve your goals:
- First, plan. Talk with fellow travelers to gain insight into the best restaurants, stores, and local produce shops in the area. Find out if there are any special issues to be aware of—before you go to a city, region, or country.
- Second, prepare your emergency supplies. That’s why it’s so helpful to order vitamins in advance and pack your healthy snacks. Keep snacks in your carry-on bag, just in case your flight is delayed.
- Third, have a strategy. Know what to do in an unexpected situation. Get the basics: water, fruit, and protein. Buy a sealed bottle of water. Grab an orange or banana. Get a hard-boiled egg or package of nuts. Use your creativity and stay healthy.
If you’re getting ready to travel be sure to pack your supplements, exercise gear, and snack stash. Most of all, though, be sure to enjoy your travels and stay healthy no matter where you decide to go!