The good news is travel is opening up for double vaccinated people. The bad news — it’s not stopping non-vaccinated people from travelling either. Neither has Covid disappeared — nor has the risk of contracting it even after full vaccination.
More so, travel has become more stressful and expensive with the multitude of protocols in place by various agencies, be it the travel carrier or the destination.
While testing is a must before travel, it does expose the traveller to health personnel who in turn are exposed to a multitude of people, some of whom may be carriers of the virus. This is by no means a scare to avoid contact with health personnel from fear of contracting the virus, but it does mean one cannot let down the guard just because everything is opening up either. Wearing a mask, protective gear and boosting the internal immunity is certainly a must — even for the fully vaccinated.
The fact is, our immune system is a bit of a mystery — one that researchers are still trying to fully decode. As scientists continue exploring the links between factors like age, diet, and exercise on our overall immune response, there are several lifestyle habits that can help strengthen your body’s natural defenses. Here is what experts suggest travellers can do to stay healthy on the road.
Eat nutrient-rich foods: Several studies have proved that the gut is literally ground zero for a healthy immune system. Not only does our micro biome defend against invading bacteria and viruses, but, if functioning properly, it educates our immune system about friends and foes we encounter and empowers it to fight against foreign invaders. Therefore, eating plenty of red, orange and green vegetables is highly recommended. Phytochemicals found in golden or yellow beets, sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, nectarines, and pomegranates have intense anti-inflammatory activity.
Sleep well: Studies show that lack of sleep, or its poor quality, can affect some of the functions of the immune system and often leads to higher risks of infections and certain diseases. One way to get a better night’s rest includes sticking to a regular sleep schedule and factoring in time zone changes before you take off.
If your travel involves jet lag, you can prepare for that beforehand. Start shifting your schedule slightly toward the time zone you’re going to be traveling to. You can shift your bedtime in 20 to 30-minute increments every few days to make the transition to the new time zone easier.
Stay hydrated: While you might be good about drinking enough water in your typical day-to-day life, it’s easy to slip up when you’re out of your regular routine. But don’t let that be an excuse. Travelers can boost their immune systems before, during, and after travel by staying hydrated. Water is found in every cell in the body, which means it’s part of all the tissues, organs, and systems we need to function and feel our best. Maintaining a proper balance of electrolytes is a must. Depending on where your travels take you, it might be a good idea to stick with bottled water or boil tap water before taking a gulp.
Add vitamin supplements to diet: In addition to eating nutritious foods, you may opt to bolster your immune system by taking supplements:
Minimum of 5,000 to 10,000 I.U.s a day of vitamin D3
1,000 mg of timed-release vitamin C twice a day (or chewing or swallowing 500 mg four times a day)
~100-200 mcg of selenium per day
500 mg of quercetin per day
500 mg of green tea (or its extract EGCG) per day 30 mg of Zinc lozenges per day may be useful too
All of these are useful supplements to support the immune system. There’s no magic formula that will do the trick for everyone, so you can always consult your physician to develop a personalised regime.
Stress management: The whole point of taking a vacation is to escape the worries of everyday life. But in reality, it can be pretty stressful. Traveling logistics alone can be exhausting, such as arriving on time at the airport or being on the road, booking a stay, planning excursions, and so on. Then, the very thought of feeling nauseous or claustrophobic wearing a mask throughout the flight, or controlling trips to the lavatory, or even worrying about the type of passenger sitting next to you can cause the stress hormones to jump even before the actual travel itself.
To avoid this, set aside time before, during and after your trip for healthy self-care like breathing practice or meditation for 30 minutes daily, preferably outdoors. Nature activates your natural killer cells, which are an important first defense against viruses. Besides natural ways of boosting immunity, there are ways to give a super boost to our body’s defense system by energising certain critical points called meridians in our body. One who has been reading my articles will surely know how to trace these meridians on the front and back side of our hands and feet. The place one finds these meridians are given in the figures or visit www.artofselfhealing.in.
Treatment: One must take a Jimmy / Probe or a pencil with its lead point broken and smoothened. Without applying much pressure move the blunt point in the area shown on the skin of fingers and toes.
The affected point as shown will be very painful. Stimulate it, by turning it clockwise and anticlockwise for a minute or two. One will generally feel some relief instantly. Paste tiny Byol magnets for about eight hours preferably before sleeping. If the point has an arrow up, please use a magnet with yellow side touching skin and if arrow down then white touches skin.
The points are to be stimulated three to four times in daytime and magnets attached at night. Repeat the treatment till the problem is over.
Anxiety: Press P 5,
Travel sickness: GB 20, UB 10, CV 6, 8, 12 St 36, 40 & 44
Claustrophobia: Lu 8 or 9
Any type of phobia: Si 3, P 3, 6, Tw 2, 10, H 4, 7, 9, Lu 10, Li 11, GV 20, St 45, UB 66, Liv 3 & CV 14,
Cardio phobia (fear of heart disease): H 7, P 7 & Lu 10
To understand treatment properly for this problem and attaches appearing earlier in this column, you are invited to our Zoom meeting (ID: 4793331908; Password: healing) held every Monday from 7 PM to 8 PM. It’s a free service courtesy of The Free Press Journal and the Lions Club Mumbai ACTIONs. You can also share your problems by writing to us at email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org or send a WhatsApp at 9323178565.
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