One fifth of all travellers contract a cold or flu after a plane journey. With the world in a heightened sense of awareness over Covid-19, plus travel restrictions in place concerning many destinations, if you are travelling overseas you may be concerned about keeping your immune system healthy and reactive against infections.
What can affect your immune system when travelling?
Stress and anxiety can weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to certain infections. Many of us are so anxious about becoming unwell while travelling now that the stress weakens our immune systems.
People often contract infections on planes. The change in air pressure, the air conditioning within the plane itself plus time differences and jet lag all play a role in transmitting illness. Add in close contact with strangers from across the globe for hours at a time and it’s the perfect breeding ground for catching colds, flu and other infectious diseases.
Once you land, changes in diet and the way food is sourced and cooked, sleep deprivation and anxiety over whether you are social distancing correctly all contribute to a weakened immune system.
Tips to boost your immune system when travelling
Sleep – The immune system releases proteins called cytokines while we sleep. Some types of cytokines need to increase in number when we are fighting off illness or are stressed. It is thought by experts that a lack of sleep dents the body’s production of these all important, infection-fighting cytokines.
Supplements – One of the comprehensive benefits of Lumity immune support supplements is immune support, so don’t forget to pack your Lumity before you leave.
Fruits & Vegetables – One of the nutrients which helps immunity is Vitamin C, which is readily available from fresh fruit and vegetables. Drink yours in the form of a smoothie each morning.
Exercise – Exercise is believed to help the immune system by allowing immunity cells to move freely throughout the body Further, exercise combats stress and helps you sleep better at night.
Water – Keep hydrated while travelling by drinking lots of water which flushes out free radicals and toxins.
Stress reduction before you travel – If you spend the weeks before you travel feeling anxious, it will put your immune system under stress and therefore make it less effective. Relax, plan properly and stop worrying!
Relaxation while travelling – Try meditating while you’re flying to keep your mind from wandering and becoming stressed.
Avoid alcohol – Alcohol burns up the body’s store of certain nutrients, plus makes us anxious and dehydrated. Pick a soft drink instead.
Hand washing - Washing your hands for at least twenty seconds will help wash away any germs that could be on your hands.
Wear a mask – Mask wearing is obligatory on public transport, including planes, and is believed to reduce the risk of contracting airborne toxins.
Additional tips to stay healthy when travelling
- Staying healthy while flying – carry anti-bacterial wipes and disinfect the area around your seat before flying. Don’t forget to keep a supply of hand gel with you in case you aren’t able to wash your hands.
- Avoid tap water – opt for bottled water while overseas as the last thing you need right now is an upset stomach from drinking the local tap water.