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Travel

4 Simple Tips to Stay Healthy on Your Next Trip

Posted June 5, 2018 6:58 p.m. EDT

Traveling can take a toll on your health, said Dr. Douglas Kaiden, medical director of Priority Private Care, an emergency care facility in New York City.

“Flying and being in new destinations makes you vulnerable to all sorts of illness and injuries,” he said. “It’s extra important to be vigilant about your health when you’re on the road.”

Before your next trip, consider his tips.

— Be Prepared: Having a supply of any basic medications you take often, especially prescription medications, is a good idea, Kaiden said.

It’s also a good idea to check if you need any vaccinations for your destination; check vaccines.gov for more information. Talk to your doctor before you go to make sure you have your bases covered.

— Small Steps for Your Next Flight: On your flight, try to get up and stretch and take a stroll down the aisle at least every two hours.

Sitting for long periods increases the risk for deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot that forms in the legs from stagnant circulation. Simple calf or leg stretches you can do while seated can help as well.

Kaiden also recommended compression socks to help boost circulation and avoid swollen feet or calves. You can find them at pharmacies or easily available online.

Also, drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol. Alcohol can act as a diuretic, while water will keep you hydrated and keep motion sickness, headaches and lightheadedness at bay.

— Avoid Intestinal Woes: You should always wash fruits and vegetables before eating, but eating washed fruits and vegetables doesn’t necessarily mean they are clean. Traveler’s diarrhea is common for people who take unnecessary risks when it comes to street food, local produce or other foods that may not have been properly prepared or handled.

Kaiden suggests it’s better to stick to cooked vegetables and peeled fruits served from restaurants, stands or cafes you can trust. That’s not to say you should avoid street food or local produce entirely, just make sure whatever you eat is properly washed and prepared.

Watch how the cooks at that night market stall handle their ingredients for a bit and then decide to buy. Similarly, see how popular a produce stand is before buying.

If they turn over a lot of fruit, you are likely not getting food that’s been sitting out under the hot sun for hours at a time.

Constipation is equally common during travel. Take steps to avoid it by drinking plenty of water through your trip and by eating a high-fiber diet. A fiber supplement or a glass of prune juice can also help.

— Keep Your Doctor on Speed Dial: It is important to be able to reach your doctors back at home in case of an emergency. They may be able to help you remotely.