Poll: How do you stay healthy when you're traveling?

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Thread: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    Most of us have new year's resolutions about losing weight, exercising or staying healthy -- but how do you stick to them when you're traveling?

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    Last edited by SarahS; 01-10-2008 at 10:37 AM.
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler
    www.independenttraveler.com


  2. #2
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    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    I try to wash my hands as often as possible -- or I bring a hand sanitizer with me.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    Whether we go home for the holidays, take a day trip into Manhattan or backpack through a new country, my husband and I love to walk. Lots of times, we even forgo subways so that we can slow down the pace and look around at what's above ground. Even if we get a little lost (as we did in France since we would stare blankly at people when they tried to help us), we have a ton of fun -- as long as our backpacks are at a hostel and not strapped to our back anyway.

    I happen to be one of those people who end up sick at the end of a long trip (and sometimes short ones too). I think prepping up with vitamins might be a good idea. Does anyone have any suggestions on which ones would be good?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    Quote Originally Posted by texmex gal View Post
    Whether we go home for the holidays, take a day trip into Manhattan or backpack through a new country, my husband and I love to walk.

    I happen to be one of those people who end up sick at the end of a long trip (and sometimes short ones too). I think prepping up with vitamins might be a good idea. Does anyone have any suggestions on which ones would be good?
    I like to walk a lot too, especially if I'm in a big city -- you see a lot more than you would if you take the subway, and it's exercise that helps me justify eating nice dinners out.

    As for vitamins, I try to stick to the same ones I normally take at home: a good multivitamin and a calcium supplement. If you think exposure to new germs might be an issue, maybe you should try a vitamin C supplement to beef up your immune system? Also, as metravellongtime suggested, a hand sanitizer can be a lifesaver; I always take some with me since so many bathrooms on the road don't have soap.
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

  5. #5
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    Jan 2008
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    Pacific Grove, California
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    Here's a magazine article about eating healthy in California that I just wrote which I hope you will find useful:

    How do you find healthy food when you’re traveling in California, where the great Central Valley is the “Bread Basket of the World,” the Salinas Valley is the “Valley of the World,” and inhabitants comprise America’s quintessential ‘Melting Pot’? Here are some ideas for quickly locating places serving up whole grains, fruits and vegetables plus delectable fish, lean meats and low fat dairy—California-grown or caught, organic, hormone-free and sustainable.
    Highway exits marked “Visitor Information,” “Downtown” or “Historic Downtown” lead to a helpful Chamber of Commerce or Visitor Center. Santa Cruz Visitor Center offers a flier with a map to healthy places to dine, farms to visit, plus locations and dates of all farmers markets in the county. Inquire at the Post Office in towns without a visitor center. Before and during your trip use a favorite search engine for Internet research. (www.chamberofcommerce.com)
    Farmers Markets: More communities than ever are hosting farmers markets near downtown, usually one day per week, where you’ll find freshly harvested vegetables, fruits, nuts, honey and eggs. Often there are prepared foods: salads, dips and salsas, naturally smoked salmon and other meats, plus an array of ethnic specialties, artisan breads, garlic or almond-stuffed olives and gift baskets of assorted products. (www.cafarmersmarkets.com, www.localharvest.org)
    Farm Stands: Farmers sell produce right from the field. Their small wooden kiosks are easily spotted along major highways, with many more on the back roads around and between farm towns. Look for “U-pick” signs and pick your own: berries of all kinds, apple, kiwi, citrus, avocado and other fruits. Some farms offer tractor rides and other farming activities. Kids love the baby rabbits, pygmy goats, calves, chicks and lambs at farm petting pens. Often shaded picnic tables and restrooms are available for use. (www.calagtour.org/AgTour.ASP)
    Wineries that offer wine tasting are also easily spotted along highways and may sell locally grown, deli-type food and snacks. (www.wineriescalifornia.com/)
    Fisherman’s Wharfs: Check your map for seaside towns with a wharf or pier. At the world-famous Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco you can eat fresh catch at restaurants lining the wharf or buy directly from their many fish markets. At Moss Landing fishermen sell from boats in the harbor and from tailgate ice chests alongside Hwy 1 between Santa Cruz and Monterey. (gocalifornia.about.com/) Before you buy, ask and choose fisheries that are sustainable (a constantly updated list is posted at www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.asp).
    Markets, restaurants and cafes: You’ll find the healthiest places to dine by asking a local—start with the farmers and fishermen! Politely inquire where they deliver their products and which places they personally recommend or think offers the most wholesome fare. If a health food market has no cafe, ask their staff for recommendations. (www.eatwellguide.org)
    Conventional supermarkets: Many markets now offer organic fruits and vegetables, wild fish and other whole foods. So far very little has shown up in the prepared food section. Labels for various healthy aspects of processed foods will soon sport a nutritional guidance system, called the “Overall Nutritional Quality Index” (ONQI), developed by Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Yale University Disease Prevention Research Center. Fiber, sugar and approximately 30 nutrients are considered in ratings from 0 to 100, 100 being the most nutritional. While processed foods are definitely not as healthy as whole foods, this system will give some guidance to the best choices.
    Convenience stores: Choose unsalted nuts, fresh or dried fruits and low fat milk, yogurt or cheese.
    Carry your own ice chest or insulated food bag, along with dinnerware, napkins and water, then buy extra food to have as a snack or meal on down the road. Motor homes are best equipped to take advantage of the natural abundance of California-grown products; buy or rent a vehicle that operates on biofuels.
    “California Healthy, Southern California Edition” and “Healthy Highways” are two guidebooks with information about and maps to natural food eateries. The first covers more in California, plus walking places nearby and food events, and the second covers the entire U.S.A.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    I define "healthy" differently when I'm traveling vs. when I'm at home (and we're not going to talk about my eating and exercise routine when I'm at home ). When I'm traveling, I'm really strict with the "heat it, peal it, or leave it" philosophy. While this often leaves me with a chunk-o-meat, some bread, and a beer (or bottled water), I get to stay pretty healthy on the road.

    My family and I were eating in this wonderful restaurant in Ecuador and they brought out some cheese they'd made themselves (the restaurant was part of a dairy and beef farm). The place was fancy and the food was good and we didn't give it a second thought. It turns out the cheese was unpasteurized (natch) and my wife ended up in a Quito hospital for three days with amoebic dysentery. We're more careful than that, now. 8o)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    I put a little Vicks Vapor Rub in my nostrils--when I fly, in hotel rooms or crowded places; haven't had a sinus infection or cold since I started this. Thanks Gramma. Also, as a vegetarian I have fewer problems on the road than my meat eating friends

  8. #8
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    I would have thought that being a vegetarian would make travel (at least to the developing world) more difficult. I've gotten sick off of inadequately cooked broccoli (but it seemed okay) but I can tell when meat hasn't been cooked enough. How _do_ you make sure that your veggies are cooked well enough to kill all of the water-borne critters that plague us travelers, so?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    well, can't deny that I've been lucky, but I eat where the locals do, and I also have learned to like the hot peppers they put in everything, and maybe they kill the bugs? I'm off to Tanzania in Feb to climb Kili and when I was there before I had no problems. I have had more shots and immunizations than most people, including rabies.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    I do know that different people have different tolerances. A buddy of mine even drinks the water in Mexico with little or no problems. Even my wife and I are pretty different -- I get sick early but it's over relatively quickly. Wait six hours or so and my wife will get sick but the delay means that she stays sick longer.

    Sounds like you are one of the lucky ones! I wish I were you!

    Have a great time in Tanzania!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    aaaaaaaah Vix! That sounds like a superb idea.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    Regarding your feature on "Traveler's Tummy:

    In recommending medications, you went directly from Pepto Bismol (products containing bismuth may not be available in Europe) to antibiotics such as Cipro -- missing an excellent "intermediate" medication, Immodium or Lomotil (also readily available in very satisfactory store brands). These work quickly and effectively.

    Second, don't forget "Yoghurt Therapy:" Yoghurt is generally available most places in the world, is safe, and both soothes the GI tract and replaces many of the desirable gut bacteria that have been destroyed by the diarrhea. I have "taken" yoghurt successfuly in the U.S., France, Spain, the Caribbean, China, and Vietnam, for diarrhea resulting from food, to sun overexposure, to the consequences of taking an antibiotic (yes, many antibiotics destroy the good bacteria in the gut as well as the bad!).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    Quote Originally Posted by chascolson View Post
    Regarding your feature on "Traveler's Tummy:

    In recommending medications, you went directly from Pepto Bismol (products containing bismuth may not be available in Europe) to antibiotics such as Cipro -- missing an excellent "intermediate" medication, Immodium or Lomotil (also readily available in very satisfactory store brands). These work quickly and effectively.

    Second, don't forget "Yoghurt Therapy:" Yoghurt is generally available most places in the world, is safe, and both soothes the GI tract and replaces many of the desirable gut bacteria that have been destroyed by the diarrhea. I have "taken" yoghurt successfuly in the U.S., France, Spain, the Caribbean, China, and Vietnam, for diarrhea resulting from food, to sun overexposure, to the consequences of taking an antibiotic (yes, many antibiotics destroy the good bacteria in the gut as well as the bad!).
    Thanks for the feedback, chascolson! Great suggestions. We'll keep them in mind the next time we update our Traveler's Tummy story.
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler
    www.independenttraveler.com


  14. #14
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    Staying well during a tour needs many exercises like-
    Being conscious about the food
    Taking regular physical exercise
    Taking precautionary medicines
    Drinking only packed water etc.

  15. #15
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    Smile Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    I find that many people who do not travel very often are concerned about getting sick when traveling in southeast asia. I can honestly suggest not to go overboard with immunizations and medications as everything is available in Thailand and Malaysia, and especially in Singapore which has a state of the art medical system. Most all of the countries have english speaking medical professionals. In fact americans come here for medical treatment and surgery due to the high cost and risks of being sick in usa.
    If your staying in tourist hotels or with a tour, you dont need to be immunized against most sicknesses. If you are jungle trekking you can buy the local mosquito repellent meant for the local mosquitos, not the ones in your country. It's better to cover up anyway as most of the malaria or dengue medication just masks the actual symptoms. Local doctors know how to treat local illnesses. Back home in your country they may not be as prepared to deal with some exotic diseases you may bring back.
    Watch what you eat and have fun. Worrying will make you sicker.

    I am an american living in malaysia

  16. #16
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    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    not to forget that there are products out there that filter the water without using chemicals or batteries.. great for those trekking in the wilderness.. or pregnant women or children.

    the aqua safe straw is one such product. Ive tried it... its a bit tough sucking the water through.. but other than that its quite handy and fits in my handbag ( a girl has to travel in style!)

    I also tend to eat where all the locals are eating - that many people arent usually wrong. Love the theory above about heating, peeling etc - great idea!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    @SarahS, I agree with you. It's difficult to keep watch of our diet while on a vacation because we always wanted to taste the food of the locals.

  18. #18
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    May 2010
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    It is shameful to admit that I am not conscious about my health when I am traveling especially when I stay in a hotel where the food is good. My concept is I pay for the room as well the food in the hotel so better yet experience it to the fullest.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    Quote Originally Posted by allseasonhotels View Post
    It is shameful to admit that I am not conscious about my health when I am traveling especially when I stay in a hotel where the food is good. My concept is I pay for the room as well the food in the hotel so better yet experience it to the fullest.
    Yes, that's us too, I'm afraid....although we only eat healthily at home. When we go to Egypt, we know that if you get mummy tummy, the local pharmacist is the person to visit, as he has the stuff to deal with the local bugs. We also know that if it's something like Norovirus, then you musn't stop the diarrhoea, as that's the body's way of dealing with the virus. Not so easy if you've a plane to catch, though!
    Jo.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    Traveling is a lot of fun unless you get sick. In my younger years there were a few times I ate something that didn't agree with my body and ended up miserable for the rest of the time. Now that I've wised up a little bit, I watch what I eat and drink a lot of water. I haven't had too much trouble since.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Staying Healthy on the Road

    As a travelling grandma I am firmly of the opinion that what makes you sick is - worrying about getting sick! We do practice eating where the locals eat but other than that just do our own thing. If a country had such suspect food and water that it was necessary to carry medications and hand santizer I would NOT go there/

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