Dr. Travis Stork of The Doctors Offers Tips for Staying Healthy When Traveling
Dr. Travis Stork of The Doctors television show sat down with me during the BlogHer 2013 conference in Chicago and he offered the following tips for staying healthy when traveling.
After my month of random illnesses earlier this summer, of course I needed to ask the practicing board-certified emergency medicine physician, former Bachelor (Season 8) and spokesperson for ARM & HAMMER™ Simply Saline™, what’s the best approach for staying healthy when traveling. He believes in the “do no harm approach” when it comes to personal health. As he explained, “treat things as simply as possible and do no harm.”
Danger! Germ Hotspots
Dr. Stork travels quite a bit and has found taking preventative measures work best in staying healthy. “Probably the number one thing is I’m just very conscientious of whenever I’m traveling of all the germ hotspots. And that is when you get on a plane that’s the tray table, the bathroom door, it’s when you’re walking through the airport it’s the handrails.”
What do you do when you encounter a germ hotspot?
Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and entire face.
Wash your hands as soon as possible!
Oh, It’s So Dry!
Airplane cabins are dry and can be germy which is the perfect environment to contract a cold or illness. In addition to keeping hydrated and limiting your alcohol intake (one is OK), Dr. Stork uses Simply Saline before and following his flights. Simply Saline is a nasal mist made with water and salt, is drug-free and moisturizes and clears congestion. One of the sizes it’s available in is a 1.5 oz bottle perfect for TSA security. He also uses the Simply Saline Neti Pot.
He also noted that not every illness is a cold, it could be allergies especially if traveling to another part of the country or world. Using a saline nasal mist or Neti pot flushes the sinuses.
Do You Get Sick When Going on Vacation? It’s Normal!
“Travel itself can suppress your immune system,” Dr. Stork told me, “When you get o on plane to go on vacation there’s actually some evidence we are more likely to get sick when we go on vacation with the idea we do let our guard down.”
He explained when we’re in work mode, we have all sorts of stress hormones working through our body and our “body works off this energy.” When we’re in the mindset of relaxation and let our guard down so the hormones are reduced, there may be a trigger such as touching a handrail with a cold virus that causes us to become sick.
That logically makes sense to me because there have been times when I’ve been amazed myself at how I could go-go-go but once things slowed down a bit, I ended up ill.
So, the basics to remember for staying healthy when traveling are:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Limit alcohol consumption on the plane.
- Be cognoscente of germ hotspots and if you d touch them, avoid touching your face and wash your hands.
- Keep those nasal passages flushed and moist with a saline rinse such as Simply Saline.
Follow Dr. Stork on Twitter at @TravisStorkMD
What preventative steps do you take for staying healthy when traveling?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary bottle of Simply Saline Nasal Relief to test, am not being compensated for this post and views are my own.