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Health Warning: 10 Mistakes Most People Make When Travelling

Health Warning: 10 Mistakes Most People Make When Travelling

Traveling is so much fun until something happens like sickness, getting bitten by something or just some very simple annoyance occurs which ruins your trip. One of the best things you can do is to learn what not to do and realise that a little prevention goes a long way. I have outlined 10 mistakes that most people make and how you can avoid a catastrophe by simply using preventive measures.

Hand Sanitizer

One thing I would never leave home without is hand sanitiser. You see, here is the thing: Most of our diseases come via our nose, mouth and eyes – so how does it get to there? From our hands! Most people never stop to think about being out and about, touching things, picking up things and inspecting them and then touching our face. You will not always have access to soap and water so pull out that hand sanitizer and put it to use! Remember this especially when shaking people’s hands, you never know where those hands have been! Just sayin’!!

Drink Bottled Water

I practice this the world over even in countries where they tell me that it is safe to drink tap water. One thing that it is always good to remember is that when you go abroad it is already a shock to the system so, drinking water that is clean and healthy is an absolute must! While you are drinking bottled water, do not forget that ice comes from tap water. So, if you like your ice, better to avoid it all costs when traveling as you never know what water was used to make it and it does have to melt! By the way, do drink a lot of water as it will help keep you from suffering with dehydration especially in places where it is very hot and humid.

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Wearing Shoes

Not only can you get a lot of diseases through your face via your hands, one of the big mistakes that people make is not wearing shoes, especially when visiting a beach town. Diseases also come up through your feet; walking in streets where people spit, animals urinate, and many other things I care not to imagine can cause ill health. One of the worst things you can do is to walk through water, even when it looks clean. Wear your shoes and you will avoid a lot of health risks.

Injections

I always make sure I know about any health risks of a country before traveling especially when going to areas which are heavily mosquito-populated. A shot only hurts a little while and then it is over and it could save you from getting seriously ill while traveling overseas. Mosquito bites bring on malaria in many cases and some people are allergic to them as well. As a matter of fact, some countries make it a requirement in order to enter the country. For example, my husband and I traveled to Ghana, Africa two years ago and we had to have a yellow fever injection two weeks before leaving our country of England. We even had to show the shot record upon arrival. Always check before entering a country.

First Aid Kit

An absolute must for every traveler. Different countries or even local cities may or may not carry things that you need in an emergency as it depends on where you are at the time. Having a kit packed with all of the essential such as, band-aids, scissors, tweezers for tick removal or any other insect necessary, gauze, and basic headache pills and antiseptics will put your mind at ease.

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Familiar Food

Having traveled all of my life, inevitably you will end up going somewhere where you do not really like the food. The first thing you are inclined to do is to refrain from eating and then you begin to dehydrate which can then lead to health issues. A very wise old traveler used to tell me from a young age, always carry something familiar with you from home to eat, like granola bars, health bars, fruit bars – even chocolate bars. This is because if you should get sick, this gives you an opportunity to eat something you are used to eating. After all, many times once you get to that point, what your body needs is nutrition from something that you will enjoy so you can start to recuperate.

Sunscreen

Some of the sickest people that I have seen are those who thought that it was perfectly fine to be out in the sun with no sunscreen. It really does not matter what skin colour you are, you can still burn and end up very sick. The first thing is to investigate how close a country is to the equator and if you are going to be on the coast, then you will know how heavily exposed to the sun you are going to be. You should use an SPF 15 or greater and always check the expiration date. The other thing to keep in mind is to not be out in the hottest part of the day which is between 11am – 3pm.

Street Food

Unless you are used to eating the food from this particular area or country, avoid eating out in the street at all costs. All of us have stomachs that adjust to the way we eat and how we feed it. If, for example, you are used to eating processed food and microwaveable food, eating lots of fresh produce, fruit and other ingredients can make you sick very much in the same way one can become very ill when the opposite occurs. In some countries, the health restrictions are not very strict, therefore, you could be eating food which has not been chilled properly, or not been cleaned properly. Even eating off of a plate or with silverware that has been washed in dirty water can greatly affect your health. Be smart and eat where you know exactly how the food was prepared (where and when).

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Emergency

What kind of health insurance do you have and can it be used overseas? The best thing you can do is to call and let them know where you will be going and find out what exactly will happen if there is a serious injury or accident. Find out if you will be transported back to your home country and/or what hospitals and doctors they work with in that country. What is the procedure when an emergency occurs? It is always good to know this so that you can relax and know that you will still be well taken care of.

Finally, Be Alert

The idea of traveling somewhere is to get away and be able to relax and enjoy yourself. It is very hard to do that if you are not aware of your surroundings. When we go into a place we always check out the area around our hotel or wherever we will be staying. We find out about any stores or restaurants and pharmacies. It is just smart to be alert and aware of what is going on around you and to have emergency numbers in your wallet or purse/handbag.

My husband and I personally love to travel and while we are never paranoid, we try to follow all of the above guidelines to ensure that we have a great time and a healthy time. Always be wise and then you can go and have a great time knowing all is well.

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Featured photo credit: https://picjumbo.com/girl-on-rialto-bridge-venice-italy/ via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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