- Holiday Hints - Avoiding colds & flu during holiday travel
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(StatePoint) The most wonderful time of the year is all about spending time with loved ones. But if doing so requires travel, be sure to take precautions to stay healthy.
"Stressed travelers confined in crowded spaces can be particularly susceptible to colds and flu, especially at this time of year," noted Dr. Kenneth Redcross, MD. But, don't despair.
Redcross offes a few behavior tweaks and a natural flu medicine that can help you get through the season.
• Don't touch that - Cold and flu viruses are transmitted by touching respiratory secretions and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. So avoid touching escalator rails and other surfaces in crowded public places like airports. Don't put your face directly on airline-supplied pillows or blankets that haven't been sanitized. Use antibacterial wipes to clean off tray tables and arm rests.
One of the simplest ways to avoid transmitting cold and flu bugs is to wash your hands, yet as many as 30 percent of airline travelers do not after using airport restrooms, according to a study by the American Society for Microbiology.
• Nip it in the bud - The moment you feel achy or rundown, nip flu symptoms in the bud with a natural homeopathic medicine clinically shown to shorten the duration and reduce the severity of flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, headache, body aches, chills and fever.
"I recommend my patients keep a homeopathic medicine called Oscillo in their carry-on bags. It's very small and easy to take without water," said Redcross, who treats patients of all ages at Manhattan's Physician Group in Harlem. "My patients like it because it's non-drowsy, and baby boomers don't have to worry about it interacting with other medications."
To learn more, or to download a coupon, visit www.oscillo.com/travel.
• The air up there - Airplane cabins are extremely dry, and viruses tend to thrive in low-humidity conditions. Cold, dry air will dry out your mucous membranes, breaking down your natural barrier to infection. Drinking water, juice or electrolyte drinks or spritzing your face with water will keep skin moist. Avoid dehydrating beverages like coffee, soda and alcohol.
• Healthy habits - Stress can take a toll on your immune system. Reduce the stress associated with traveling by being flexible and prepared. Build extra time into your schedule for a more relaxing trip.
Exercise may prevent the elderly from getting colds and flu, according to a study reported in the journal, "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise." Make an effort to continue exercising on trips.
Also, do your best to get a full night's sleep while traveling. Even missing an hour or two of sleep nightly can wear down your immune system and increase your stress level, making you more susceptible to germs.
Eat right to avoid digestion problems and ensure you're getting immunity-boosting nutrients, such as vitamin C.
The busy holiday season doesn't have to mean sniffles, a sore throat and an achy, rundown body. Take simple steps to ring in a happy, healthy New Year.