I recently travelled abroad after 2 years. Usually, I visit my parents every year in India but due to the pandemic, I skipped a year. Traveling has become an essential part of our lives today. Most of us travel for business as well as for pleasure, to visit a new place or to visit family that live abroad. Today we will discuss the affects that traveling has on the body and also some tips to avoid the negative effects of long distance journeys.
- Jet Lag: Those who regularly travel long distances are familiar with the concept of ‘Jet Lag’. The body’s natural biological clock is disturbed due to a difference in the time zone resulting in the body attempting to sleep and wake according to the time zone at the origin, even though the time zone changed. This usually results in the traveler sleeping during the day and waking up most of the night. It takes a few days for a person to get adjusted to the new timezone however it may be time to return back once that happens and the traveler will have to go through this again once he/she returns.
- Sometimes, travel distances can be very large and it takes us a while to reach our destination, sometimes days. During this time travelers are usually immobile and undergo long periods of inactivity. This can put a person at a higher risk of blood clots due to pooling of blood in the legs which can result in Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which can be potentially fatal. It is therefore very important to remain mobile during traveling by stretching, occasional walking and travel exercises.
- Since a large number of people are constantly traveling around the world, we expose ourselves to all kinds of pathogens while traveling. There is a high likelihood to contract viruses and bacterial infections while traveling, such as the flu, common cold, gastroenteritis as well as increased chances to contract infections that are endemic at your destinations. Visit the CDC website to view recommended vaccines for different countries and regions and get vaccinated before traveling. Avoid drinking tap water and always use mineral or bottled water.
Remember to stay hydrated during your journey. It is very easy to get dehydrated while traveling.
Safe Journeys Everyone!