Planning on traveling this festive season? Whether you are traveling to visit the family or to find warmer weather, we all love to travel, and let’s be honest, we can’t wait to get back to traveling after the last 2 years!
However, travel results in major routine changes, potential lack of sleep, schedule changes, new spaces, new places, new and exciting foods, increased alcohol consumption… All of this can lead to increased stress within the body, resulting in potential bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, even for a healthy gut.
To avoid a grumpy gut while traveling, keep the following in mind…
Drink plenty of water.
Dehydration is a major cause of constipation, so drinking lots of water while vacationing is a must. For one alcoholic beverage you consume, drink one glass of water.
Depending on where you are traveling, be mindful of the water and always ensure it is safe to drink, contaminated water will disrupt a healthy gut. Remember to pack your water bottle for days on the go!
Remain mindful during meals.
To keep bowel movements regular, ensure you fill up on fiber-rich fruits and vegetables before, during, and after your trip. The best sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans.
Pro tip, don’t forget to eat the magic plate with each meal:
1/3 high-quality protein, 1/3 starchy vegetables or greens, and 1-3 tablespoons of healthy fats.
The bathroom is important.
While having a bowel movement in a public restroom or shared hotel room may be uncomfortable for some, don’t ignore your urge to go to the bathroom when you need to. Doing so can cause irregular bowel movements and GI discomfort. Ignoring the urge to go can lead to constipation. A few days of constipation can lead to diarrhea when the urge finally strikes.
Don’t avoid the bathroom for extended periods!
Make time for movement
Between long flights or car rides and a packed itinerary, it can be easy to forget to move your body. You don’t need to do an intense workout to help relieve symptoms, a long walk or yoga session can help to get the colon moving. Opting to take the stairs or skip the moving sidewalk in the airport can make a big difference for your gut health. Getting your steps in whenever you can is a great hack!
Get enough sleep.
Sleep is so important for gut health. As hard as it can be while traveling, maintain a healthy sleep schedule and always aim for 7-9 hours of sleep. To set yourself up to achieve this, focus on limiting screen time before bed, maintain your evening routines, keep your room dark and cool, and keep the environment calm during the evenings. It may be helpful to spray your pillow with your favorite lavender essential oil or even a nostalgic smell that reminds you of home. It’s easy to fall asleep when we feel safe and comfortable. Being reminded of our bed at home whilst sleeping in a hotel can be very comforting for the body.
Eating at home is almost always better for digestive health than eating out; give your gut a break from restaurants and processed foods and when possible buy fresh food from nearby markets and cook at your accommodation.
Do your research.
Researching your destination in advance can make a huge difference. Knowing where you are going, the nearby stores and the type of food you can access easily can help you make better decisions and anticipate your needs ahead of time. Research is your best ally to keep a happy, healthy gut. Being prepped and prepared will also help to minimize stress.
Use these tips to minimize your symptoms while traveling and enjoy your adventures!
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