6 Ways to Boost Your Immunity ahead of Summer Travels

Holidays are generally associated with feelings of relaxation and wellbeing. However, there are certain health concerns which seem to be more prevalent whilst travelling. Common complaints include digestive upsets, food poisoning, sunburn, sunstroke, dehydration, viruses (such as flu), urinary tract infections, prickly heat, insect bites, allergies and hay fever! You get health insurance to cover you when you go abroad but that doesn’t prevent any illnesses from developing in the first place. That can help you if you’re injured or hurt while you travel and have fun, but it does help you to stay protected as much as you can! But before it sounds all too off-putting, have a look at the below tips for getting your immune system ready for summer travels.

1. Be mind-ready

The more preparation time you leave yourself, the less stressful it is likely to be. The less stressed you are before you go, the more prepared your immune system will be to prevent you coming down with colds, viruses, stomach bugs and other health annoyances which can ruin a holiday. Consider taking a day off work shortly before you are due to travel to allow you time to shop for holiday essentials and pack. Making a list of everything you need 1-2 weeks before you travel should give you time to order online items, change money and arrange someone to feed the cat and water the plants!

2. Stay hydrated 

Ensuring you drink enough water is also important, as it helps to eliminate toxins from the body as well as transport oxygen and nutrients, which is vital for good immune function. Usual recommendations are to drink around 2 litres a day and although everyone is individual, getting into the habit now could make it easier once you’re exploring hotter climates. The easiest way to check if you are drinking enough is to monitor the colour of your urine which should be a pale straw colour.

3. Look after your gut

To help prevent digestive upsets whilst away, it is generally recommended to start taking a live bacteria or friendly yeast supplement at least a week in advance, continuing whilst you are away and for a few days after you get back. Some of the more commonly researched supplements are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, or the friendly yeast Saccharomyces boulardii (sometimes called S. boulardii). So have a look around for one that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, such as Bio-Kult S. Boulardii, which also contains vitamin D, helpful for supporting the immune system.

4. Don’t stray too far from the diet

Eating well is particularly important as deficiencies in macro and micronutrients can compromise the immune system. Cook from scratch whenever possible and be sure to consume good quality protein (the building blocks of many immune cells). Include a rainbow of colourful fruit and vegetables, as these offer a wide range of nutrients that work synergistically to support the immune system. Whilst away, it may be necessary to take a multivitamin if fruit and veg are tricky to get hold of.

5. Get the right sleep

Sleep is intertwined with immune health, so getting into the habit now can set you up for a restful holiday. It’s advisable to get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. Turning off electrical products at least an hour before bed, perhaps reading a book, doing a meditation, considering something you are grateful for that happened today or taking a bath could all put you in a relaxing state to enjoy a restorative night’s sleep and help you to wake feeling full of energy!

6. Get moving

You may be looking forward to lazing around the pool or hiking around the local villages, but staying active before you go, could be beneficial for immune function. So get moving with either maintaining your current exercise levels, or gradually beginning to do more. This could include housework – getting those windows cleaned before you go, or having the garden looking prim and proper!

Written by Bio-Kult’s Technical Advisor, Kim Plaza