When did traveling get so hard?
I exist at the base of the Rocky Mountains at approximately 6800 feet above sea level and in roughly 20% average humidity give or take year-round. My body loves the altitude and the lack of humidity. I have to say that it makes me happy. I feel lighter and except for the constant battle with dry skin, I am very happy with my existence in this environment. Colorado actually sells more hand lotion than any other state. That is how dry it is, and the altitude contributes. Just an FYI.
Some people can exist at this altitude and come down to sea level without much of an issue.
Not me. I come down to sea level and I can gain 4 lbs instantly in water weight. And it isn’t a fun 4 lbs because I feel like I am pushing maximum density in my skin. My toes become sausages, especially if where I’m going is humid and the rest of me maxes out as well. Gross. I feel like the Michelin man. Yuk.
And longer plane rides can start this process prematurely as well. I haven’t really found the process to stop it. Oh, by the way, the radiation exposure in a 5-hour flight is like having 7 x-rays. Just something to be aware of. Also, not helpful to my overly sensitive body.
So, what do I do?
Well, I can’t get away from it but there are some things to help keep my body healthier despite the inevitables of travel.
- Limit salt within the 5 days prior to travel and during travel
- Increase water intake 5 days prior and during travel. Seems counterproductive I know but it is necessary. The body hangs on to water when it thinks it isn’t getting enough. Hydration is important.
- Avoid gluten at all costs. I will likely be eating out more while traveling and there are a couple of options I can take prior to eating out to help with my gluten exposure. Designs for Health has a good one called Protectzyme.
- I avoid sugar and dairy as much as possible. These do increase inflammation in the body. I am diligent and stick to my diet.
- I know ahead of time what I am willing to compromise on and what I won’t compromise on when it comes to eating. I evaluate several options for eating ahead of time. Makes it easier to stay relatively clean when it comes to eating and traveling rather than settling for poor choices when I’m starving.
- This is hard for me but I do work on getting a good night’s sleep. Less stress on the body means less inflammation.
- I try really hard not to overdo my days. This will stress my adrenals adding to the internal stress and inflammation. I try to be very reasonable with what my body can tolerate and what it can’t.
- Increase my anti-oxidant intake. I use green tea extract. This helps to offset the oxidative stresses from the radiation of the plane trips.
- Double up on the Milk thistle intake to help reduce the water retention. It acts as a diuretic to help the body eliminate the extra water it is holding on to.
- Relax and enjoy, as much as possible. Keeping the stress low means easier travel for the body.
- Exercise as much as your time will allow. If the most you can do is walk, then do that. If you can choose a hotel with a gym, take advantage of some time in there supporting your body.
Those are my tricks. Everyone is a little bit different but all of these have been tested by me as an extensive traveler with Hashimoto’s and are crucial to making it successful and keeping me healthy.
Ultimately, it is important to understand that travel is stressful on the body.
The goal is to keep the level of stress as low as possible. To do what is necessary to stay healthy and support your body in the right ways. You may be traveling but the support you provide for your body doesn’t have to change.
Remember, having autoimmune means your lifestyle will be different to support the way you live healthy. It can’t be a when you want to or a sometimes kind of a lifestyle. It is a lifelong commitment to your health even when you travel.
I’d love to hear what works for you when you travel.
Have a great rest of your week.