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HEALTH

 

 

Health is hands down the most important thing to think about when travelling. You need to make sure your body is in a good shape and you keep your immune system strong. Looking after yourself is not just limited by what you eat and whether you get enough hours sleep or not. There are a few things worth thinking about to make sure you are prepared even for situations that hopefully won't happen. Here are some advises on taking care of yourself and packing the essentials.

FIRST AID KIT

There are a few things you mustn’t forget to bring along with you if you are planning a long-term trip. Backpackers so have limited space and we understand that you must be very thoughtful when it comes to what you need to bring with you, but for those, who are planning to travel with more luggage and can afford having additional space in your suitcase, thinking about First Aid Kit supplies is essential.

Most of the time you will probably find yourself in an area where a pharmacy is present, but for those with more adventurous souls it is highly possible that you will be in the middle of a hiking, on a mountain expedition, by the beach or on a bus ride to an exotic hidden lagoon. There are various scenarios where you will find having the essential supplies extremely useful such as getting cuts and bruises from exploring the hidden depths of a rain forest to experiencing a rough speed-boat ride.

It’s all about the small stuff – from treating cuts, to headaches and insect bites – and the bigger things – diarrhea and allergic reactions. Here is what can help you in situations like this:

  • allergies pills

  • 200mg ibuprofen, a mild pain medication

  • 500 co-codamol, a stronger OTC pain medication

  • 4mg chloramphenamine, OTC allergy medication

  • 2mg loperamide, OTC diarrhoea medication

  • a couple of band aids as they are super light

  • blister plasters

  • a small pair of scissors

  • alcohol wipes

  • a pack gauze swabs used with sterile water to clean wounds

  • a set of latex gloves to treat cuts and wounds

  • a sachet of sterile water to clean wounds properly

There are other things you can pack or find in pharmacies, but it’s always a good idea to have the necessary small items when on the road, especially if you are planning a year-long trip. Stock your kit up when needed and take it with you everywhere you go as you never know what might happen. Of course, if your symptoms are worse or the pain lasts too long, you should seek medical help.

As this article has educational purpose, please do not treat the content as a provider of medical advice.
 

STAY HEALTHY ON THE ROAD

When travelling, you will find yourself in all kinds of different situations depending on the destinations you choose to visit. Whether you end up exploring the sand dunes of a desert, showering under a small waterfall in the jungle or camping under the stars in an almost entirely deserted island, the environment around you will change and so will the conditions to which you are exposed. You will drink different water; your body will adapt to different climate types and the sun will sometimes harm your skin so it becomes very important to make the effort to take care of yourself. Small things when applied regularly, make all the difference.

  • Eat fresh veg and fruits

Take advantage of your surrounding circumstances and keep your diet healthy. Not only delicious and fill of vitamins, eating veggies and fruits is very refreshing, gives you energy and betters your mood. There is a special kind of satisfaction when you pick a fresh fruit from the branch of a tree and taking a bite – it just tastes better when exploring nature in all its wonders. It’s a way to connect to where you are at, take your daily dose of vitamins and take care of your body as well. Why not check out the juice and smoothie bars along the road? You can order tasty drinks, just make sure to ask the guys not to put any sugar inside.

 

  • Drink water

Water is a source of life so make sure to stay hydrated. It makes a difference and it’s a simple thing to do to make sure you stay healthy. It is a good idea to consider buying a bottle, which has a build in filter that the water goes through. They are easy to find online and can be carried everywhere. It’s an easy way to do your part in keeping the environment cleaner. As generally you need to consume two litres of water per day, make sure to drink water regularly. However, when travelling people do tend to need more water than the recommended two litre dosage, so make sure you consider this.

 

  • Nutrition

It is hard sometimes to follow a diet schedule and maintain a healthy food intake. This results in changing your mood and body and as difficult it is do stick to an eating regime when on the road, it is important to try and pay as much attention to this as possible. Poor nutrition can weaken your immune system, and nobody wants to deal with this when on a mission to conquer the world. Make sure to pack some multivitamins and eat fresh ingredients such as veggies as often as possible to stay healthy.

 

  • Sleeping pattern

Today you can be camping in a village, tomorrow you could be on your way to exploring the green fields of Indonesia. It is difficult to adjust to a set sleeping patter, especially when you are changing time zones regularly. Long plane rides don’t help much with this, but there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you help your natural body clock to adjust to the circumstances. For example, when there is along plain trip awaiting you, try not to drink coffee or intake caffeine in any form if possible and only eat when you are hungry. This should help your body be more aware. Another thing, which might be a bit difficult to follow at first is to sleep when the clock says you should. Try to pay attention to when it’s time to go to bed and your body will eventually adjust to the changes.

 

  • Stay active

It’s easy to maintain your sense of adventure and keep moving when you are on a shorter trip of a few weeks exploring the greatness of Italy, but when you have planned a year-long trip around Africa some days staying active is the last thing on your mind. We fully support trying out local food and experiencing joy while doing so but taking advantage of some activities that are popular in the area you are such as biking, hiking, sand-boarding, etc., are a great way to experience a place to its fullest potential and have fun while doing so. Explore whether there are any yoga classes or dance classes you can join and get your blood pumping. Staying active when travelling is a great way to maintain your level of happiness and an easy way to take care of your body and mind.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS AND ALTITUDE SICKNESS

Health is hands down the most important thing to think about when travelling. You need to make sure your body is in a good shape and you keep your immune system strong. Looking after yourself is not just limited by what you eat and whether you get enough hours sleep or not. There are a few things worth thinking about to make sure you are prepared even for situations that hopefully won't happen. Here are some advises on taking care of yourself and packing the essentials.

Although this doesn’t affect everybody, some people can suffer from this. It can make the difference between enjoying your trip and deciding that it’s not worth to continue climbing.

Altitude sickness happens when your body doesn’t have enough oxygen supply. This usually occurs when you go higher than 2,500 m as the air only gets thinner the higher you climb. Some cities and towns are naturally located quite high, so this must be taken into consideration when you plan your next trip.

The symptoms include dizziness, a feeling of nausea, tiredness and changes in your sleeping pattern. If you do experience altitude sickness try not to go any higher as this will only make things worse. Instead just try to stay hydrated, don’t stress and give your body enough time to get used to the climate changes and soon your body will naturally adjust to the altitude. If this doesn’t happen, then you must consider getting to a lower altitude and seeking medical help if necessary. Doctors, who are interested in studying expeditions with a climbing purpose have been treating altitude sickness for a while now and have developed some advanced methods to take care of the problem. 

SWIMMERS AND SEASICKNESS

Seasickness, also known as moving sickness, is a condition where there is a disagreement between how you perceive movements visually and the sense of movement in the vestibular system. Again, this condition may not affect everybody, and it doesn’t always occur when your put in situations that may lead to it – being on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean for example. However, when it does happen, it can be quite unpleasant to deal with.

The symptoms include dizziness, nausea, headache and fatigue. The feeling of tiredness may last for a while. Motion sickness has been defined as a defence mechanism against neurotoxins. It can be said that the feeling comes from the brain as what it represents is a conflict between what you see and your sense of balance. As a result, the brain will decide that you are hallucinating and will give your body a signal to clean itself from the toxins by making you feel sick.

The motion sickness can be caused by motion that can be seen but not felt; motion that can be felt but not seen; when the motion is detected, but the two systems don’t correspond with one another. Airsickness and carsickness are other variations of motion sickness. Another form of the condition is the space sickness, which has been experienced by astronauts and symptoms of it have been recorded by astronauts on the Apollo 8 and Apollo 9 flights. It is estimated that 60% of the Space Shuttle astronauts report the symptoms of space sickness during their first flight.

There are some medications that can help fight the feeling of sickness such as scopolamine, cyclizine and promethazine. Another, simpler way to deal with the symptoms is to look outside the window and focus on the direction of the travel. This will help your body re-orientate and gain back the sense of space and movement.

HOW TO AVOID DISCOMFORT

When travelling for a longer period of time, most people experience certain kinds of belly discomfort. This can be a result from various of things. Here are some advises on what you can do:

  • Wash your hands

Wash your hands regularly. It is incredibly important and the more you do it, the better. This can prevent so many diseases and keep your immune system from weakening.

 

  • Keep hydrated

Equally as important for your health and avoiding feeling unwell. You need to make sure you’re drinking water even if you are not thirsty. When you feel thirst, your body has already needed water for a while. However, don’t drink tap water. In many areas the water is not considered drinkable and consuming it may affect you badly.

 

  • Pick your food carefully

Don’t refrain from eating from local markets or plan to stay away from street food. Simply, you need to pay attention to the food you’re buying and make sure it’s in a good condition. In general, try to pick the freshly cooked food and pick your restaurants wisely.

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