Catch a flight — not a cold.
Some 115 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home for the holidays, which means airports, planes, bus terminals, hotels, and trains will be packed with people — and germs.
Before boarding your plane or packing your car, you should take certain precautions to stay healthy during your trip, The Manual writes.
Prepare for travel by eating well-balanced, nutritious meals, and consider taking supplements such as vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc to boost your immune system.
Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health and muscle and nerve functions — low levels have been shown to increase the risk of infections and autoimmune diseases.
Most Americans are not getting enough vitamin D, and they don’t even know it.
Vitamin C is also vital to your immune system, as it helps protect cells against free radicals produced by viral infections.
Zinc, meanwhile, is key in the development and function of immune cells.
Being dehydrated can weaken your immune system so be sure to drink enough water, especially before stepping foot on an airplane, which has very low humidity levels in the cabin.
The Aerospace Medical Association recommends consuming about 8 ounces of water per hour while on a plane.
Some experts even advise avoiding caffeine or alcohol before travel as they can dehydrate the body.
If you’re looking for a beverage with a little more flavor than water, sip on coconut water or throw a pouch of Liquid IV into your travel bag.
“Without proper cellular hydration and function, we easily get fatigued, weak, and can even have convulsions,” Kara Lydon, a registered dietitian, certified intuitive eating counselor, and owner of Kara Lydon Nutrition, recently told The Post.
“Since electrolyte drinks contain sugar and calories they also give us energy and help to maintain our blood sugar levels,” she added.
A good night’s rest in the days before travel also has many health benefits, including replenishing immune cells to fight off pathogens.
Once you’re nourished, well-rested, and ready to depart, The Manual recommends choosing the window seat on the plane to reduce the chance of contact with people passing through the aisles; sanitizing your space before sitting down or unpacking; avoiding touching your face so as not to transmit germs; keeping luggage off floors, even if they don’t look dirty; and maintaining good hygiene.
The tips come as COVID-19, flu and RSV infections are on the rise and expected to spike with this month’s holiday get-togethers.