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Before You Travel Make Sure You Get Your Shots

If you are planning on traveling to somewhere exotic either for business or pleasure you might want to check into which vaccinations you need for international travel.  As part of your to-do list you should check with the CDC to see what vaccinations you need if any.  The CDC groups vaccinations into three categories, routine, recommended and required.  So before you travel make sure you get your shots, malaria isn’t going to be pleasant.

Routine Innoculations

These are the normal vaccines you got as a child, such as those for measles, mumps and tetanus.  If you’re an adult now then you may need a booster, most vaccines only last for a decade or so.  This is a good time to make sure that all of your shots are completely up to date.

Recommended Innoculations

These types of vaccines are largely dependent on where you are traveling to, for instance if you are heading to Europe there are only a couple of recommended vaccines.  Europe has health standards much like our own.  The CDC may only recommend you get the hepatitis vaccines.  If you are traveling to Africa, particularly a rural part then the number of vaccines is far longer.  For that type of travel you will need vaccines against malaria, typhoid and rabies.  Those are illnesses that we don’t have to worry much about in the US.  Here are some of the vaccines you may need.

Your age, the time of year and your overall health and what you plan to do at your destination are all going to play a role in the vaccines that you need.  After checking with the CDC to find out what is recommended based on your destination then it is time to have a conversation with your primary care doctor to see what they recommend as well.

Mandatory Vaccines

Some countries won’t even let you in unless you have the mandatory vaccines.  For example if you are traveling to Saudi Arabia during the Hajj then the meningococcal vaccine is a must or if you are traveling to parts of South America you need to be immunized against yellow fever.

When to Get Vaccinated

Once you have your travel plans laid out then it is time to book an appointment with your doctor.  Some vaccines need a month or more for them to be effective, while others require a series of shots.  Nobody enjoys getting their shots but you will enjoy having a vaccine preventable disease far less.

Staying Healthy While Traveling

Travel can be a welcome change from everyday life, but if you are constantly traveling for work it can wreak havoc on your health.  Traveling makes it hard to get in regular exercise and eating in restaurants every day is a high calorie nightmare.  Your healthy routines can end up taking a back seat to business meetings and airplane travel.  There are some things that you can do that will help you stick to healthy lifestyle and not get too far off track.

Eating Healthy

When you are traveling you should bring snacks with you to eat on the plane or between meals.  You can pack almonds, dried fruit, fresh cut veggies or some raw nuts.  You should always have a bottle of water nearby so you can keep yourself hydrated, this also helps you to avoid getting jet lag.  If you are the one booking the hotel then try and get a room with a kitchen so you don’t have to eat at a restaurant for each meal.  Packing supplements can help you make sure you are getting the right nutrients.

Eating Out

Eating out is an inevitable part of traveling and it’s a great part of the experience especially if you’re on vacation.  When you travel half the month on business you’re going to have to learn to choose healthier options while you’re away.  So skip the heavy sauces and try ordering things like grilled chicken and vegetables.  If you are ordering salad then make sure the dressing stays on the side.  If you are drinking then have wine it has fewer calories.  Restaurants tend to serve huge portions so order appetizers or even a child’s portion.

Getting a Workout

Most hotels come with some type of fitness facilities even if it is only a couple of treadmills, lack of equipment isn’t a reason to start skipping workouts.  Even 20 minutes on the treadmill is better than nothing.  Even without any fitness facilities you can still do push ups, crunches, lunges and squats right in the room.  You can travel with resistance bands as well.  The stairs can be an awesome workout as well.  If you have a gym memberships with one of the national chains then you may be able to workout as a guest at a different club.

Traveling does make it harder to get in regular workouts and to eat properly but that shouldn’t be a license to overindulge.  You can make it work if you try.