How do you stay Healthy On The Road ?
Long hours on the road may make you feel bloated, hungry without being able to eat and exhausted but not being able to sleep properly for days. This can happen either if you’re traveling by bus, car, train, air etc. Ayurveda would explain it as an excess of Vata; vata being the air element representing movement. Too much Vata can lead to loss of appetite, insomnia and bloating, to mention a few things. Thus, excess of Vata is what creates jet lag. There are, however, several things we can do to help balancing the air and ether elements in our bodies and, thus, feel better both on the road and after arriving to our destination. In this article I give you a few natural examples on how to stay healthy and balanced while traveling.
Before starting your travels, drink or eat herbs that improve circulation, strengthen the digestive fire and calm the mind. Such herbs are for instance ginger, cinnamon and mint. Personally, I prefer making tea of any herb possible since the warm water also helps relaxing the mind and improve digestion, but you can also eat capsules, found in most health food stores. For Swedes looking for super foods I recommend Råvarubutiken Or check out herbs, tea, capsules and more at awesome The Bulk Herb Store
We have heard it before: drink heaps of water to stay hydrated! This is even more important while traveling since we tend to use caffeine and sugar to stay awake. Caffeine and sugar, as well as alcohol and carbonation, increase vata (which is what we want to avoid!) and act dehydrating. Depending on where you’re traveling, you might even wanna look for coconut water which contains important minerals that help the body to rehydrate. Obviously, a fresh coconut from the garden is to prefer. If that's not available there are bottled yumminess in stores and online.
To reduce vata we want to avoid eating food with the vata characteristics dry and cold. This means trying to choose warm, moist food with extra oil instead of salads, dried fruit and chips. Good examples of food to eat on the road are: steamed vegetables with warming spices (such as cayenne or garlic), hot soup, lentils and cooked apples. Check out foodbymagie for more inspiration!
It is always a good idea to get up and stretch the body when traveling for a long time. If you get a chance in between flights for example, take a moment to do some grounding hip openers such as pigeon, butterfly, dragonfly or warrior. To help reduce insomnia and anxiety, my personal favourite is the legs-up-the-wall posture (lay on your back close to the wall, stretch out your legs and try to relax the pelvic area through deep breaths). If you feel bloated add a few twists as well!
5. After arriving
The sun sets your body clock to local time and stimulates your fire- i.e. keeps you alert. So make sure to go outside for a few minutes when you arrive (instead of taking a nap!). Before going to bed, drink some warm almond milk with cardamom and give yourself an ayurvedic massage with warm sesame oil. Both things are great for reducing all kinds of vata imbalances.
I hope you find these suggestions useful and doable while on the road! Have you tried any of these already- what did you think? Do you have your own tips and tricks to stay healthy and alert while traveling? I’d love to hear all about it :) Share in the comments below!
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