Tag Archives: healthy living

How to be a Health-Conscious Traveler

If you’re hoping to give into your wanderlust anytime soon, don’t let your immune system cancel your plans!

Traveling can take a toll on our physical health – millions of foreign germs are lurking on every public surface you come in contact with during your travels. These pesky nuisances are trying to sabotage your long-awaited week in the mountains.

Show your immune system who is boss, and be proactive in your quest for a healthy, relaxing (and much deserved) vacation.

Condé Nast Traveler shares a variety of valuable tips on how to stay healthy during the entirety of your next getaway. Here are just a few ways to make it through airports or train stations in good health:

  • Sanitize your hands. Generously sanitize your entire hand after touching ANYTHING that other people come into contact with.
  • Keep your distance – preferably 6 feet – from sick people. Contagious droplets can travel up to six feet when a diseased person exhales, and they can find their way into your respiratory system.
  • Be extremely cautious in public bathrooms. Try to avoid touching any of the surfaces directly, and do not set down your personal belongings. Wash your hands for a full 15 seconds, and use a drying towel to open the door as you leave.
  • Bring water with you onto a plane. Through random samplings, it has been found that some on-board water has contained fecal bacteria (yuck!). Stay safe, and bring your own bottle of water.

Get a Grip!

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Scientists are constantly finding ways to measure your health, but this one is definitely unusual!

According to a large study of 140,000 adults in 17 different countries, the strength of your grip can be used to measure your cardiac health—including risk for heart disease, stroke, and early death. In fact, this method has been found to be a better predictor of these health conditions than taking your blood pressure.

In this study, scientists used a hand-grip dynanometer to measure participants’ strength. Their measurements found that with every 11-pound drop in grip strength, the person’s risk of dying from a heart attack increased by 17 percent. Researchers also saw that people with a weaker grip were 7 percent more likely to have a non-life-threatening heart attack and 9 percent more likely to have a stroke, compared with those who had a stronger grip.

Dr. Darryl Leong, the study’s author and an assistant professor of medicine at Ontario’s McMaster University, told Yahoo Health he was “surprised by how strong the correlation was, given that it applied to people from many different countries and backgrounds.”

So, what does this mean for us?

According to the study, the stronger you are, the stronger your heart is. Traditionally, experts suggest cardiovascular exercises such as running, cycling, or swimming for maintaining a healthy heart, but more studies indicate that resistance training (or weightlifting) can pack just as many health benefits. So do your heart a favor and trade in those running shoes for a couple of barbells every once in a while!