If you rarely take vacations and often feel yourself feeling unwell or ‘off’ when you do take vacations, there’s a valid reason as to why that happens. Whether you end up with some sniffles and a sore throat or you end up with a nasty virus that’s taking its sweet time through your immune system, there’s a reason, and we have it for you.
Dr. Edo Paz, a physician for K Health, has weighed in on why exactly we come down with nasty colds or viruses when we go on vacation.
According to Dr. Edo Paz, “You may be more stressed, fatigued, etc. in the days leading up to a vacation while making all the arrangements you need to make before going on vacation,” he said, followed by, “Do your best to keep your immune system as strong as possible during this vulnerable time,” he said. “That means eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep, keep your weight healthy and don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess.”
According to A U.S. News & World Report in 2016, it was not just the cold and flu, but also mental health symptoms, chronic pain issues, or other ailments that were spiking while on a vacation. This is known as the ‘let-down effect’.
“Research has linked the let-down of perceived stress with an increase in flare-ups of pain and other ailments. One study found that people experience more panic attacks on the weekends, and a 2015 study from Taiwan found that holidays and Sundays have more emergency room admissions for peptic ulcers than weekdays do,” the study explains.
“Many of these infections spread by tiny droplets made by people with the illness, which can remain in the air or on communal surfaces,” Dr. Paz explains, “This problem is particularly prominent on airplanes where there are a lot of people traveling in a small space with reduced air circulation and frequent traveler turnover.”
It’s important that while on a vacation of any kind, even if you aren’t leaving your house, to practice good hygiene and keep up regular healthy habits to prevent the onset of sickness.
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Check out the video below on health hacks by Dr. Mike on how to not get sick!