The holidays are almost here – which means increased travel for millions of Americans.
Whether people are traveling to see loved ones or flying away from home for a weekend getaway, the travel bug is hitting many Americans.
With more people traveling this time of year, many could use some tips on how to better navigate a potentially very stressful time.
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CEO Andrew Herr, 39, of Los Angeles told Fox News Digital that he’s taken over 400 flights in his lifetime — picking up some useful tips along the way.
“I would estimate I’ve been on 400-500 flights in almost 50 countries,” he said.
Herr runs Fount, a health and performance consulting company based in Los Angeles.
He has worked for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Air Force and with Navy SEALs, fighter pilots and Army enlisted men, he said.
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He earned master’s degrees in health physics, microbiology and immunology, as well as security studies, from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where he also did his undergraduate work at the School of Foreign Service, according to his biography.
Herr shared his top five tips for surviving holiday season travel.
Use your diet to protect against inflammation
Herr’s first tip is to eat small, high-protein, low-carb meals when preparing for travel.
“Too many carbohydrates can raise blood sugar and cause systemic inflammation,” he said.
He recommends eating vegetables with every meal to slow the absorption of sugar into the blood and to help reduce inflammation in general.
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Herr recommends eating roasted chicken and vegetables at the airport, if necessary.
Be smart about screen time and bright light
When traveling at night, Herr said he was careful about screen time and natural light.
The lady recommends avoiding blue and bright light for two to three hours before bed at your final destination.
“Bright, blue light signals your brain to be awake, and blue light suppresses your natural production of melatonin — a key part of your brain’s process for entering deep, high-quality sleep,” he said.
He recommends wearing blue light-blocking glasses to help suppress melatonin production.
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The lady also said it’s wise to get bright light, preferably sunlight, when you wake up at your destination.
Herr recommends skipping in-flight alcohol service.
“Alcohol boosts our immune system, reducing sleep quality and increasing inflammation,” he said.
“This effect is amplified when you are flying.”
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He noted that flyers should avoid drinking at the airport or on the plane. Save those drinks instead, he said, for the party wherever you’re headed.
Move your body before you travel
Herr recommends getting in a quick workout before your travel day begins.
“Exercise increases circulation, joint mobility and endorphins, so you’ll feel better – body and mind,” he said.
If pre-ride exercise isn’t an option, he advised moving for 10-15 minutes after your rides before going to bed.
Physical activity can be one of the best ways to make your mind and body feel better after traveling.
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“Research shows that most people sleep better even when they work out in the evening up to two hours before bed, compared to no exercise,” he said.
Regulate your breathing
Managing stress during long travel days is key to surviving the holiday travel season, many experts believe.
Herr is a fan of “box breathing,” he said.
It’s a style of breath work in which you breathe in slowly through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, breathe out slowly through your mouth—and hold it again for four seconds.
“It can help regulate your central nervous system and reduce stress,” he said.
Herr also noted that if four seconds is on the easy side, try increasing the time to six of eight seconds for each step.
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Those who feel undue stress or anxiety before, during or after traveling should certainly consult their health care provider and get the best medical advice.