Travel Side Effect or All You Need to Know about Acclimatization

Sometimes it is wonderful to change hot summer days for holidays in mountains or replace cold winter nights for warm weather and beautiful beach. However, changes in climate, temperature, and air humidity become tremendous stress for your body.

Symptoms of acclimatization

Acclimatization is an inevitable side effect of any journey. Adapting to new conditions, our body has to change the temperature, pulse rate and even blood composition, so we do not feel ourselves good. There are some symptoms which will help you to understand that you face acclimatization:

• sometimes it is similar to a cold; body temperature rises, you have a runny nose and weakness appears
• permanent fatigue; you want to sleep all the time
• acclimatization is accompanied by a weakening of the immune system, so the possibility of chronic diseases exacerbation increases
• gastrointestinal tract might be impaired. Vomiting, nausea and diarrhea are possible
• you may become angry, sluggish

Acclimatization or «tourist syndrome» usually lasts a week and has three phases. The first phase lasts three or four days; in this period body switches to “light mode”, in order to gain strength for adaptation. Then, on the fourth day “reactive” phase begins: organism actively adapts to new conditions and person starts to feel better. As you can see the worst impact of acclimatization usually last for first 3-4 days. For some travelers, the whole process of acclimatization is reduced to 48-72 hours: the younger and healthier your body, the faster it adapts.

Express preparation for climate change

Ideally, a week before the holidays, try to maintain the healthiest lifestyle: go to bed on time, do 5–10-minute exercises, take a contrast shower, drink more water, add seasonal vegetables and fruits to your diet. In general, this is enough to strengthen the immune system and support the body after the flight.

If you have had a disease (ARVI, flu) recently or felt the first signs of a cold, fatigue, apathy, then drink vitamins and immunomodulators before the trip. In addition, you can include dietary supplements with vitamin D, A, E. For the reception of high-grade vitamin D, it is better to take tests to find out how much vitamin is in your blood at the moment.

It will be great if you look at local time in advance, in order to prepare your biological clocks. You can do it with some simple calculations. For example, you are going to spend your vacation in a country which time zone differs from yours at 6 hours (5:00 PM in your country and only 11:00 AM there). Thus, you can go to bad later than usual; first for 1 hour, next night for 2 hours and up to 6, as a result your organism gets used to it and it will be easier to live by local time later.

Tips for hot and cold climate

It is better to use sunscreen with SPF 30 even if it is overcast. Try to go barefoot more often; there are some special points in the feet that help to regulate heat transfer. However, ice showers and bathing in cold water could negatively impact on your health state and could even cause spasms of blood vessels. So, before enjoying sea water relax in the shade for 15 minutes in order to avoid a significant temperature drop.

Extreme sportsmen usually say that it is almost impossible to adapt to the cold, you can only learn to endure it. Actually, temperature lowering is shock to the body. So, if you want to cope with it, you have to gather all your strengths and go out into the cold. You will get used to it easier if you experience it regularly. Food that is rich in fats (vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, sea fish) also helps to survive the cold.

Food and water

You can get acquainted with local food gradually; do not be afraid- local cuisine is always a separate journey. First go to the store and find local dairy products, it is full of probiotics which can improve your immune system. Do not overload your body; avoid fat food at least first days. If possible, eat thermally processed foods- it is easier to digest and just safer for your health.

Also try to find out everything about water in following country. For example, in Costa Rica you can easily drink from the tap, but in Egypt you can not even brush your teeth with water tap. So sketch a list of five or ten cafes and restaurants where you can eat tasty and safe food.

Now you know what the acclimatization is and how to deal with it. So travel more, but do not forget about your health! 

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