Q: I’m about to hit the road as a swing in a national tour of a musical and I’m terrified of getting sick/rundown/injured. What can I do to keep myself as healthy as possible during the tour? —James G., Philadelphia*
Being on tour is an exciting yet taxing endeavor: You have to adapt to the rigors of constant travel while facing the pressure of performing daily. With all of the different stressors on your body, it’s easy to get rundown. But if you follow a few simple guidelines, it’ll be much easier to stay healthy and energized on the road. Here’s how.
Limit your sugar intake. It’s easy to reach for sweets when you’re tired, but try to resist! Sugar suppresses your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to any bugs that might be going around.
Make sleep a priority. Sleep deprivation also has an immune-suppressing effect. For the healthiest sleep, get seven to nine hours, wear a sleep mask so it’s completely dark, and try to sleep in a cool room.
Take vitamin D. Vitamin D modulates your immune system, wards off infection, and keeps your bones strong. Aim for 2,000–4,000 IU (two to four drops of liquid vitamin D) every day.
Take a probiotic. Seventy percent of your immune system resides in your gut, and the type of bacteria living in your digestive tract can greatly impact your immunity. Taking a quality probiotic introduces more good bacteria to your system, pushing the balance between good and bad in a positive direction.
Whenever possible, load up on fresh veggies and berries. Both are rich in vitamin C, which is your energy and stress supervitamin. If you feel something coming on, supplement with 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C three times a day to help ward it off.
Consider adaptogens, substances that help the body cope with stress. If you’re on tour, your body is definitely going to need some stress management to stay on your A-game! One of my favorites is holy basil tea (aka tulsi). Drink it daily. It’s delicious, calming, and invigorating!
Bottom line: Don’t eat junk that will drag your system down, make sleep a priority, and take things that will boost and balance your system. Have a super tour!
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