Whether traveling to see family, vacationing or just running errands around town this holiday season, keep these health tips in mind as you hit the road.

When traveling on a long flight or car ride, extended periods of inactivity can increase the chance of forming a blood clot.

“If you’re a passenger, some simple exercises in your seat can prevent this problem,” says John Simmons, M.D., assistant professor of family and community medicine and doctor in Texas A&M Physicians at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. “Pumping your calves 25 times every couple of hours keeps the muscles working and blood flowing. The driver also should stop every two hours for five minutes of stretching and walking.”

Don’t forget to pack healthy snacks and water when riding in a car, Dr. Simmons says. Over-processed junk foods have little nutritional value and can make you groggy.

Also, avoid unnecessary tasks when driving a vehicle. Because of texting, talking on the phone and eating while driving, car accidents are one of the leading causes of U.S. deaths. Always have someone else do these things for you.

When traveling, remember to curb the spread of germs by using common sense.

“Good old soap and water hand-washing and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze can reduce the spread of germs,” Dr. Simmons advises.

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