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7 Ways to Stay Healthy on Public Transportation

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Wash Your Hands After Each Trip

One of the best ways to keep from getting an infectious disease is to wash your hands often, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Washing your hands for at least 20-seconds with any kind of soap is the most affective means of avoiding sickness. Anti-bacterial soap is no more effective than regular soap. It is also a good idea to keep your hands in your pocket to resist touching things while traveling. If you do accidentally touch something, do not place your hands back in your pockets, as this will only line your pockets with germs, making it that much easier for you to become exposed later.

Gargle with Antiseptic Mouth Wash Before and After Your Trip

Another area where germs tend to harbor is in the mouth. While good dental hygiene should always include daily brushing and flossing, rinsing with an antiseptic can help keep you from becoming ill when you are subjected to a number of different strains of bacteria and viruses. There are a number of ways from which to make your own natural mouthwash, but no matter how you do it, the addition of tea tree oil will give the mixture its antiseptic qualities.

Get Plenty of Sleep the Night Before Traveling

Lack of sleep is enough to bring about all sorts of disease, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. The common cold occurs for the same reason all these other more serious conditions occur… from a weak immune system. To keep your immune system strong, it is advised to get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep the night before traveling on any public system of transportation. Sleep restores the immune system by boosting the body’s natural levels of melatonin. In addition, when traveling by plain or train, bring your own blanket and pillow to reduce the amount of germs you’ll be subjected to.

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Samantha, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, and, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.


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4:28AM PST on Feb 16, 2012

Two silly articles on making us germ free. We all need a good reminder about washing our hands often and looking out for areas of particular danger. However using those waterless cleaners too frequently damages the normal flora on the skin of humans that helps keep the more dangerous ones at bay. Human beings were never meant to be germ free. Our immune system needs mild challenges to keep active and protective. Your articles suggest that the environment is so dangerous that we have to rub our skin with alcohol after every single action we do outside and inside the home. That is overkill and its hard to believe we would thrive in a germ free environment. These articles should have shown more balance.

9:25AM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

I thought this article, while needing some editing ( plain is not a form of transport) is far superior to the linked "Germiest Places" article from Prevention.
Planet Green did a fine job reminding people of not-so- common sense.
Wash your hands, live a health-supporting lifestyle and get yourself some room to breathe, and wash up with plain ( on the plane?) soap and water for 20 seconds.
Yes, it is traveller oriented more so than obligate bus rider, but it all applies.

8:26AM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

We must be careful not to go overboard about germs. Some sources say that hand sanitizers are hazardous. Some sources say that all the chemicals that end in 'yl' are poisionous. Am looking at a small (1.1 fl oz) bottle of shampoo/cond from up scale hotel--it has 11 ingredients that have 'yl' in the name of the ingredient. KISS-Keep it simple, silly.

7:43AM PDT on Apr 27, 2011

This article is silly. Not for people using transit every day.

9:49AM PDT on Apr 7, 2011

Only if everyone use oral hygene before being on a bus. Some can be pretty rank smelling, lol

2:28PM PDT on Apr 3, 2011


1:53PM PDT on Apr 3, 2011

Great tips, thanks! I agree with KayL. ..public transportation is a great way to relax and do other things while traveling.

7:02AM PDT on Apr 1, 2011

Thanks for the information.

5:55AM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

Thanks. Interesting article.

5:49PM PDT on Mar 28, 2011

I remember the old Greyhound Bus ads, "Take the bus and leave the driving to us." I thought it was great advice then and still is. When I travel by public transit, I arrive far more rested, alert and stress-free than if I had driven the distance, and that in itself is the biggest health benefit, IMHO. I also accomplish a lot more travelling by public transit. On long hauls, I usually catch up on my sleep. And on short daily commutes, I catch up with my reading, knit and even write letters and work on my latest stories. If I was driving all I'd be doing was clenching my muscles and losing my temper at the traffic.

Secondly, personally, I doubt there are more germs on buses and other public transit than there are in any other public places, such as movie theatres, offices, schools, etc.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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