As the holiday season is in full force, it’s that time of year to travel from coast to coast to see your loved ones and family. As if the demands of preparing pounds and pounds of food or purchasing the perfect gifts aren’t stressful enough, don’t let the stress and aches from your travel ware you down.
Here are a few tips to help ease those stubborn aches.
Maintaining a proper nutrition: With turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing on everyone’s mind don’t lose track of the importance of healthy eating. Not being at home and on the go can sometimes play a role in disregarding our regular eating routines and physical activity. A lot more of the foods you may eat while traveling might be quick, salty, and dehydrating all without the proper water intake. Sodas, coffees and adult beverages seem like they would be a surge of energy, but don’t avoid the basics.
With the lack of water causes dehydration, aiding those little pains. Proper hydration and water intake allows your body to function properly from blood flow to joint hydration to muscle activity.
Posture: Don’t slouch; sit up straight! Don’t lose the natural curve in your back that prevents stress and pressure on your tissues and nerves. If it’s hard for you to sit straight all the time, add a pillow behind your lower back to help push out your lower lumbar. Don’t forget to pull your hips all the way to the back of wherever you are sitting.
Especially after a long days travel, by plane or car, don’t sit down for a few minutes once you’ve arrived. Allow your body to give your spine and back a break and place your body in decompressed positions. This alleviates extra pressure and restores any lost nutrients back to your spine
Get up and move: Not only is sitting posture important, but make sure you’re moving around too! Movement helps improve blood flow and joint nutrition. If you are traveling and find yourself sitting for a long amount of time, try and change position once every 30 minutes. Partake in a little stretch, lean forward and shift side to sides, put a little twist in it!
Or maybe you’re standing for a prolonged period of time. Change positions as often as you can. If that’s shifting you weight from leg to leg or leaning or sitting against a wall, switch it up. Be active. Do mini calf raises, rising onto your toes and engage your leg muscles. Help to get you blood pumping and prevent pain from swelling that might accumulate from being in one position for too long.
Maybe it’s your shoulders that are bothering you. Do some shoulder rolls and make sure to keep your head upright. To decrease tension in the neck and shoulder, pull your chin back to maintain a neutral neck position. Applying these positions can prevent headaches and improve the feel of your overall body.
Pack light: Regardless of where you go, your personal belongings follow. If that’s presents and souvenirs or your favorite holiday sweater, only pack the essentials. Anything like a purse that goes on your shoulder, only pack the basics. If you’re carrying a backpack, try and keep it light, but pack the heaviest items towards the back and keep the straps pulled tight so your pack sits above your hips. And for suitcases, also pack the heaviest items on the bottom so the balance of when you roll your suitcase reduces strain on your body.
If the heaviest of your luggage sits on your shoulders, try and alternate the shoulder it rests on. If you don’t need to rush, don’t! Periodically place your luggage on the ground and take a second to breathe! If you do have to pick up and lift your suitcase up at any point, lift from the legs. Try to avoid twisting at the waste if you’re holding your bag helping reduce heavy forces on your spine. Don’t be shy to ask for help!
Overall, have a safe holiday travelling season! And don’t forget the earplugs to help reduce the fatigue and pain placed on your brain. If it’s to drown out a loved ones snoring or to drown out the sounds of the engines when traveling, just plug them in!
We are still open and providing in-clinic service at a case-by-case basis as well as providing telemedicine and other channels for remote treatment/training. Call your nearest Center location for more details.