Here we go. Memorial Day announces the unofficial start of summer and summer travel gets into full swing.
Whether traveling by planes, trains or automobiles, traveling can take its toll on your body.
Here are a few tips to take with you so that when you reach your destination you will be in great shape to enjoy your vacation.
When approaching travel, you need to approach it like an athletic event. Even if your travel includes riding in a car or sitting on an airplane, sitting for prolonged periods of time can increase stress and strain on the body. Blood flow to the extremities from sitting in prolonged or awkward positions can cause pressure to build in the blood vessels, especially the legs. Before you leave for your trip take a few minutes to warm up your muscles. Take a brisk walk and do some simple stretches of your arms, back, neck and legs before your settle in for your journey. Once your arrive at your destination take another walk and stretch your hamstrings and calf muscles to get that blood circulating again.
If you are traveling by airplane, make sure that you maintain good posture while you are seated on the plane. Make use of a pillow or rolled up blanket to place just above your belt line in order to maintain good back posture, and use another pillow or neck pillow to place in between the headrest and the back of your neck to support the head. If you are of smaller stature, place a folded blanket under your buttocks to give you better height and fit the seat properly so you can maintain better posture during your flight. Movement is very important when you fly! Make sure that at least once an hour that you get up and stretch your legs in order to maintain proper blood circulation. While you are seated, periodically massage your legs and calves or use a book or bag under the seat in front of you to prop up your feet.
Turn off or down any stream of heavy air conditioning jets that may be flowing on you since this will increase muscle tension and may lead to muscle pain and spasm.
Lastly, make sure that you check your heavy bags so that you do not need to strain and carry them, and when lifting luggage into the over head compartments always bend at the knees to lift and do not torque your trunk while lifting the luggage above your head to place into the over head bin.
Car travel has its own set of challenges for the driver as well as the passengers. For the driver, make sure you sit as close to the steering wheel as comfortably possible and have your knees elevated slightly higher than your hips. If your car does have lumbar support you want to make sure that the fattest part of the support is from the bottom of the rib cage to your waistline. If driving long distances make sure that you take a break every hour or two and stop the car and stretch your legs.
Driver fatigue is also a concern, so if you feel that your are becoming drowsy while driving take the time to find a safe place to stop and rest. For your passengers, again good posture is important to prevent muscle sprain and strain. Make sure that you are sitting up straight in your seat and that your low back is pressed firmly into the back of the seat for proper support. Use of a small towel and neck pillow are recommended to maintain proper posture and avoid injury.
So no matter how you get to your travel destinations this year, by incorporating these simple travel wellness trips you will be in tip top shape when you arrive to enjoy and relax during that vacation.