Holiday Health | Tips to look after your body when you travel
Cue the out of office – it’s holiday time! Here’s how to look after yourself when you’re out of routine, away from home, and busy having fun.
Whether you’ve planned a holiday break or you’re travelling to visit family over the festive period, being away from home can take a toll on your body. Irregular routines, different beds, poor diet and lounging around can cramp your style by contributing to bodily aches and pains.
This year, practice good holiday health to keep your body in good nick. When the New Year hits, you’ll be patting yourself on the back for it!
As you fuel up the car to hit the road, prepare yourself for the journey too and counter the damage of sustained sitting with ergonomics and exercise. For example:
- Whether you’re driving or a passenger, review your seat set-up before you depart to ensure its ergonomic. Adjust your seat height, position, tilt and inclination to suit your body and pay attention to your posture as you drive. Also, dress comfortably!
- Practice sensible lifting technique as you load and unload the car with your bags and other travel gear.
- Take breaks during your journey if possible. Share the driving, if you can. Stopping at a rest area to stretch your legs and take a stroll is important for both your body and mind.
- Don’t drive with anything in your back pocket. Guys, remove your wallet and keys and place them in a door compartment. Your bottom should be level in the seat as you travel.
- Apply sunscreen to your face, arms and legs to protect yourself from UV exposure.
If you’re flying to family festivities, even a short haul journey in the air can impact your holiday health. Your body is put under pressure (literally) as you sit on a plane that’s soaring more than 30,000 feet above ground. So, take steps to reduce the wear and tear on your body as you travel:
- Keep up your fluids a couple of days before you depart and sip water throughout the flight.
- Even if your small suitcase meets carry-on dimensions, check it in if it’s heavy or you’re going to struggle to lift it into the overhead compartment.
- Keep active during the flight as much as you can. If you can’t pace the aisles, you can still complete simple leg and neck exercises whilst sitting to get your blood flowing. Support your back with a pillow, rolled-up blanket or sweater if you’re uncomfortable in your seat. Also, keep your feet on the floor to reduce lower back pain – if you can’t reach get creative and make yourself a footstool.
Hotels or other accommodation
Guests beds all have one thing in common – they’re not your own! As such, even one night on a mattress that is too soft, too hard, or too old can contribute to neck, shoulder or back pain. To reduce the impact on your spine, sleep in a neutral position, try to take your own pillow with you and complete some loosening exercises before rolling out of bed in the morning.
At Sydney Spine and Sports Clinic, we put you first. We believe in offering chiropractic care that enables you to make informed and educated choices about your health. If you are suffering pain and would like to talk to us about how we can help you get mobile and active again – get in touch right here.