There’s a reason why we stretch after getting out of the car following a long trip. Sitting in a small, confined space like a car or airplane causes us to be stiff, sore and grouchy after a while. If you’re traveling with kids, it’s even worse because you have to deal with their crankiness as well as your own.
The next time you travel, why not take a little time to prepare yourself before climbing into the car? This can be accomplished by thinking of your trip as an athletic event, one that requires you to both warm up and cool down. After all, you’re forcing your body into an unnatural state for hours at a time. Isn’t it best to give it a heads-up before you start?
Before You Load Up
The best thing that you can do before folding yourself into a car (or heaven forbid, the cloth cocoon of an airline seat) is to take a brisk walk. This will provide your muscles with the oxygen they would otherwise be craving and will keep your body loose and limber. It will also release endorphins to relax you, which is a great help for panicky flyers. Speaking of which…
Tips for Airline Comfort
If you’re going to be on board for more than an hour, there are a few specific habits that frequent flyers engage in to stay comfortable. These include:
- Taking a travel pillow along to keep the neck from slouching forward
- Checking all bags that are more than five to ten percent of your body weight
- Vary your position occasionally throughout your flight
- Try not to sit directly under the air controls, which can cause tension
- Sit up straight and use a pillow on your lower back if necessary
Tips for Long Car Rides
A trip in a car requires a different strategy. The good news is that you’re less likely to have two sweaty strangers flanking you in your own car than you are on an airplane. The bad news is that you’re likely to spend a lot more time in the car than you would on a plane. Here are some hints for comfort while traveling in the family jalopy:
- Adjust your seat so that you’re as close to the steering wheel as you can comfortably sit
- Use a pillow to keep back pain away
- Take frequent breaks to stretch your muscles
- Don’t grip the steering wheel too tensely
- Periodically switch your hand position on the wheel
As your chiropractor will tell you, good body mechanics will go a long way toward keeping your spine healthy. If you have a long trip coming up, you may want to consider getting an adjustment before you leave. The flexibility and freedom from pain will be a welcome relief while trying to juggle kids and schedules.
Story credit: http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=92
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