If you’re preparing for a vacation you’ve probably made a lot of preparations—you’ve booked your flight, reserved your room and researched each leg of your journey. However, you probably haven’t given a lot of thought to how to protect your body from the stresses of travel.
If you want to avoid the same aches and pains that you got during your last vacation then it’s worth your while to make a small effort to protect yourself. Even the most comfortable of cars can take a toll on your body after a while and if you’re flying you have even less room to get comfortable. This article will guide you toward a vacation that will remove stress instead of adding more to your life.
According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), we should look at travel as an athletic event that requires warming up and cooling down prior to and immediately following our excursion. In addition to a brisk walk before and after to stretch our muscles, they suggest the following tips.
In the Car
If you’re driving, take a few moments to adjust the seat for maximum comfort. Make sure that your knees are a little higher than your hips and that you’re as close to the steering wheel as possible for your comfort. You may want to consider using a back support pillow to protect your lower back from strain.
Keep your shoulders loose by varying your grip on the steering wheel. Mix up the positions so that your hands aren’t held in the same place for hours on end and take frequent rest breaks to give yourself and your passengers the chance to stretch their legs and reduce fatigue.
On a Plane
It’s no secret that airlines are making seats smaller in order to get more people on board. While doing so may be better for the bottom line of the airline, it’s horrible for our bodies. However, the following tips can help make your flight a little easier:
- Check bags that are heavier than 10 percent of your body weight. Lifting and placing heavy bags in the overhead compartment can cause pain in your neck or back and should be avoided at all costs.
- If you stow your bag under your seat, you still need to be careful. The area underneath your chair is a very tight one and forcing the object in with awkward foot motions can cause pain and lingering stiffness.
- Vary your position whenever you can. Although you don’t want to disturb your seatmate, you can still shift around whenever possible to avoid cramping up when the plane lands.
If you travel regularly, it’s a good idea to visit your chiropractic team when you get back. Your chiropractor can help relieve the kinks that build up after sitting in one position for long periods of time. They say the journey is half the fun in a vacation and following the tips above will ensure a more enjoyable time for you and your entire family.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.