The holidays are here, which means travel is part of most of our plans. Vacationing and visiting new destinations is a lot of fun, but travel can cause a lot of stress on your body. We view traveling as the toll worth paying to get to the destination. And if there's something you can do to lessen the strains of travel, the better your experience will be! We've put together some common strains from travel and recommendations to reduce the toll they take on your body:
Even if you are traveling for just the day, you are sure to be bringing some sort of luggage. Not only will you be dragging your 15+ pound bag from plane or train or car, you'll then typically lift it over your head or shove it in a compartment. Then, you'll carry it on potential layovers and finally to your destination. This puts a lot of strain on your shoulders, back, and arms.
Recommendation: No matter your mode of transportation, pack as lightly as you can. Distribute the weight equally in the bag and switch between arms throughout the travel process.
2. SEATING STRUGGLES
If you've booked first class, you can move on to the next section. But if you are like the majority of travelers, you will most likely experience an uncomfortable seat back and limited leg room during your travels. If you are sitting in an aisle seat, you might have some additional room, but you'll be routinely bumped by other passengers. If you are seated in a window seat, you'll be squished into a curved ball. And the middle seat - well, we all know the downfalls there in terms of shoulder room! Your round-trip journey adds up to several hours of strain on your body.
Recommendation: None of these options are perfect, but the aisle seat is your best choice. It gives you the freedom to stand and stretch, without having to crawl over other passengers.
3. STRAINING TO SEE THE VIEW
Whether you are traveling near or far, there is something exciting about looking out the window at the changing scenery during your travels. If you follow our advice and choose the aisle seat, you'll be straining to stare out the tiny window on the plane. If you are traveling by bus, the window might be bigger, but you'll likely want to see the view on the other side. Same goes for a boat or a train. Without even realizing it, you will find yourself spending minutes at a time straining your neck to one side.
Recommendation: Be aware of what straining to enjoy the view may be doing to your neck in terms of future vacation enjoyment. To avoid tense muscles, limit yourself to 5-seconds of neck turning at a time.
If you are in a public place, you are exposing yourself to a number of unsanitary conditions. You are going to come in contact with germs and illness during your travels, which can lead to you being sick on your vacation.
Recommendation #1: Come in for a chiropractic adjustment the same week you will be traveling and the same week you return. In addition, bring travel sized germ-killing wipes to wipe down the area you'll be sitting in, and be sure to wash your hands regularly.
5. SLEEPING IN A DIFFERENT BED WITH DIFFERENT PILLOWS
Whether you are staying in a 5-star resort or your in-laws pullout couch, a change in the place you sleep will cause your deep sleep to be impacted. From a super soft mattress or hard as a rock pillow, aches and pains when waking up are common during travel.
Recommendation: Stretch twice a day, both right when waking up and just before going to bed.
6. LACK OF SLEEP
Even if you are managing to sleep well on your vacation, it is likely that you are staying out later than usual and waking up earlier than you do at home. This change in sleep patterns will throw off your sleep cycle, and even though you might not notice right away, your body will.
Recommendation: If you are going to be sleeping at odd hours, use a sleep mask to blackout the light and ear plugs to ensure the deepest sleep possible.
8. YOUR NUTRITION...OR LACK OF
We are all guilty of splurging on vacation, especially during the holidays! Maintaining a healthy diet is not usually the top priority, and you'll likely be eating and drinking more, causing your body to suffer the consequences of your fun.
Recommendation: Take a daily probiotic and remember a dose for each day of your trip. This promotes regular bowel movements and healthy gut flora.
Traveling is well worth the toll it takes, but if there's something you can do to make the experience easier, why not give it a try? If you have any other travel tips, share them in the comments!