Whether you travel often or only occasionally, you may have noticed that spending a long time in a car or plane can result in aches and pains. Even if you recently received bodywork, extended periods of sitting can undo some of its benefits.
Having just taken a long car trip, this problem is fresh in my mind. Here are some strategies that I use to keep comfortable when I am away from home. I hope some of these tips will also be useful to you.
On the road or in the air:
- Use a lumbar support – there are specially-made cushions and back rests. You can also use a small pillow or rolled towel.
- Schedule stops. When driving, don’t wait until you feel really stiff to take a break. Plan to stop every hour or two and walk around for a few minutes.
- On a plane, stand up periodically. If feasible, walk up and down the aisle.
- Move more while seated – stretch your arms, roll or shrug your shoulders, circle your ankles, etc.
- Stay hydrated and eat regularly. Be careful about snacking.
- In an airplane, I use earplugs to reduce noise.
- Pack as light a bag as possible and use care when lifting.
At your destination, find time to maintain healthy habits:
- Exercise – aim for 30 minutes per day, split up if needed.
- Bring a tennis ball with you and roll your feet over it. Or, stretch / do 10 minutes of yoga.
- Maintain good sleep habits – 7 to 8 hours per night, as close as possible to your normal schedule.
- Eat sensibly; drink alcohol in moderation.
And finally, when you return home, schedule a session of structural integration or massage.