Comfort while traveling

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.

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