With borders opening and more people starting to travel internationally or domestically again, that means long haul flights or drives! A few of our physio’s are also taking this opportunity to travel for themselves.
The long hours spent sitting can sometimes result in achy muscles, stiff low back, sore neck, and headaches. Here are some tips from a physio to stay healthy and comfortable while travelling!
Get up and keep moving:
- Walk. Whenever you can. Movement is key!
- Get up and stretch at least every 1-2 hours.
- Walking, stretching hamstrings like swinging the leg forward and backwards or side to side. Stretching your hip flexors, stretching your leg behind whilst keeping your body upright, can also prevent aching muscles.
- Calf raises- standing on your tippy toes
- Back bends to counteract all the sitting and rotations to get the whole spine moving.
- Pointing and pumping your ankles
- Chin tucks- lengthening the back of your neck
- Rotate your head side to side and side bending your head by bringing your ear to your shoulder
- Shrug and circle your shoulders
- Back twists while sitting in your seat
Use neck or low back support
- A small neck pillow and rest your head on the head rest
- A small pillow or rolled up small towel to place behind your lower back to keep you sitting upright with the natural curve of your spine and not slumped.
At the airport:
- Be mindful of your hand luggage: a small backpack with snuggly fitting straps is best. A heavy handbag can cause a lot of strain on your neck and shoulder
- Lifting your heavy suitcase correctly- or asking for help! Avoid twisting and bend from your knees and hips when lifting.
- Wear appropriate shoes for walking around the airports
- One of the most important things we can do in all aspects of life! Did you know a good night’s sleep is super helpful for recovery from your injury? And without an injury, it is vital for optimal wellbeing.
- To avoid jet lag when travelling internationally, start acting in the time zone you’re going to, from the start of the trip.
- Drink. Water. Loads. Don’t worry about getting up to go to the toilet lots – that’s when you get to walk! If other people have to get up for you to get out then you’re doing them a favour because movement is key for them too.
- Take an empty water bottle with you to fill up after security as the cups given on the plane are often very small
- Dehydrated muscles can also cause discomfort during your flight
And lastly – Smile. It’s about the journey not the destination 😊