If you’re anything like me, you don’t need an excuse for a little getaway. Taking a relaxing or adventurous vacation to visit loved ones, escaping to a favorite weekend destination, or exploring on an out of state or country trip should be a fun and enjoyable experience; however, some people find these trips painful and unbearable due to aches and pains with prolonged sitting.
Avoiding or dreading the drive or flight to your destination can be a speed bump along the way that can make the trip more of a hassle than fun. I’m here today to give you a few travel tips to help leave your aches and pains at home, especially as we move into the holiday season!
A simple exercise that can be performed to help prevent blood from pooling in your legs is ankle pumps. This up and down motion, just as if you were pushing a gas pedal up and down, will help blood return from your legs and back to your heart. This will help decrease the amount of swelling in your feet and ankles on long trips. Pumping your ankles up and down 30 times every 30 minutes will be beneficial while on your trip.
Take an opportunity to get up and walk around. If traveling by car, stop at rest stops or get out at a restaurant or gas station to walk around. If traveling by plane, get up and take a walk to the restroom. Sitting for a prolonged period of time can cause stiffness and decreased blood flow throughout your body that will lead to more aches and pains.
Remember to keep proper posture throughout your travels. Using a lumbar pillow in your seat will help to maintain a normal lumbar curvature and help prevent low back pain.
It is important to take action and be proactive to decrease the aches and pains during your travels. These travel tips are useful for all individuals who are traveling, especially those prone to pain with static positions. I know you’re eager to arrive at your destination, but making the time during your travels to take care of yourself with result in less pain and more fun as you reach your final destination.
Mandy Magoto, PT, DPT, OCS
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