The joys of a family vacation can be overshadowed by the ‘pain’ of hauling excessive luggage, sleeping in a different bed and extended periods of sitting. Here are our favorite tips to keep you feeling your best while traveling so you can enjoy your destination.
Take breaks while driving
Every hour or two, stop and walk for a few minutes. It’s also not a bad idea to do some standing back extensions. Sitting places your spine in a flexed position, so moving it the opposite direction can prevent pain.
Support your back
If you’re going to be sitting for extended periods, like on an airplane, using lumbar support can keep you more comfortable. A lumbar roll, or small pillow works well placed between the seat and the small of back. Using a rolled jacket or blanket is another good option.
Choose the right luggage
Suitcases with wheels let you avoid lifting and carrying. If you’re flying, check your bags to avoid the overhead lifting. A backpack that can be worn on both shoulders makes a great carryon and is easier to handle than a bag you can only use one hand on.
Dress to move
Comfortable shoes and clothes let you walk when you have the opportunity. If you have down time, like waiting at the gate at the airport, or waiting for your hotel room to be ready, use the opportunity to take a walk instead of sitting.
If you have a long flight, train or car ride where you plan to sleep, use a neck pillow. This helps you avoid sleeping with a twisted neck, then waking up in pain. If you’re worried about the comfort of the pillows at the hotel, don’t be afraid to bring your own.
Listen to your body
Vague discomfort is often a warning sign that you need to move!
Don’t take a vacation from exercise
Maintain your usual activity level. Research local exercise facilities before you head to a new town, take your running shoes, and travel with your theraband and foam roller. The more you can maintain your activity level, the less likely you are to end up in pain.
With these tips, you should be able to arrive at your destination feeling ready to enjoy your time with your family instead of in pain, stiff, or sore.
If you’re having difficult with these a physical therapist at Mobility PLUS Rehabilitation would be glad to find a starting point for you and get your mobility back to where you want it. Your Mobility is Our Top Priority.
Dr. Ryan Lorenz PT, DPT
Dr. Lorenz is a graduate of Valley City State University and obtained his doctorate of physical therapy from the University of Mary. He lives in Valley City and is the primary physical therapist and owner of Mobility PLUS Rehabilitation.