Our Physio Tips for Travel
- Keep Moving! An obvious Physio Tip to start with! No single posture is best, variabilityis the key here! Look at changing your posture (or even better, standing up) every 30 mins (stretching backwards is a great way to counteract all that sitting you’re doing!). Ankle pumps (repeatedly pointing and flexing your toes/feet), drawing circles/the ABC with your feet, and stretching your chest by squeezing your shoulder blades are all examples of suitable stretches. See below for the ‘Chin tuck’ exercise which can help alleviate neck pain and headaches caused by prolonged static postures (commonly the forward head position).
- Water, water, water! The humidity inside aeroplane cabins (10-20%) is a lot lower than the usual 30-65% we experience in day-to-day life, making it easier to become dehydrated. So keep the water intake high and limit caffeine/alcohol intake as this fast-tracks dehydration. Keeping up the water intake will not only keep you hydrated, but you’ll be getting up regularly to use the bathroom too (point 1-tick)!
- Pack lightly! Over packing… we all do it! Try to only pack what you need and leave the unnecessary ‘just in case’ items at home. We see a lot of shoulder, back and knee injuries from lifting heavy luggage awkwardly, so the lighter you can get your suitcase, the easier it will be on your body (or whoever you get to lift your 30kg bag!). If you do have to lift a heavy suitcase, keep it close to your body, use your strong leg muscles and better still get someone to help you. If luggage trolleys are available, use them!
- Eat right! Even if it looks healthy, aeroplane/takeaway food is full of preservatives (yes even the veggies!), so have a nutritious, wholesome meal before your flight/trip. It will keep you feeling fuller for longer and put you in good stead for the rest of your travels! Snack on natural things like fruit and unsalted nuts.
- Portable Physio’s! Not quite, but thera-band and trigger point balls are fantastic, portable tools worth taking to keep your travels pain free. Want some exercises/tips with these tools for your specific problem? Contact us today and we will sort you out!
Chin Tuck Exercise
Start in a comfortable, relaxed position. Tuck your chin backwards, keeping your head in the same plane (ie not looking down) as far as you comfortably can. You should feel a stretch at the top of your neck just under your skull. Then relax and repeat. This exercise reverses the forward head position that occurs as a result of extended periods of sitting while we travel (or sitting at the computer at work). 10 repetitions every 30-60mins should do the trick!