Summer fun is happening, now that the sun has come out, the kids have finished another school year, and the rain has finally stopped. Nothing ruins a fun summer trip like pain, so here are some practical tips to stay out of pain and enjoy your holiday.
1. Maintain your stretching, strengthening and rehab routine: If you’re pain free, keeping up your activity level will be key to staying pain free, especially as you encounter travel stress, dehydration, sleep deprivation, additional sugar and alcohol, not to mention potentially poor mattresses and pillows.
2. Poor posture: Traveling means sitting — lots of sitting. So keep an eye on your posture, especially if you plan to fall asleep. Having your neck contorted for a quick hour snooze will have you rubbing your neck for the next few days, wondering if the extra hour of sleep was worth the trouble. Instead, grab an Aeris Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow Kit for $25 on Amazon.
3. Stay hydrated 1-2 days before. Travel is very dehydrating. Between airport security liquid restrictions, the stress of travel and the cabin pressure of the airplane, it’s easy to lose quite a bit of water in a short period of time. Liquids can take up to two hours to get into your blood stream, and 1-2 days to fully absorb into organs rich in water, like your brain — so drink up!
4. Take travel-friendly rehab equipment. Stretch bands, hollow foam rollers and lacrosse balls commonly used for rehabilitation exercises are travel friendly as they don’t take up much room, are relatively light weight, and can be the key to being pain free. Stuff your hollow foam roller with socks, undies and bras to maximize space.
5. Beach holiday? Aim for 10,000 steps. If you’re going somewhere warm, and you’re likely to be a beach bum, make specific plans to walk around town and burn off the extra calories you had at dinner last night, keep your joints moving, and live the good life!
6. If you’re a heavy packer, that suitcase won’t lift itself, which puts you at risk of a lifting injury if you don’t have your technique down. Practice a couple of times with an empty suitcase, putting it in and out of the car to master the movement. Even if you’re just bending down to pick up a seashell, be mindful of how you’re doing it, and take the time to get it right.
7. Staying on your treatment plan. If you do have an injury, and you’re planning to leave in the middle of a plan your doctor or therapist has made for you to recover from an injury, plan to make up the sessions by coming more frequently before and after the trip. This is one of the most common mistakes I see people make, and the missed sessions often become apparent later.