Lao Tzu once said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Here are some generalised practical healthy travel tips to make every step a memorable one by easing the burden on your bodies.
“Watch your back” while…
Try to pack small and light. Put your bag on a raised surface so you are not constantly bending down. Lift the bag in front of you (not at an angle) using your knees to bend not your spine.
…traveling by car!
If you have been sitting in the car for 30 minutes or more you should pull into a service station and walk about for a few minutes to stretch your legs and spine. Repeat this throughout your journey.
…traveling by train or plane!
Ideally change your posture every 20 minutes as you would at a work station in the office. Use some gentle rocking movements or some muscle clenching and releasing techniques. Wearing support socks should also be considered when flying especially on any longer flights.
…having a nap!
If you wish to take a nap for example on a plane you want to ensure your posture is well supported in a neutral position so as not to irritate the joints and muscles. Avoid crossing your legs while napping. Support the neck by an inflatable neck pillow or a well-positioned rolled jumper. The low back may benefit from some extra support too.
…waking up afterwards!
Have a walk when you wake or at least move your toes up and down activating the ankle for 20-30 movements gently.
A poor mattress can trigger a back problem. Ask for a board to be placed under the mattress or the mattress to be put on the floor if it’s too soft. If it’s too hard an extra one or two duvets beneath you could help. A pillow and or some folded towels for height adjustment can help correctly align your neck with your spine to provide better neck support whilst asleep.
Deck chairs and sun loungers are notorious for triggering back ache and neck strain due to poor design. Use them only for short intervals whilst regularly changing your posture.
Be careful how much you purchase in terms of baggage weight for your return journey as this is often a source of injury. When removing your bag from the carousel lift with your back straight and tummy pulled tight.
“Sun is shining, the weather is sweet.”
When it comes to sun exposure, one of our top healthy travel tips is, wear a hat and avoid the sun from 11:00 till 15:00. Before and after that time a high factor for adults should regularly be applied to prevent sun burn. After swimming more protection will be required unless you are using a water proof cream. If you do get burnt keep that area well moisturised and out of the sun for at least 7 days. If you are hot you will need more fluid but drinking alcohol will add to your need for more water. If you are in places of poor hygiene it may be worth sticking to steaming hot food and boiled water. For adequate vitamin supplements I recommend Juice Plus.
Avoid injuries while attempting new activities!
If you are not used to swimming, skiing or any chosen holiday activity start gently and gradually add more in each day. If it is something you can practice at home beforehand, even better but the same rule applies. Do not plough on in pain as you will probably do more harm than good.
Do not ignore injuries!
Our last, but no less important, in our list of healthy travel tips. If you are injured in any way ask for a recommendation to a local Osteopath or Doctor. Alternatively look us up and book an appointment with us for your return. Ignoring the problem will invariably delay your recovery when you finally seek help. Do not be too shy to ask for help if you need it