Taking a trip (whether for business, pleasure or both) can be a great way to reenergize and reset. But remember: before visions of palm trees dance in your head, you need to get there first! Travel often comes with its own baggage.
Whether you are hitting the open road, flying the friendly skies or sailing the seven seas, just getting to your destination can throw a body off.
We have curated some of our top on-the-go travel tips to help you avoid body burnout and stay energized and mobile while away from home.
Don’t Let Your Destination Derail You
We never really consider how much the act of getting to our destination impacts our overall physical well-being. One of the biggest culprits of common travel aches (no matter the mode of transportation) is prolonged sitting. Our bodies are meant to move!
When we sit for too long in one position, this sets off a cascade of physiological reactions. Staying still for even an hour means our diaphragm (AKA breathing muscle) compresses – or in layman’s terms “gets squished” – which means we are not getting the necessary oxygen to stay alert and focused.
Compensatory breathing muscles kick in, leading to headaches and a literal pain in the neck! Sitting for long periods of time with the knees bent can also cause poor circulation, putting pressure on the veins in our lower legs and feet.
Travel Tips to Lighten the Load
Back ache, shoulder stiffness and body tension… oh my! Fear not – no matter how you travel, we have tips to help you lighten the load and stay the course.
HIT THE ROAD
Going on a road trip? Before you buckle up and adjust your mirrors, squeeze in some full-body stretches and get your trip off on the right foot.
While behind the wheel, try some mini moves by (safely) shifting your body positioning. These small wiggles can spell big relief to tense muscles and any accumulated stress to the spine.
But no matter how comfortable your car seat is, aim to take frequent breaks to stretch your hip flexors, hamstrings, calves, ankles and feet (yes, your feet are very active when you drive).
Upper body stretches that counter the body’s seated position will help release stress and tension helping you feel energized when you hit the road again!
I JUST WANT TO FLY
Air travel has many advantages – namely getting to your destination faster! But cruising at 35,000 feet comes with its own set of obstacles. These days, delayed flights and long waits are par for the course, and while this can be incredibly frustrating, it can also be a great way to squeeze in extra pre-board movement.
Once you take off, there are ways to make your designated seat more friend than foe. Stiff shoulders and backs may need some extra attention after lugging suitcases around and placing them in the overhead. And while stretching your arms horizontally may be a space issue, vertically however, the sky is the limit.
Fitting in a few well-timed Ceiling Reaches and gentle spine rotations throughout your flight will do the body good. For personal safety reasons, roaming the cabin isn’t always advised, but you can get your blood pumping from your seat by flexing and pointing your feet as well as ankle circles (both directions!)
If you choose to travel by sea, the fresh salt air can do wonders for the skin and psyche. But let’s face it: all-you-can-eat buffets and limited activity can throw your digestive system off track. Essentrics® Windmills are a great way to get your insides moving while countering any prolonged sitting.
While you’re at it, a ship railing doubles nicely as a ballet bar for some strengthening thigh and glute exercises to help speed up your metabolism. A great way to maximize limited cabin space and ensure each day starts off on the right foot: incorporate an all-floor 23-minute Essentrics® workout into your itinerary. This is a great way to prime your body for whatever adventures come your way.
No matter where your journey takes you, getting to your destination has never been more pain free. Bon voyage, travelers!
Contributing writer Lisa Mozo