Whether you are embarking on the journey of a lifetime or headed out on a routine business trip, the prospect of traveling can be both exciting and dreadful. The destinations and experiences may be exhilarating, but the process of reaching them can be anything but. From cramped spaces to uncomfortable seats, travel is not always glamorous.
Chances are, you emerge with a few new aches and pains. Sometimes, they may even negatively affect your ability to enjoy your trip. This is especially true of those who already suffer from some kind of chronic condition, such as back pain.
While you have little to no control over your travel arrangements, you can take steps to avoid aches and pains while traveling. Check them out below to unlock a pain-free travel experience the next time you embark on an adventure.
Movement is Your Friend
It can be easy to fixate on the end goal when traveling. Whether it’s watching the hours pass by in the car or staying seated the entire flight, focusing on your destination without compromise can be detrimental to your health. It is important to take breaks for movement and stretching.
By breaking up the long stints of sitting, you are giving your muscles an opportunity to warm up, receive blood circulation, and avoid stiffness that leads to aches and pains. Even if you are on a flight, be sure to stand up intermittently to walk to the bathroom, do some light stretching, and otherwise get your body moving. A little bit of movement goes a long way when traveling, and your body will thank you for the effort.
Don’t Neglect Hydration and Nutrition
Taking care of your body while traveling relies on the basics. Unfortunately, it grows increasingly easy to neglect essentials like hydration and nutrition in an unfamiliar environment and on long road trips and flights. When these simple yet critical aspects of self-care start to slip, the rest of your health will follow. Proper hydration and nutrition may seem like a given, but they are unbelievably integral in staving off aches and pains while traveling.
Personalize Your Seat
If you are driving, be sure to adjust your seat to a comfortable and functional setting. You should not have to lean forward, hunch, or reach to safely operate the vehicle. Try to adjust it in such a way that your neck, shoulders, and hips are all stacked in line with one another. Incorrect posture can create imbalances and lead to significant aches that persist for the duration of your trip.
When traveling by plane, invest in pillows that support your neck and help you maintain proper posture in the sometimes-subpar seats airlines are known for. Using a combination of pillows may be necessary to achieve this, but the effort will be worth it when you arrive at your destination without pain.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
While we’re not suggesting you wear pajamas to the airport (you do you, though), opting for comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely and do not restrict your ability to find a proper seating position can go a long way toward avoiding aches and pains.
Footwear is exceptionally important, as well. Whether you’re traversing the infinite hallways of the airport or doing touristy activities about town, there’s a good chance you’ll be on your feet a lot. Stylish shoes might make a statement, but comfortable, supportive footwear will help maintain good posture and prevent discomfort from developing.
If you are concerned about the aches and pains often associated with traveling, do not hesitate to contact your doctor. They can discuss your physical state with you, including how you can place yourself in a position for success. With a few subtle changes and a commitment to consistency, you can enjoy your travels without frustrating discomfort.