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Planes, Trains and Automobiles: A travellers guide to taking care of your body.

August 4, 2018

Stella McNamara- Osteopath

As the saying goes, it’s about the journey, not the destination. But lets not let the journey put a dampener on your enjoyment of your destination.

Be it international travel from our isolated corner of the globe, a camper trip up north to escape the winter or just a trip down the coast, here are some ways to keep those aches and stiffness to a minimum.

Planes ✈️:

  • Walk: Get up and walk around at least every hour. Pause that movie, get up from your seat and do some laps of the plane. Set an alarm on your phone if you need the reminder.
  • Move: Set yourself a goal to do an exercise every time you get up. Calf raises, squats, balance on one leg. You choose what works for you.
  • Stretch: Use the space at the back of the plane to do some stretches. Reach up to the ceiling, do some twisting.
  • Seat-belt sign on? No problem. Wiggle your toes, do some seated calf raises, a seated glut stretches, hug a knee to your chest one at a time, reach to the ceiling. There is plenty you can do right there in your seat.
  • Take the stairs: Yes air travel and train travel can be exhausting, and the lure of the moving walkways can be strong. But you’ve just spent (or will spend) a long time sitting. Your body and your mind will thank you for the extra steps.
  • Drink lots of water: Aeroplane air particularly can be dry and leave you feeling dehydrated. Making sure you keep your fluids up will help you feel more refreshed and energetic post flight.

Cars 🚗:

  • Prepare: make sure your seat is set up for you. Have yourself at a comfortable distance from the steering wheel. Sit squarely in your seat with legs uncrossed and a supported back. That may mean adding a lumbar support. Talk to your Osteo or Myo about what is best for your body.
  • Stop; Revive; Survive: Not just an important way to fight fatigue. Stop your car every hour, Get out at do a few lap of the car. Do your twisting and reaching stretches while your up. It may add a couple of minutes to your journey but its worth the time- for your body and your safety.
  • Schedule in lunch and coffee stops to break up your journey.

If you’re planning to travel, have a chat with your practitioner about what stretches you should be doing for your body.

Please note, the advice above is generalised and may not be specific to your situation. If in doubt please contact one of our osteopaths or another health care provider to provide a specific diagnosis and treatment of your condition.