How to look after your body and avoid pain when travelling
The poor seating designs of most travel vehicles casue back pain due to incorrect support of the spine, and forward pitching of the shoulders. To avoid this, always bring a small pillow, or use one that is offered and place it behind your low back or neck for support.
If you can't find an in-flight pillow to use, roll up a jacket or even the inflight magazines, and use them as supports. Seated posture is so important for preventing strain to the spine, and pain to the neck, shoulders and low back.
Be sure to remain well hydrated during your travel time. One of the most basic, yet common causes of pain is dehydration. Not having enough fluid in the body to keep the body cool, the blood moving, the muscles supple and the tendons relaxed.
Not only must you drink plenty of water, but you must also avoid coffee, tea and soft drink during travel, as these all cause you to sweat, urinate and dehydrate.
Move Every Hour
If you are taking a long drive, train ride or flight, be sure to get up and move every hour. Simply standing up for a few minutes and doing some light stretching, twisting or bending will help keep you limber, relaxed and the blood moving in and out of the muscles. And when the blood does not move or moves too slowly, the muscles and tendons become tight and painful.
Demonstrate Care when Lifting
Be sure that when lifting bags, holding children and reaching for items that you plant your feet flat for support and bend from the knees. Incorrect lifting or over-reaching for items is one of the most common causes of back pain and one of the easiest to avoid.
Stretching Techniques to Loosen You Up on an Airplane
Some basic stretching techniques can help to loosen up your body during long flights, making them somewhat more enjoyable. Stretching not only helps to make your body feel better, but can actually help prevent pain and injury.
Be sure to target as many parts of your body as possible in order to achieve optimal results. Here are 3 stretching techniques for your next airplane experience:
1. Neck Side Stretches
The neck side stretch is one of the best exercises you can do on an airplane. Often, the seats in airplanes force our bodies into ramrod straight positions, which cannot only be painful for our necks, but may actually lead to injury. Stretching your neck every 30 to 60 minutes can help alleviate some of the pain associated with flying.
Start by sitting up tall in your seat. Your head should be over your shoulders, and your shoulders over your hips. Take a few deep breaths. As you exhale your breath, slowly drop your right ear to your right shoulder.
Hold this pose for at least 20 seconds before switching to the other side. For a deeper stretch, try bringing your right hand to the top of your head, and gently pulling your right ear closer to your right shoulder. This should provide a great stretch to the left side of your neck.
2. Back Stretch
The back stretch is another great exercise that can help stretch your body during long plane flights, thereby eliminating pain and injury. To perform this exercise, start by sitting tall in your chair, making sure your body is a straight line from the tip of your head to your seat.
Extend your arms in front of your body, and lace your fingers together. Rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing the seat in front of yours. Slowly extend your arms to the sky, until they are directly over your head.
Push your hands as high up to the sky as you can reach. You should feel a great stretch here along your shoulder blades and in the center of your back. Hold this pose for at least 20 seconds before releasing your arms back to your sides.
3. Overhead Stretch
A final great stretch to do on an airplane is the overhead stretch. As with the other stretches described above, start by sitting tall in your seat and taking some deep breaths. Slowly extend your right arm overhead, as if you were raising your hand.
Rest your left hand on your left thigh. As you exhale your breath, bend your torso to the left, letting your right arm reach over your head to the left side of your body. You should feel a stretch along your right ribcage. Hold this pose for at least 20 seconds before taking a short break and switching to the other side.
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