Every summer, travelers flock in and out of the Fort Lauderdale area in the quest for the ultimate adventure. But, whether you choose to travel by land, air, or sea, traveling can take a huge toll on your body, making your summer vacations less than enjoyable. From back pain to a sore neck, body aches, and more, traveling can wear down your body, making you feel more tired than relaxed. To stay healthy and keep your body aligned, the chiropractors at ChiroCare of Florida compiled their best tips for making summer travel pain-free.
1. Remember to Pack Light
Did you know the standard medium-sized suitcase typically weighs over 12 pounds? Pulling, lifting, and pushing your luggage can leave your muscles sore and tired. Whether you’re planning a road trip, a short cruise, or booking a plane ticket, you have to pack light. Take advantage of the summer weather and pack as light as you can. Keep your outfits simple and choose pieces you can mix and match. Check if your hotel has laundry or dry cleaning services available, so you can wash and re-wear the same clothes.
2. Choose the Right Luggage
Since we’re already talking about luggage, it’s key to remember you need to choose the right piece. Aim for wheeled bags or carry-ons that you can gently push without much effort. Also, remember purses can get quite heavy, and you're often placing all their weight on one side of your body only. Use a backpack instead, and utilize both straps to make sure you’re distributing the weight evenly.
However, even when you have the right luggage, getting it on and off conveyor belts and overhead bins can place much stress on your back. Try to get help from flight attendants, other passengers, or porters when possible to avoid straining your lower back.
If you do have to lift one of your bags, aim to have a proper lifting technique. Bend from your knees, not from your hips. This way, you avoid placing additional strain on your back. Avoid any twisting movements while lifting heavy items.
3. Make Time to Stretch
If you’re planning a summer road trip, all those hours cramped in the car can really add strain to your body. Plan a few stretch stops at least once every few miles to keep your joints moving. If you’re on a plane, aim to get an aisle seat so you can easily stand up and walk a little bit to stretch your body.
Not only will staying active while traveling help prevent soreness, but it can also help prevent deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), which can be a potentially life-threatening blood clot in the leg veins. Adding a few stretches while traveling can help keep circulation going, keep your joints lubricated, and your muscles relaxed, all key to helping you feel your best during your vacation.
4. Bring the Right Accessories
Even though you can’t bring all the comforts of home with you on vacation, adding a few accessories can help you make your trip that much more enjoyable. These are some of our chiropractor’s favorite travel accessories:
- Heat and cold packs
- Neck pillows
- Lumbar support pillow and seat cushions
5. Stay Hydrated
It’s very common to feel dehydrated while traveling. After all, with all the driving and moving around involved, it’s easy to neglect drinking water. Avoid coffee, tea, and sodas, as they all act as diuretics. Instead, bring with you a water bottle or purchase one at the airport to help you stay hydrated throughout your journey. If you must, set up water reminders on your phone, or download a water-tracker app to help you stay accountable.
6. Wear Proper Footwear
More than helping you stay comfortable, wearing proper footwear is necessary to maintain a healthy spine while traveling. Wear shoes that have good arch and heel support, such as tennis shoes, for example. Avoid wearing flip-flops for your traveling at all costs, leave those for the pool or beach later.
7. Plan a Preventative Care Appointment
Last but not least, consider scheduling a preventative care appointment before you leave. Getting a spinal adjustment before you hit the road or jump on a plane will help ensure your spine and body are aligned. Beyond this, chiropractic adjustments have a myriad of health benefits, including helping you manage stress and anxiety better, which are both very common before traveling.
Before heading out to enjoy the ultimate summer vacation, consider speaking to a chiropractor near you. Contact the team at ChiroCare Fort Lauderdale to schedule your preventative care appointment, so you can enjoy your summer vacation pain-free.