Hello fit fam!
As Spring and Summer are upon us, we are more likely to travel and take vacations. Often our flights can be long and cause some physical discomfort. Low back pain is especially common among travelers after long flights. In an effort to help you prepare for your upcoming trip and eliminate pain associated with traveling, I’ve recalled 5 of my favorite tips for traveling. These tips will help you eliminate physical discomfort (including low back pain) and encourage you to stay healthy during your trip!
5 Fit Tips for Healthier Travel:
1. Hydrate Well
If you do nothing else, at least take this tip seriously. Drinking adequate amount of water throughout your travels and especially surrounding your flight is important for several reasons. Your body is already going through physiological changes during the flight since the humidity levels are unnaturally low and the altitude is constantly changing. Without proper hydration, the following symptoms can occur: exaggerated jetlag, dry and chapped skin, increased wrinkles, dry eyes, thirst, exhaustion, low urine output, dry mouth, headache, constipation, dizziness and/or more.
Ensure you are properly hydrated by these two simple ways:
- consume 8 ounces of water per hour (this is equivalent to 1 cup)
- check your urine (color should be a light yellow color to clear color, if it’s a darker yellow that’s a strong indication you are dehydrated)
2. Get the Juices Flowing
When possible, it is always a good idea to get a work out in prior to getting to the airport. This way you can increase your overall blood flow and oxygen intake. However if you don’t have time, I highly recommend moving the body as you wait to board. Here is a simple list of basic body-weight movements you can do right in the airport. These are a perfect set of movements to get your blood flowing, improve oxygen and adjust your posture before boarding.
alternating side lunges
I don’t mean getting on the floor in the middle of the aircraft isle and sitting in a split. Unless, you are that person. Well, actually I hope you aren’t that person! For flights longer than 2 hours, it’s a good idea to simple walk around the plane and get in 20-30 seconds of minimal stretching:
- hamstrings (simply by reaching for your toes in a standing position)
- chest (simply by using the entrance way to the restroom to place your hands on either side and lean forward, opening up your chest)
- hip flexors (simply place one leg several inches from the other and extend your hips forward until you feel your hip flexors stretching)
5. Stay Active
During your flight, your hips can tighten up from being in a prolonged seated position. Running is a simple and great way to solve this issue. It can actually improve mobility in your hips by activating the gluteal muscles (aka your butt). This helps relieve the tightness developed in your anterior chain (the front side of your body) and bring relief to what was overstretched on your posterior chain (the back side). Not to mention that going for a run is also a fun and easy way to absorb your surroundings while getting in a good work out. The best time to run is first thing in the morning. This way you're also kicking up your metabolism before indulging in travel eats throughout the day.
Got questions? Leave them in the comment section below.
Wishing you safe and fun travels this year!