Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Healthy Holiday Travels

I know I will be one of the millions of Americans traveling during the holiday season.  I also know that, unless you're in first class, airplane seats are not very comfortable and car seats are one size fits most.  That means that on long trips, these seating situations aren't the best on your spine.  Even a relatively short flight or drive can cause irritation to your spine, especially with the overly sedentary lifestyle that most Americans lead.  That being said, there are a few things that you can do while traveling this holiday season to help keep your spine and the rest of your body in tip top shape.

#1 - Get proper support.  Most cars and airplane seats have little to no lumbar support.  Even rolling up a blanket and putting in behind the small of your back will help you sit up straighter and take pressure off of your spine.

#2 - Stay hydrated.  Water keeps your cells, nerves, immune system, and the rest of your body running at full capacity.  By staying hydrated, you will be staying healthy and increasing your energy levels for a trip.  It's especially essential with the drier winter air.

#3 - Bring a healthy snack (if possible).  Instead of stopping by a gas station for some potato chips, pack some homemade trail mix, granola bars, or dried fruit to snack on.  Not only is it healthier for you, but it will keep your energy levels higher for a longer period of time than that processed stuff in bag.

#4 - Avoid staying in one position.  When you are stagnant and not moving around, that's when you get cramps, aches, pains, and other issues.  Get up and move around, stretch out, and take in some fresh air as much as possible.  If you're in a rush and can't make any pit stops, try slightly switching the angle of your seat every now and then.

#5 - Share the load.  Don't be afraid to ask for help when lugging around all of the luggage and presents.  It's a lot easier to ask for help instead of dealing with pain while you're supposed to be on vacation.

#6 - If possible, split driving responsibilities.  When you're the only one driving on a long road trip, it takes a large toll on your body as a whole.  If you're able to share driving duties, you will be giving your body and brain a much needed break so that you can recouperate for when it's your turn to drive again.

Have a Happy and Healthy Holidays!

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