What can you do to keep your body in the best possible shape the next time you travel for work or pleasure? Here are a few simple tips:
– Beware the pillow: A sore neck or headache from a bad pillow can put a dampener on your trip. Your pillow should keep your neck in a nice neutral position during the night (so you’re not tilting or twisting). If you can’t swap your dud pillow for another, consider folding a towel to add some extra height to a low or flat pillow. Better yet, consider taking your own pillow with you when you travel.
– Watch the lifting: Twisting to lift a 20kg suitcase off a moving baggage carousel is a recipe for disaster. Keep your body facing whatever you are lifting, bend at your knees rather than your back, and take a breath in while bracing your core to help protect your low back. Don’t forget, whatever you take with you you’ll have to carry, so try to pack as lightly as possible.
– Stay active: Keep up your stretches while you’re away – even if it’s just five minutes a day! Make the most of your new surroundings and get outdoors wherever possible: walk instead of taking a taxi; better yet, incorporate a hike or two into your trip. If you’re staying at a hotel, be sure to check out the gym or pool. If you can incorporate movement into your day, you’ll increase your chances of coming home healthy.
– Break up your trip: Long flights and long drives are not helpful for your health. Try and limit your sitting wherever possible, by walking around on the plane or taking regular breaks from driving.
– Eat and drink well: While it’s nice to enjoy the local delicacies, keep up your fresh fruit and veg intake, and remember the key is moderation!