As the warmer weather begins to settle in in Oakville, family vacations and trips to the cottage mean more time spent travelling. Whether you are planning on taking a road trip with the family, hopping on a flight to explore a new city or whether your everyday commute on the GoTrain, staying immobile for prolonged periods can lead to stress on your muscles and joints. Standing in long line-ups, carrying awkward bags, and sitting in cramped positions for prolonged periods are all parts of air, bus and train travel. You don’t want to need a vacation from your vacation, avoid beginning or coming home form your vacation with an injury. These simple travelling tips from Oakville Physiotherapist Claire, can help prevent injuries so you can enjoy your vacation without aches and pains.
Travelling by Air:
- Move as much as you can. Try to get up from your seat as much as possible and walk up and down the aisles. While sitting, try and change positions frequently, and pump your ankles back and forth every hour to get blood circulating. Consider bringing a neck cushion or pillow with you to prevent neck stiffness and pain after your flight.
- Sit in the emergency exit row. The extra leg room in the emergency exit row is great for changing positions more frequently and stretching out.
- Be careful lifting bags. Luggage should be as light as possible and easy to roll or carry. Be careful when lifting bags into overhead bins and don’t hesistate to ask for help if you’re in pain or have difficulty lifting overhead. When removing bags from the baggage carousel, make sure you have good technique. Lift with your legs, and avoid twisting when taking the bag off the carousel. Use a cart or trolley whenever possible throughout the airport.
- Wear comfortable shoes. The distance you have to walk in an airport is always underestimated. Isn’t your gate always the furthest away?? Make sure you wear comfortable shoes that you would feel comfortable going for a walk in.
- Use Compression Stocks / Stockings. Prevent swelling of feet or blood clots from pressure changes and lack of movement by using compression socks or “travelling socks”. They are often covered by insurance so if your do have a tendency towards swelling it is an option.
Travelling by Land:
- Take breaks. Stop every two hours and get out of the car to stretch and move around. If you’re the passenger, do some simple stretches while you’re in the car.
- Be aware of your posture. Adjust your seat so that it is in a comfortable position for you. Bring your seat height up until you can easily see the road and your knees are at the same level as your hips. Recline your seat so that is around 100-110 degrees. Consider using a lumbar roll in the small of your back to create good posture. Make sure you aren’t slouching by adjusting the rear view mirror so that it is in a good position when you are sitting up tall. If you tend to slouch, this will cue you to have better posture.
If you are planning of doing more walking or different activities on your vacation it is important to prepare. For example if you will be walking more on uneven surfaces such as the beach, it is important to prepare your body somewhat. Our Physios at Oakville’s Palermo Physio and Wellness located in the Palermo Professional Centre in North Oakville can help you prepare for your vacation whatever your goals may be! Call Now to Book an Assessment.