Tips for Travel, Health & Comfort

It is blog conference season and for me that means lots of travel. Which also often means illness and discomfort! But I don’t have to be miserable and neither do you! The ever fabulous Tracy from Tide Massage, who is my massage therapist, has some great tips for healthy, comfortable and stress free for travel this summer or anytime!

(This was originally posted Tide Massage’s blog in 2010)

There are loads of good things about the holidays, unfortunately sometimes those good things are a long way away and our holiday fun is overshadowed by the pains of holiday travel. I have half of my holiday travel done already, I just got back from a combined late turkey day/early Christmas with my far away family. Feeling a little worse for the wear upon my return got me thinking about what I did wrong and what I could have done better. So here we go, a Christmas gift to you, learn from my fail.

No Fail Rule #1 Get plenty of rest before you travel.
It’s tempting to stay up late the night before you leave, but contrary to what you think, you will not sleep on the plane…so get your 8 hrs in the night before! Make a list of what you need to pack in the days prior to travel, so you won’t lay awake wondering what you have forgotten.

No Fail Rule #2 Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Just drinking bottled water on the plane isn’t quite enough to really keep hydrated. Starting out well hydrated is your first step…but bottled water may not be the best choice. I typically drink tap water (shocking I know!) but when I have ignored my hydration levels for a bit and need a boost I will pick up a gallon of distilled water. The more minerals there are in water, the less hydrating it is, for this reason I choose distilled water, which contains no minerals or impurities. Spring water and filtered water contain many minerals. Don’t ignore the water in your food, watermelon, celery, cucumbers, and many other fresh fruits and veggies contain plenty of water to help keep you hydrated. Stay away from salty or fatty foods, and refined sugar. Avoid drinking alcohol on the plane, not only will it dehydrate you , but the altitude makes you feel the effects of the alcohol quicker and your tolerance will be lower than normal.

No Fail Rule #3 Sit up and Get up!
On a plane, train or stuck in a car, there are some simple stretches and seated exercises you can do to arrive feeling good. Move any parts you can and move them frequently. Roll your shoulders up to your ears and back, then change direction. Roll your head in circles and tuck your chin down to your chest, stretch your arms over your head, flex your toes and roll your ankles in circles, reverse directions. If you are traveling by plane or train get up and walk, do laps around the plane if you can. Check out these Airplane Yoga poses:
If you are in a car, make the most of your pit stops. If your travel partner will let you eat in the car, pack your food or take your food to go so that your pit stop time can be spent on your feet and moving around instead of sitting in a greasy spoon. Stretch, wiggle, bounce, do a little parking lot yoga, go for a quick walk or run, whatever gets your blood moving and warms up your muscles. Pay attention to your posture, avoid sitting slumped down or with your shoulders rolled forward.

No Fail Rule #4 Let it go…
Stress can often come from within. When we dwell on negatives, worry about things that are out of our control, and hold ourselves to unrealistic standards we create stress for ourselves. Self created stress has very real physical repercussions, our body releases chemicals and hormones that make our bodies work harder and deplete our immune system. Stressing about delays and missed connections doesn’t change the outcome, only how miserable you are during the delay. Go with the flow and stay clam. Use the time waiting in airports of train stations to move around, do something that refreshes you, take some deep breaths, meditate if you are inclined or pass time by chatting with fellow travelers. If something goes wrong, let it go, describe it as a delay and don’t drag out the details.

No Fail Rule # 6 Reward Yourself!
Schedule a massage, pedicure, facial, Yoga class or visit to the Chiropractor on each end of your travels. Not only will this give you something to look forward to, but it will help you feel renewed and refreshed and bring you back to your old self!

I hope these tips help make your travels a little easier all the year through, and that everyone has a great holiday season, near or far!
Tracy Bohren, CMT

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