Tips for feeling great during your holiday
6 things you need to know to prepare for your holiday
The holiday season is here and it’s been a long time coming, with the last couple of years meaning that many people are even more excited than usual about their break. Whether you’re flying to faraway places or having a staycation, it’s worth being body-aware to make the most of your time off, by avoiding some of the patterns that we see in clinic.
Even with the excitement and anticipation of a well deserved break it can be hard to let go of the stresses and strains of everyday life. There are five dimensions of stress – physical, emotional, chemical, nutritional and environmental. Some of these will travel with you! Others may affect you on holiday in different ways.
In this article, we’ll focus on the physical aspect because there are so many variables in the others, depending on where you’re going, what you’re doing, and how you feel about that! You may be dreaming of spending as much time as possible supine…but nobody wants that to be because of a bad back.
- Flying: As tempting as it is to veg out at last and watch Netflix for the entire flight, you’ll do yourself a huge favour if you walk around from time to time. Much has been written about Deep Vein Thrombosis and moving will certainly reduce that risk, however putting strain on your neck by craning over your phone or tablet is much more common. We do a lot of this every day as it is, but when you factor in cramped leg room and being engrossed in your movie, your spine will be more prone to tightening and stiffening up. Whether it’s screen entertainment, puzzle books reading, be sure to pause every so often, and move your body and spine around.
- Driving: Sitting for long periods of time puts a strain on your pelvis on a flight or at work for that matter, and while movement is generally what we’re advocating, using your legs to work the car pedals doesn’t count! In fact, it can make things worse. Regular breaks from driving aren’t just about concentration, they help prevent your body seizing up when you arrive. We see all too many people who discover that they can barely get out of the car after a long journey.
- Heavy lifting: Whether it’s suitcases, camping equipment or children, you know the drill: bend your knees not your back before you lift, and use your core muscles. We often forget this, especially if we’re not doing it regularly in our lifestyle, and holidays are often when we suddenly increase the amount of lifting we do. Suitcases with wheels are great however be aware that dragging them can cause an awkward twist through your spine which can put stress on any areas of weakness, especially if the wheels don’t run smoothly.
- Beds & pillows: A change of bed can be a positive revelation if you find yourself with a super-comfy set-up, however it can also be somewhat less than perfect. An uncomfortable bed or pillow can be a pain in the neck, back or pelvis for anyone and can aggravate existing tendencies if you have problems in these areas. If you know you struggle with anything other than your own pillow….take it with you!
- Sun loungers: Relaxing on a sunbed is what the majority of holiday-makers are currently dreaming about. Just remember to be careful – and not just to avoid sun burn. If you are prone to low back pain, lying with your legs straight can exacerbate that. If you’ve been sedentary, you may have tension in your spine so as relaxing as it can be…be sure to get up and stretch!
- Activities: If your home/work life isn’t very active, it would be wise to take some measures before embarking on an action-packed holiday. Warm-ups are possibly the most unloved and neglected part of all routines, despite being crucial for avoiding injuries.
Hopefully these small changes will keep you happy on holiday. However, chiropractic
Remember that your chiropractic sessions reduce stresses in your physical and nervous structures so if you have adjustments before you depart, there will be less stress and strain in your system and help you to relax much sooner.
The more regulated your nervous system, the greater capacity you’ll have to adapt to the different environmental stresses which you’ll encounter during the transition, such as cabin pressure in a plane, heavy traffic on the roads, cranky kids (and other relatives), jet lag and so on.
So book your pre and post holiday adjustments now to help ease you into a lovely relaxing break and don’t forget that you can read more about how you can reduce all of these factors and the impact of the Five Dimensions of Stress in Dr Jason Gould’s No1 bestselling book, Thrive. It’s available in the clinic and on Amazon.
Simple stretch that you can do anywhere
Here is a great stretch that suits most backs. It’s a really nice way to loosen up if you are feeling stiff – or better still, do it every day to avoid feeling stiff.
Testimonial of the month
“When you go for holidays, the journey can make you stiff, and I would sometimes call as I landed at the airport to make an appointment. Then I just started booking it in advance! The people at the clinic have always been there for me.” Daxa Patel, CCC patient
Happy holidays from everyone here at the clinic, may your travels be all that you’re dreaming about.
If you know someone who could benefit from this blog post, please share it with them. We offer a complimentary spine check to anyone who is interested in how chiropractic may be able to help them. You can book this online, or by calling 0208 295 1733.
Filed Under: Health Tips