Three Tips for Keeping Your Body Safe When You Travel

BY: Ashlee Jones, DPT- Columbia, South Carolina Center

It’s the time of year for sunshine, warm temperatures and travel. But with all the discussion of summer getaways comes the dreaded thoughts of having to pack our belongings and figure out the best way to get to our destination.  No matter the form of transportation or number of suitcases, it is always beneficial to implement a couple travel tips to keep our bodies safe during our adventures!

  1. Pack smarter
  • Keep your luggage lightweight to reduce the amount of energy needed to pull it and to make it easier to lift it into storage space using proper mechanics (legs rather than the back).
  • Space in overhead luggage compartments is never ideal. Decrease the likelihood of straining your neck or your low back by properly positioning yourself for lifting your bag or by asking for assistance from a travel companion.
  •  Consider purchasing a rolling suitcase with four wheels instead of two. Four wheels  allow for circular maneuvering and easier forward and backward progression, demanding less upper body strength to push through tight spaces.

2. Watch your neck: Travel provides an opportunity to catch up on sleep, but rarely is it comfortable. A head propped against a window or neck nuzzled into a chest can result in a stiff neck. Purchase a neck pillow and/or lumbar roll to maintain the best posture while traveling. These devices may not seem cozy, but they beat the alternative of waking with a headache, backache or lost range of motion.

3. Hydrate and eat healthful snacks:  An irony of travel is that it often involves a large span of being sedentary. It’s important to stay hydrated with water: other beverages can thicken blood and decrease its flow through the body.  These can increase risk for deep vein thrombosis or blood clots. Healthful snacks can decrease the volume of sugar in our blood, which can decrease the risk of deep vein thrombosis.

Keep these travel tips in mind and have a safer, more enjoyable voyage.

Happy travels!


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