Tips for Travel

If you don’t have a vacation in sight, this might seem cruel…

Winter is definitely here and it is the time of year where many of us pack up our suitcases and leave Winnipeg. Vacations are a time of renewal and rejuvenation, be sure to return home feeling better than when you left. Whether it is for a week or extended trip, the travel time and change in routine can have an impact on our bodies. Here are a few tips to keep you feeling your best on your vacation:


Hydrate- Stay hydrated during the flight and once you reach your destination.  Whether you are being active through out the day, spending time in the sun or enjoying “all-inclusive” beverages, a little water will go along way in preventing dehydration. Being hydrated will also allow your body to better adapt to the change in climate.


Stretch– Remember to stretch during travel and make it a part of your daily routine throughout your vacation. Vacations usually start off with early mornings and long flights. Our bodies curl up and cramp up with a full day of travel. When we arrive at our destination we are excited to get out and enjoy. We look forward to swimming, walking on the beach and hiking through the wilderness. Sometimes the change from being inactive to very active can be very hard on our bodies so it’s always important to listen to your body. Know your limits and stay within your comfort zone. Here is an old blog post that discusses watersports and how to stay safe and here‘s one about stretches and exercises for golf.

Here is Boeing‘s suggestions for seated stretches and exercises to do during your flight:

Ankle circles:Lift feet off the floor, draw a circle with the toes, simultaneously moving one foot clockwise and the other foot counterclockwise. Reverse circles. Do each direction for 15 seconds. Repeat if desired. Foot Pumps:Start with both heels on the floor and point feet upward as high as you can. Then put both feet flat on the floor. Then lift heels high, keeping the balls of your feet on the floor. Continue cycle in 30-second intervals. Knee lifts:Lift leg with knee bent while contracting your thigh muscle. Alternate legs. Repeat 20 to 30 times for each leg.
Shoulder roll:Hunch shoulders forward, then upward, then backward, then downward, using a gentle, circular motion. Arm curl:Start with arms held at a 90-degree angle: elbows down, hands out in front. Raise hands up to chest and back down, alternating hands. Do this exercise in 30-second intervals. Knee to chest:Bend forward slightly. Clasp hands around left knee and hug it to your chest. Hold stretch for 15 seconds. Keeping hands around knee, slowly let it down. Alternate legs. Repeat 10 times. Forward flex:With both feet on the floor and stomach held in, slowly bend forward and walk your hands down the front of your legs toward your ankles. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and slowly sit back up.
Overhead stretch:Raise both hands straight up over your head. With one hand, grasp the wrist of the opposite hand and gently pull to one side. Hold stretch for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Shoulder stretch:Reach right hand over left shoulder. Place left hand behind right elbow and gently press elbow toward shoulder. Hold stretch for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Neck roll:With shoulders relaxed, drop ear to shoulder and gently roll neck forward and to the other side, holding each position about five seconds. Repeat five times.

After you get off the plane here are a few simple low back and postural stretches to work out those kinks:

Doorway Stretch – Facing a corner or standing through a doorway, place forearms on each wall at shoulder height. Slowly lean chest forward through doorway or into corner, keeping your upper body tall. You should feel a stretch in the front of the chest. Hold for up to 20 seconds and then slowly release.



Standing Chest/Pec Release – Place hands on the low back while standing. Breathe in and raise your sternum up while bringing your elbows toward each other behind your body. Hold for 10 seconds, exhale, feeling a release in your chest and shoulders. Slowly return to start position.



This stretch helps to improve low back mobility in a rotational direction. It begins with lying on the floor with arms out at shoulder level. Bend one knee and cross that leg over the opposite leg. Let the knee drop across and over towards the floor while turning the head to the opposite side. You should feel the stretch at low back and hip. Use your hand on the opposite bent knee to gently assist the movement into further rotation. Hold 15-20 seconds.


This side bending stretch can be done sitting or standing. The hands get be at the hips or simply relaxed and reaching to the side of each knee. Slowly bend to one side, without rotating and hold for 15 seconds. You should feel a stretch at the side of your low back.



This lumbar extension stretch can be tough for certain types of back conditions. Start off slowly and don’t extend into pain or further than you are comfortable. Standing tall, support upper body by placing hands on pelvis. Squeeze the buttocks and slowly arch backwards. Hold for 15 seconds.



Massage– Treat yourself to a massage! It can be on the beach or in the spa, just allow yourself the time to relax and rejuvenate.


Supportive footwear – Whether you are walking around a resort, on an excursion or exploring a new city, wearing supportive footwear will make the experience much more enjoyable. Remember to wear the right type of foot wear for the activity you are doing.  Also take the time before your trip to break in and adjust to any new footwear. This will reduce aggravation and the occurrence of blisters. While flip flops may be convenient for heading down to the pool, flat soles  offer little support.






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