I think about right now all of us could use a vacation.
While travel overseas is usually a popular choice along with taking a cruise, things still aren’t opened up as of yet and to travel internationally you still have to comply with covid testing and quarantines.
This makes the old-fashioned road trip more appealing than ever before. But hours on the road in a car can take a toll on your body no matter your age.
Because of this we wanted to offer some practical advice to keep you feeling refreshed and limber no matter where you decide to roam.
Sitting hour after hour in a car is hard on your body. It is important to take steps to ensure that you are caring for yourself on the way to all of your destinations.
- Drink water– Staying hydrated helps the body fight stiffness and pain. It also helps to lubricate the joints and reduce the chance of muscle cramps.
- Don’t Forget the Snacks– Let’s face it. Those of us who don’t pack snacks will succumb to the lure of the highway signs for fast food and road stop quick snacks. Delicious, sure. Nutritious? Not so much. Fruits, nuts, veggies, energy bars, and granola are all better ideas.
- Stop Once in a While– It can be tempting to push on through and get to your destination as fast as you can but taking breaks and stretching and just stopping to smell the roses is all part of the process too. It also will help you feel better for the long haul.
Keep up the Good Posture
Yes, even in the car, try to sit up straight. Practicing good posture in your car is also crucial to a successful and healthy road trip.
- Support Your Back– Keep your lower back is as close to the seat as possible. If you need more support for your back try a lumbar roll or a rolled-up T-shirt to place between your lower back and the seat.
- Raise Your Hips– If your car has adjustable seats that allows you to move the part of the seat you sit on, do it. It will help increase circulation as well as allow your thighs to be supported and ensure your knees are just a little bit lower than your hips.
- Proper Seat Height– Your seat should be high enough to put your eye level about three inches above the top of the steering wheel. There should be room between your head and the car roof as well.
- Recline – Just a little bit greater than 90 degrees, usually somewhere between 100 and 110 degrees. This position will put the least amount of pressure on your back while allowing you to keep your neck and head aligned.
- Mirror Adjustments– You can prevent strain to your neck and upper shoulders by ensuring your side and rearview mirrors are adjusted properly.
Stretch before, at each stop, and when you arrive for best results.
- Hamstring Stretch – This stretch can be done seated. Sit on the floor, ground, or a bench – with one leg out in front of you and the other leg bent up so that the bottom of your footrests against the thigh of the opposite leg. Next, reach toward your foot as you keep your back, knee, and neck straight. You should feel a stretch in your hamstring. Hold it for 30 seconds or so and repeat several times, then switch to the other leg.
- Forward Bend – Stand with your feet together and let out a breath as you bend forward at the waist. Allow your head to hang down loose and keep your knees straight as you feel this stretch in your calves and hamstrings. Remember to breathe!
- Side Stretch -This easy stretch is accomplished by standing up straight with your arms down by your sides. Next, reach your left arm up over your head as you place your right arm on your hip. Bend over toward the right and feel the stretch in your side. Come back to the center and then repeat on the other side.
Road trips with family, friends, or just by yourself enjoying the open road and solitude can be wonderful. Following these simple tips can help ensure you are able to enjoy your journey. Stop by Kaster Chiropractic before and afterwards so you make sure you are in proper alignment! www.kasterchiropractic.com 239-332-2555. s