The holidays are a wonderful time filled with joy, love and light. But, travel – especially flying – can be hard on our bodies. A few simple tips from Physical Therapy Director Margie Heger can make your airplane trip healthier and more comfortable.
- Prevent blood clots by taking a baby aspirin before boarding that flight. (Make sure to consult with your physician first!)
- While seated, pump your ankles and map out the alphabet with your foot and ankle to keep good circulation in your lower legs.
- Periodically stand and stretch your calves too.
- Hydrate! Pass on the coffee and soda and choose the H2O! Similarly, skip the salty nuts and pretzels too and pack some unsalted nuts and fruit in your carry-on.
- Lugging heavy luggage and totes can make your shoulders and neck ache. Try to use rolling luggage or a luggage cart.
- Ask the flight attendant for a pillow to wrap around your neck and alternate placing it there and across your lower back so that you sit with good posture.
And guess what? If this week includes a road trip, most of these tips will work just as well!
Unfortunately, sometimes, no matter how you try, you might still arrive at your destination feeling a bit stiff and out of sorts. If so, use a tennis ball, or orange/apple to work out those knots in your upper back. Place it up on the meaty part of your lower neck just above the shoulder blade and lean into a wall using the wall to help move the ball around and work out those tight muscles.
Sending you wishes for a healthy, happy Thanksgiving!