The Effects of Travel

Published July 4th, 2017 by Dr. Markson

Summer is here which likely means travel is in your future. While vacationing is a lot of fun, trips can cause a lot of stress and strain on your body. I like to think of it as travel is the toll worthy paying to get to the destination. However, if you can avoid the strains even better. So here are some of the common strains from travel and my recommendations to reduce the toll they take on your body:

1. Luggage

Whether you're road tripping, cruising, flying, or bussing you'll have luggage. So you're usually dragging a 15-30lb bag from your room to the car. And from the car to whatever mode of transportation you are adventuring in. Then you will typically lift if above your head or shove it into a compartment of some sort. This adds up to a lot of strain on your arms, shoulder, and back.

Recommendation: No matter where or how you are traveling back as lightly as possible. distribute the weight equally in the bag and switch from one arm to the other throughout the travel process.

2. Cramped Seating

Unless you pay for first class, you've probably got limited leg room and an uncomfortable seat back in your travel future. If you are in an aisle seat, you'll be routinely bumped by passersby. If you lucked into a window seat, you'll be wedged into a curved wall. And the middle seat, well we all know the down falls there in terms of shoulder room! The journey to and from adds up to several hours of strain on your body.

Recommendation: I know I just made all options sound terrible, but the aisle seat is your best bet. It give you the freedom to stand and stretch at will. 

3. Straining to See The View

Typically, you'll be traveling to a place with a view. So if you take my advice, and you are not in a window seat you'll be straining to stare out the tiny window on you plane. If you're on a bus the window might be bigger, but you'll likely want to see the view on the other side. Same goes for a boat or a train. So without thinking about it, you're spending minutes at a time straining your neck to one side.

Recommendation: Consider what your view perusing may be doing to your neck in terms of future vacation enjoyment, and limit yourself to 5-seconds of neck turning to avoid tense muscles.

4. Germs

Anything that is constantly being used by the public is bound to be uncleanly. You are going to be exposed to germs and illness during your travels, which can lead to you being sick on vacation. 

Recommendation #1: Get in to your chiropractor for an adjustment the same week you plan to travel and the same week you return. In addition, bring travel sized lysol wipes to wipe down the area you'll be sitting in.

5. Sleeping In a Different Bed With Different Pillows

Even if you're staying in a nice hotel there's a good chance your sleep is going to be impacted. Whether it's a not-so-comfortable mattress or way too fluffy pillows, aches and pains when waking up are common during travel.

Recommendation: Stretch every night before bed and every morning when first getting out of bed.

6. Lack of Sleep 

Even if you are sleeping well, you are likely staying out later and getting up earlier than you're used to while home. This will throw off your sleep cycle, which you may not mind or notice, but your body will.

Recommendation: If you are going to be sleeping at odd hours use a sleep mask to blackout the light ensuring the deepest sleep possible.

8. Your Nutrition...Or Lack Of

Maintaining a healthy diet is the opposite of what vacation is for. You'll likely be eating and drinking more often than not and your body will suffer the consequences of your fun!

Recommendation: Take a daily probiotic. Bring a dose for each day of your trip. This promotes regular bowel movements and healthy gut flora. 

In my opinion, travel is well worth the toll it takes, but like I said, if theres anything you can do to lesson the blow why not give it a try. Do you have any other travel tips? Share them in the comments.

‹ Back