The Effects of Holiday Travel

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The holidays are here, which means travel is most likely in your plans. While vacationing is a lot of fun, travel can cause a lot of stress on your body. We like to think of travel as the toll worth paying to get to the destination. But any way you can avoid the strains of travel, the better your experience will be! We've put together some common strains from travel and recommendations to reduce the toll they take on your body:

1. LUGGAGE

Unless you're travelling for the day, you're sure to have luggage. Not only will you be dragging your 15-30 (or even more!) pound bag from plane or train or car, you'll then typically lift it over your head or shove it in a compartment. Then, you'll carry it on potential layovers and finally to your destination. This puts a lot of strain on your arms, shoulders, and back.

Recommendation: No matter where or how you are traveling, pack 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 will most likely experience an uncomfortable seat back and limited leg room during your travels. If you are in an aisle seat, you might have some additional room, but you'll be routinely bumped by passersby. If you have managed a window seat, you'll be wedged into a curved wall. And the middle seat - well, we all know the downfalls there in terms of shoulder room! The journey to and from adds up to several hours of strain on your body.

Recommendation: While none of these options sound that great, the aisle seat is your best bet. It gives you the freedom to stand and stretch, without having to crawl over other passengers.

3. STRAINING TO SEE THE VIEW

No matter where you are traveling to, there is something exciting about looking out the window at the changing scenery along your route. So, if you listen to our suggestion and choose the aisle seat, you'll be straining to stare out the tiny window on the plane. If you are traveling by 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. Without even realizing it, you will find yourself spending minutes at a time straining your neck to one side.

Recommendation: Consider what straining to enjoy the view 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 unsanitary. You are going to be exposed to germs and illness during your travels, which can lead to you being sick on your vacation. 

Recommendation #1: Come in for a chiropractic adjustment the same week you plan to travel and the same week you return. In addition, bring travel sized germ-killing wipes to wipe down the area you'll be sitting in.

5. SLEEPING IN A DIFFERENT BED WITH DIFFERENT PILLOWS

Even when you stay in a swanky hotel, a change in the place you sleep will cause your deep sleep to be impacted. Whether it's a super soft mattress or hard as a rock pillows, aches and pains when waking up are common during travel.

Recommendation: Stretch every night before going to bed and every morning when waking up.

6. LACK OF SLEEP 

Even if you are sleeping well, it is likely that you are staying out later than usual and waking up earlier than you do at home. This change in sleep patterns will throw off your sleep cycle, which you might not notice right away, but your body will.

Recommendation: If you are going to be sleeping at odd hours, use a sleep mask to blackout the light and ear plugs to ensure the deepest sleep possible.

8. YOUR NUTRITION...OR LACK OF

On vacation, we splurge, especially during the holidays! Maintaining a healthy diet is not the top priority, and you'll likely be eating and drinking more, causing your body to suffer the consequences of your fun.

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

Traveling is well worth the toll it takes, but if there's something you can do to make the experience easier, why not give it a try? If you have any other travel tips, share them in the comments!