Tips on Having a Healthy and Active Summer!
It’s that time of year… the sun is out and many of us are making summer travel plans. Whether you’re road-tripping, flying, hopping on a train or sailing, follow these tips to have an active, healthy and fun trip!
When you’re traveling from place to place, hydration can quickly become an oversight. Especially in the summer heat, drinking enough water is incredibly important for digestion, headache prevention and overall body function. Consider bringing your own reusable water bottle (make sure you empty it before going through TSA) or pack extra water bottles in the car if going on a road trip.
Explore– many of us don’t associate a relaxing vacation with waking up early and squeezing in a gym session. Consider exploring the area actively by walking through a neighborhood, hiking, swimming in a lake, playing tag with your kids or bicycling through a new part of town. Or try a new local activity like kayaking, stand up paddle boarding or mountain biking!
Get up and move every 30 minutes (seat belt sign dependent). Easier to do if you request an aisle seat. If you’re traveling by car, try stopping at least every 1.5-2 hours for a quick walk and stretch break to improve overall circulation and avoid discomfort in the low back which can occur after long periods of sitting.
Ankle pumps– moving your ankles up and down causes the calf muscles to act like a natural pump to keep blood circulating. Do these often on the plane and as a passenger in a car to prevent stiff and swollen ankles .
Walk it out– if everyone in your group is capable, make a rule “If it’s within a mile, lets WALK!” An easy way to stay active and explore new areas by foot.
Stretches for a stiff back – If your back is talking to you at any point during your trip, try these exercises to loosen up those tight back muscles:
Side Stretch (quadratus lumborum stretch):
Stand with a wall on your left side. Place your right foot behind your left. Reach your right arm overhead toward the wall to stretch the right side of your back by curving it toward the wall. Repeat on the opposite side facing the other direction.
Thread/Needle: Starting in quadruped position on all fours, reach up towards the ceiling with your right arm while keeping your eyes on it. Then, reach underneath your body with your right arm allowing the thoracic spine (mid-back) to rotate. Repeat on another side.
Cat/Cow: Position yourself on your hands and knees with your hands placed under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Slowly round your back up towards the ceiling and then arch your back down by pulling your abdomen towards the floor.
AND FINALLY… SLEEP!
Catching those ZZZ’s is terribly underrated & incredibly important!