December 20th, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
As promised in yesterday’s blog entry, Body-Conscious Holiday Travel, we’re offering some last-minute tips on caring for your body and organic spirit when you fly or drive home for the holidays.
“Because travel can completely change your regular routine, it can be very tough on your body—and stressful, too,” says Dr. Scott Donkin, a chiropractor, author of “Sitting on the Job” and ergonomics expert. “See your chiropractor to help assure healthy travel. He or she is trained to diagnose and relieve problems of the spine and nervous system.”
Dr. Donkin and the American Chiropractic Association offer these additional tips for healthy holiday travel:
- While seated, occasionally vary your position to improve circulation and avoid leg cramps. Massage legs and calves. Bring your legs in, and move your knees up and down.
- Adjust the air control so air is not blowing directly on you, or simply turn it off. A draft can increase tension in your neck and shoulder muscles.
- Shrug your shoulders up and down, as well as back and forth. Stretch your neck gently from side to side. Take deep breaths and exhale regularly.
- If you’ll be driving, first adjust the seat to your body. Vary your arm position on the steering wheel and breathe deeply, which increases airflow, stimulates circulation and reduces fatigue.
- Whether driving or flying, stretch after you reach your destination. Take the time to stretch your neck, shoulders and legs to increase circulation.
Have a great trip!
Read More:Holiday Travel: A Pain in the Neck (and Back)
December 19th, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
Traveling during the holidays can be extremely stressful, so you need to protect your body and give some extra TLC to your organic spirit. If you’re flying home or driving for more than a few hours, it’s particularly vital to protect your back.
“All that sitting in seats that aren’t designed specifically for you can take a toll,” says Dr. Scott Donkin, a chiropractor, ergonomics expert and author of “Sitting on the Job.”
“Even though you’re sitting in a plane, car or bus,” he adds, “there is still activity in your body. There are pressures and forces at work”—all of which can flatten your spine when it should remain curved or tilt your head at an awkward angle.
Dr. Donkin and the American Chiropractic Association encourage holiday travelers to heed the following tips to avoid aches, strains and soreness:
- Stand up straight and feel the normal “S” curve of your spine. Use rolled-up pillows or blankets to maintain this curve when you take your seat. Tuck a pillow behind your back and just above the beltline. Lay another pillow across the gap between your neck and the headrest. If the seat is hollowed from wear, use folded blankets to raise your buttocks slightly.
- Check bags heavier than 20% of your body weight. Overhead lifting of any significant amount of weight should be avoided to reduce the risk of pain in the lower back or neck. While lifting your bags, stand straight—away from the overhead compartment—so the spine is not rotated during the process. Don’t lift your bags over your head, and don’t turn or twist your head and neck in the process.
- When stowing belongings under your seat, don’t force the object with an awkward motion of your legs, feet or arms. This may cause muscle strain or spasms in the upper thighs and lower back muscles. Instead, sit in your seat and, using both hands, stow your bags in the space directly in front of you.
Tune in tomorrow for more holiday travel tips that fit your organic lifestyle…
Read More:Body-Conscious Holiday Travel