If you’re like our physical therapy team, you probably have some upcoming travel this month.
When you’re sleeping in a new bed, traveling in a plane full of passengers and their accompanying germs, and eating less-than-healthy meals you likely return from your travel exhausted and maybe even a little under the weather.
Ready to travel a different way? Follow our list of tips and tricks to stay healthy on vacation.
Flying is known to be dehydrating, so prepare your body by drinking a few liters of water before you get to the airport.
Bring a water bottle with you to save money — everything at the airport is significantly more expensive, even bottles of water — and help the environment by choosing a reusable water bottle over a one-time use plastic.
Empty water bottles can go through security and you can find water bottle filling stations at the Phoenix Sky Harbor by many of the restrooms.
When hunger strikes, come prepared with some healthy snack options. Not only will you save money, but your body will thank you for the nourishment.
Pack easy-to-transport options like bananas, tangerines, snap peas, and raw nuts. You can also pack some protein bars to fight hunger, look for options that have less than 10 grams of sugar and recognizable ingredients.
If you want a, select an option with vegetables and lean protein.
At the Phoenix Sky Harbor some healthy options include:
- Shredded kale and quinoa salad at La Grande Orange
- Grilled Salmon at Chelsea’s Kitchen
- Ethan’s Vegetarian Tacos at Chelsea’s Kitchen
If you’re at an airport with only national chains, find menu options that are low in sugar, grilled over fried, and include vegetables. This article can help.
Flying can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. Keep yourself distracted by downloading your favorite Netflix show or a new movie to your phone. If you’re a reader, pack a book by your favorite author.
Meditating while flying is one of our favorite things to do to calm nerves. Plus, you’ll deplane feeling rested and with a settled mind.
If you’re new to meditating or prefer guided meditation — especially to drown out the noise of other passengers — try the phone app, Calm. Sign up for a free trial and download a few sessions before your flight. You can also use the Calm meditation timer offline; it plays some relaxing sounds — choose from noises like bubbling springs to crackling fire.
Protect Your Back
Airplane seats are designed with a concaved back to better fit multiple people side by side. Bring a scarf to roll up behind the arch of your back to give yourself some lumbar support.
While you’re on the flight, make sure you’re stretching your spine every hour or so. Sit up straight and twist your top torso to the right and left to release tension. For some extra stretches for before, during, and after a flight, look at this webpage.
When you’re traveling, you’re often indulging in high-calorie food and drinks — after all, you’re on vacation. To combat those extra calories, find ways to stay active. Walking is a great way to incorporate activity while exploring a new city.
If you pack an easily-compactable resistance band, there are many exercises you can do from the comfort of your hotel room.
Our final tip? If you typically have a hard time falling asleep in a different bed, bring some melatonin to help you fall asleep. The full night’s rest coupled with a meditation session on the plane ride home will have you come back from your travels recharged.
Traveling can be stressful and exhausting, but if you come prepared you can keep your body healthy and return from vacation actually rested. If traveling is especially difficult for you due to pain, physical therapy can help. Visit one of our Valley-wide offices for an assessment.