For many families, the month of July signals the start of vacation season. With baseball and softball seasons wrapping up and the next school year looming ahead, this time of year holds the best opportunity for a memorable family trip.
Unfortunately for some people the change from their normal daily routine can lead to increased pain and a less than enjoyable vacation. Here are some basic tips to help avoid pain during vacation and return home feeling rested and ready to conquer the rest of summer!
1. Make Frequent Stops
With vacation time at a premium, most of us don’t want to spend much of that time traveling to and from our destinations. I often hear stories of families barreling through marathon 15-20 hour drives with stops only for gas and the occasional bathroom break.
If you’ve ever experienced one of these trips then you probably remember getting up feeling like you aged 20 years while in the car. Breaking up the drive into 1-2 hour intervals with planned stops to get out and walk around can ease some of that pain from prolonged sitting. It’s also a good idea to spend a few minutes stretching before you get back in the car.
2. Take Your Own Pillow
Over the past several years we have seen hotels make more of an effort to provide better beds and pillows. Some chains have switched to Sleep Number Beds and many will provide several pillows ranging from very soft to very firm to give you better choices. However, often times the pillow you sleep on every night is most comfortable for a reason.
Bringing your favorite pillow from home can help prevent getting a stiff neck or headaches when sleeping in hotels, but having that pillow can also be helpful for sleeping in the car on long trips. A good supportive pillow will beat a folded blanket or sweatshirt any day.
3. Get Some Exercise
I get it, you’re on vacation. With the beach, lake, or theme park calling, who wants to spend time working out? You’re there for rest and relaxation after all. However, if you are already in a good routine of exercising when you are at home or if you work in a physical setting, the body gets used to being active. Too much time away from exercise and you may start feeling stiff and sore.
Exercising on vacation doesn’t always mean hitting the hotel gym. Taking a walk every morning or spending a few minutes stretching can even enhance your relaxation.
Avoiding Pain During Stay-cations
If your perfect vacation is more of a “stay-cation” think about taking some of that free time to start a new exercise program or to dust off that gym membership card and resume that routine you have been too busy to get back to. Getting back to work after time off feels much better when your body feels at its best.
Are you in need of physical therapy? Don’t push it off till after vacation!