As fulfilling as seeing new places and experiencing new cultures can be, staying seated for hours can be quite uncomfortable, even painful. Whether you’re traveling by car, bus, train or plane, you need to think ahead and try to do what you can to avoid any aches and pains that people usually experience when taking long trips. Fortunately, there are different ways to approach this issue. Here are some of them.
Get enough sleep
driving, this is probably what you’ll do anyway. However, some people often do the exact opposite. In case they’re merely passengers, and not drivers, they stay awake, so that they get tired enough to fall asleep in their seats. If you don’t sleep before your trip, your immune system weakens, your focus drops, your reflexes become slower and your stress levels rise. This means that you can expect headaches, as well as feeling exhausted and generally unwell, so make sure you get your eight hours of sleep before leaving home.
Aside from starting your trip well rested, it’s also important that you have a good night’s sleep after you arrive at your destination, so that your body can recover from the time spent on the road. That way you’ll feel better and have more energy, so that you can fully revel in your time away from home.
Tend to your muscles
Sitting in your seat for a long time can leave your muscles sore and even cause cramping. This is something you should deal with without delay, as it can cause strong discomfort if you just ignore it. For instance, massages can do wonders for stiff and sore muscles, so perhaps you should start with that. In fact, plan for it and invest in a high-quality muscle massager. These are perfect for trips, as they’re compact, quiet and easy to use. Some of them have a significant battery life and several interchangeable heads, while being no bigger than a regular smartphone. Other than a massage, you can utilize heating pads and hot compresses to lose muscle tension, or you can simply take a hot shower. Finally, some moderate exercise might also prove to be helpful, so take half an hour or even just 15 minutes to stretch and awaken your muscles after your trip.
Walk when you can
Long rides or flights can be tiresome, and leave you feeling drained and fatigued. Also, your muscles might object to staying in the same position for hours at a time. This is where a walk helps. Busses make regular stops, so use these to walk a bit. Even a few dozen steps can make you feel better and allow you to stretch not only your legs, but also all of your other bones and muscles. If you’re on a train or a plane, get up from time to time and walk through the corridors or through the aisle, which might be helpful. However, it’s obvious that this isn’t enough movement when you’re bound to your seat most of the day. This is why, as soon as you get to where you’re staying and perhaps unpack, you should take a nice, calming walk. That way you’ll get to explore your new surroundings a bit, and feel better after putting your muscles at work.
Adjust your seat
When you’re bound to your seat and you’re aware that that’s going to last for quite some time, you should at least try to make the best of the situation and make yourself more comfortable. This may not always be possible, but if it is, take advantage of that possibility, as it can save you from some serious aching. For instance, if you’re driving, move your seat so that you can sit up straight and not be too far from the steering wheel. The key is to keep your knees in a position that suits you and doesn’t cause pain. You can even do some simple exercises, such as moving your shoulders or stretching your toes. Plus, when you’re driving, you can always pull over when you need a break. On the other hand, if you’re flying, you should adjust your seat, lowering it somewhat, as long as the passenger behind you doesn’t mind. You can even bring a small pillow, so that you can lean your head and neck into it. In addition, ask if you can get an aisle seat, so that you can get up more often, without disrupting the people around you.
Traveling should bring you joy, not unpleasantness, so take all the precautions and necessary actions you can to make your trip a painless one. That way, you’ll be able to concentrate on the good things in life and enjoy your trip to the fullest.