Now that the sun is shining, you are probably looking forward to some rest and relaxation as you plan your summer vacation. Whether you go for a drive, visit family or friends or plan a trip to the beach, it’s important to remember a few critical things to remain injury-free and pain-free this summer. Before you pack your bags for your next trip, please pay attention to these 4 tips so you can return home relatively pain-free.
Tip #1: Make a decision Before you leave home, make the decision to continue with the exercises prescribed to you by your physical therapist. These exercises are meant to keep you healthy and pain free. As you enjoy your vacation, think of exercise as an ‘investment’ in your physical health and avoid the temptation of skipping your exercises.
Tip #2: Keep moving It’s easy to spend your vacation days just lounging by the beach or the pool. The problem is that inactivity contributes to joint stiffness and pain. Try some of these strategies:
- Take a brisk walk for 15-20 minutes;
- daily if you can Try to use the stairs whenever possible instead of the elevator
- If your hotel has a pool, try swimming a few laps
- Take the outline of your home exercise program with you – the one specifically designed for you by your physical therapist
Tip #3: Stretch your muscles at regular intervals If you are going to be in one position for a prolonged period of time (in a car or plane), it’s best to stretch your muscles, even walk around a bit whenever possible. This helps maintain mobility and circulation in your muscles.
Tip #4: Know your limits Don’t overdo it! Over 53,000 luggage-related injuries were reported during 2008, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Many of these injuries are preventable, especially if you follow these precautions:
- Make sure you keep your lower back aligned properly while lifting a bag (we’ll teach you the correct way to lift a bag)
- Warm up and stretch your muscles before you lift anything (we’ll evaluate your posture and identify which muscles need stretching and strengthening)
- Make sure you keep the bag as close to your body as possible in order to minimize strain on your lower back while lifting