In the midst of summer, we know many people are heading out on their long-awaited travels. Whether it be a vacation with your family, a business trip, or a quick weekend get away with your friends, chances are you will be going somewhere this month for your next adventure. July and August are the most popular travel months of the year. If you suffer with joint pain, traveling can be tedious and not something you look forward to. Although it can’t be fully avoided, here are a few tips to help you avoid joint pain while traveling!
Tips for Traveling Pain-Free
Walking and Stretching. Traveling involves a lot of sitting. Whether you are traveling by plane, train, or car, an important travel tip is to make sure to get up and move. The hours that you are sitting down can cause stiffness in your joints. Whenever you get the chance get up and walk, whether it be throughout the airport, at the pit stop, or around the train station, walking will help to make your joints less stiff. Before starting your trip, you should stretch. Stretching will help by reducing your stiffness and pain. It will also help loosen your muscles and prepare your body for all the sitting. Even if you feel as though you have walked and stretched enough, know that the more you walk and stretch the better you will feel.
Make Sure to Pack your Medication. Many people think they can just skip out on taking their medication while they are on vacation. This is not a good idea. Not taking your medication can cause your joints to flare up even more. It will just add to the discomfort you will already be in from all the traveling. Another important tip in terms of medication is to make sure you pack it in an accessible area. Whether you are flying, driving, or taking the train, putting your medications in your carry-on bag or purse is extremely important. It needs to be somewhere you can get to easily and take whenever needed. In the case that your checked bag gets lost, at least you will still have your important medications on you.
Discuss with your Doctor. Planning your vacation is a process and one very important step is speaking with your doctor. You can discuss with them what type of trip best suits you. The trip will depend on how much pain you are in because that can affect what you can and can’t do. Discussing the trip will help you have the best experience while on your vacation. The amount of time that you are traveling has an impact on any pain and stiffness that you’ll feel. Your doctor will be able to tell you how long they think you should be sitting down/resting during your trip.
Staying Health Conscious. Eating healthy and staying hydrated are a few healthy lifestyle hacks that seems to slip away when traveling because most of the options for food are not very good for you. Things like chips and processed foods contain ingredients that cause inflammation. Next time consider bringing your own food to the airport. Things like apples, bananas, oranges and even sandwiches are allowed through airport security. Along with being conscious of what you are eating, also make sure you are staying hydrated. Drinking water is important in helping to minimize joint stiffness. Water bottles are often very expensive to buy at the airport, but you are allowed to bring your own reusable bottle when traveling (just make sure it’s empty when you’re going through security). Airports often have bubblers throughout the terminals or you can just ask any restaurant to fill up your bottle.
Think Ahead. If you can choose your seat when booking a flight or train ticket, book an aisle seat. Sitting in the aisle seat will give you the chance to get up whenever you start to feel stiff. Another benefit of the aisle seat is that you get to extend your legs, which can help with your pain. If possible, try to book a seat with extra leg room to give yourself a bit more comfort. Another way to travel smart when you have joint pain is to take shorter flights, if possible. Although having a bunch of connections takes longer, it will allow you to move more frequently. Even better than taking more flights is driving. By driving you are on your own schedule and you can make a stop whenever you want. Getting out, stretching, and walking around will help to alleviate stiffness and subside pain.
Whether you are heading out on a crazy adventure or a trip only a few hours away make sure to keep these tips in mind to have the minimum amount of joint pain possible!