It’s summertime… finally! You might have a nice, week-long vacation planned for you and your family or friends. There’s truly nothing like creating special memories and experiencing life in another place. However, those pesky aches and tight muscles can make the journey pretty uncomfortable, maybe even painful. Don’t let your beach day or hiking trip be ruined — stretch it out!
WHY SHOULD I STRETCH WHEN I TRAVEL?
“Stretching on vacation? No way! What a waste of time, right?” WRONG! Stretching not only makes a difference in your everyday life, but it will change how you feel during and after a long car ride or flight. If you’ve never had a stretching routine (or it’s just been a really long time) try to start one at least a week prior to your trip.
Stretching is important to maintain a wide range of motion, keep your muscles flexible and strong, and keep your body healthy. When you’re stuck in the same position for hours, your muscles become stiff and short. Stretching can help lengthen and loosen your muscles, helping to avoid the cramps and pain that haunt you on your vacations.
WHAT IF I’M JUST GOING TO THE BEACH?
You should still stretch! A little bit of light to moderate stretching before, during, and after your vacation will be beneficial, even if you’ll be relaxing on the beach every day. Traveling to and from the beach you’re visiting, whether it’s an hour from your house or in Greece, can be tough for your muscles.
If you’ll be doing something more taxing than watching the waves, like hiking, walking, zip lining, swimming, etc., you should absolutely be stretching before your day begins and after it ends. Activities like this can be a whole lot of fun, but not if your calves are constantly cramping up and you can hardly turn your neck. Doing these activities with stiff muscles can lead to pain or injury, and that is NOT something you want when you’re there to have fun. Moving your body and getting your blood flowing can work your muscles and keep them lean, long, and active.
SO HOW SHOULD I STRETCH?
There are lots of stretches you can do while traveling, whether you’re in the airport, at your hotel, or on the go. Here are a few you can try:
- Quad Stretch
Stand with your feet together. Keeping your knees together, grab your left foot behind you with your left hand, and pull it toward your body. Keep your hips and shoulders upright. Pull only hard enough to feel a stretch in your quad muscle and hips. Hold for about 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side. You can use a chair or wall for balance.
- Trap Stretch
You can do this stretch sitting or standing. With both arms down, look straight ahead. Put your left hand on top of your head, and gently pull your head toward your left shoulder. While your head goes to the left, try to push your right shoulder down, increasing the space. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
- Cat and Cow
Start on your hands and knees with a neutral spine. Make sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips. Breathe in, and when you exhale, round your spine up toward the ceiling, tucking your chin to your chest. When you breathe in again, arch your back and let your belly relax toward the floor, lifting your tailbone. Repeat 10 times or until your spine feels loose.
These are just three of countless, simple stretches you can do before and after you travel and while you’re enjoying your vacation. If you’ve got a trip planned this summer (or you just got back from one) and you’re looking to begin a stretching and recovery journey, Book your first Stretch & Recovery therapy session at a discounted price of $29 (Regularly $148) with us at reachstretch.com Already a member? Book your next Recovery and Compression session. We’re excited to see you! Happy traveling!
Benefits of Stretching During Summer Travel – Remedy (myremedy.com)
The importance of stretching – Harvard Health
7 Stretches You Should Be Doing While Traveling | Moyer Total Wellness (moyerwellness.com)