It’s a time of the year where the movie “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” takes on special meaning because people all around the United States are using at least one of those modes of transportation and spending more time than usual in a less than ideal seated positions. And poor posture? It can wreak havoc on your muscles and joints even if you’re in great shape.
So pay close attention this holiday season to some posture pitfalls:
- Standing in line holding your bags (or your children) in a way that shifts one hip or shoulder higher than the other for an extended period of time. Make sure to switch sides as well as set things down and moving your legs and hips to stretch out anything that may have gotten tight as you wait.
- Falling asleep in the car or plane with your neck contorted in a way that is typically reserved for horror films. When you wake up, there should be no indentation in your cheek from the window shade on the plane, or your fingers because you were leaning on the door frame of the car window. If you can, bring a small pillow to prop yourself up or tilt the seat back slightly to give yourself enough of an incline that your head can sit straight on top of the rest of your body.
- Slouching on the couch while visiting with relatives. It’s easy to fall into the folds of a comfy couch, especially if a kind relative brings you a full plate to enjoy while you’re there. To avoid too much couch time and the subsequent muscle cramps, try not to stay seated in one place too long. Also, it’s best to eat some place where you can sit and enjoy the food without too much effort (i.e., balancing the plate on your knee while trying not to spill on the carpet). Better for your body, better for your digestion, and your hostess will thank you for keeping the carpet pristine.
In addition to avoiding the above posture pitfalls, you can also try these workouts designed to keep you standing straight and comfortably:
If you’re muscles are still sore and tired after long hours of travel and doing your best to keep your posture solid – stretch and then try a hot bath while you soak up some salts to help your muscles recover.
What other things would you add to the list so that traveling doesn’t take its toll on your posture?