With the current miserable weather and no sun for what seems like forever, many of us are dreaming of, or in the process of booking our next holiday!
You’d be surprised to know how many people get in touch to arrange a last-minute appointment before jetting off somewhere hot and sunny. If you are carrying an injury and want to go away injury free so you can fully enjoy your holiday, get in touch as soon as possible. Recovery can take time and you don’t want to be one of those people who say, “I’ve had this for months, I should have come sooner.”
Holidays should be a time to relax and unwind. But the stress of packing and travelling can put holidaymakers at risk of picking up strains and sprains before they even hit the beach!
Here are some simple tips to avoid pre-holiday injuries.
Packing a bag: Place your bag on a higher surface such as a bed, to avoid repeatedly bending over to pack. Break up your packing over a few weeks or days, so you’re spreading the preparation out and not rushing to do it quickly at the last minute, doing many repeated movements in a short space of time, which the body often doesn’t like.
Managing luggage: If you’re not used to lifting heavy items or your case is large or awkward, lift it with care. You can find yourself lifting a case many times on a journey (in/out of car boot, on/off luggage trolley, on/off check in and carousel etc.) which can take its’ toll. People often think of back problems associated with lifting, but we also see many people with wrist or shoulder injuries from travelling, having carried luggage and bags around. Minimize the amount of lifting you do as much as possible, choosing a case with wheels and not over packing! If you’re travelling as part of a family, spread the load so you have more cases, with less weight in each. Try and choose light weight cases to lessen the burden. If you are lifting, use your powerful leg muscles to take much of the weight and keep the weight of the case close to your body – this just helps to minimize too much stress.
Standing in queues: There can be a lot of queuing when travelling. Use this opportunity to do some exercises! When standing and waiting, practice good posture. Stand up straight, with your tummy muscles pulled in and shoulders back and down. If you are standing for a very long time, stand as tall as possible and transfer weight from one leg to another to boost your circulation. Try some heel raises – going up and down on your tip toes, or mini squats. Circling your shoulders forwards and back and doing some neck stretches to ease any built-up tension, can be good too.
Travelling: As well as standing in queues, you can spend a lot of time sitting down when traveling. When seated, try to sit with your buttocks pushed to the back of the seat. Make sure your lower back is well supported and you are not slumped. You can always take a small towel or lumbar roll with you if you like to have back support. If you are driving, ensure your position is as supported as possible and move the seat to make yourself comfortable. Whenever possible, break up your journey or get out of your seat and have a good walk around.
Holiday activities: Holidays can often be a chance to try out a new activity – whether its beach volleyball, extra-long hikes, mountain climbing or surfing! If you’re trying something physical that’s out of the ordinary for you, start off gradually. Don’t rush straight in – especially if you’ve spent the last 6 months sat at a desk and the last 10 hours travelling! Having time to spend being more active is fantastic, but you don’t want to overdo it and pickup an injury to spoil your holiday. Listen to your body and warm up for your activity suitably. Pace yourself and make sure you get time to rest in between!
Most of all, whatever you have planned for your next holiday – enjoy!