Tips to Stay Injury Free When Flying

For those of you who are lucky enough to be jumping on a plane to head somewhere this holiday season, we wanted to outline a few tips and tricks to make your trip as pain free as possible.

Travelling is great, but it’s also easy to hurt yourself. Sitting on planes for long periods of times, lifting heavy bags, sleeping in weird beds, using a different pillows, and getting out of your normal exercise routine. All of these things can conspire to cause injury or pain and ruin your holiday.

Here are a few things to think about.

One of the most common times people get injured is right at the start of their trip. Lifting a bag into an overhead locker can do it – if your bag is heavy, or you are being squashed in the aisle by other passengers, or the space you are trying to fit the bag into is cramped. Any of these can make a relatively easy lift much more difficult. Take your time, look for the gap, or get some help if you think you need it.

When you land and are picking up your bags is another risky time. You may have been sitting for many hours on your flight, and be stiff as a result. You may be dehydrated. You will almost certainly be tired. These are risk factors. So when you get to the baggage carousel, be careful. The two worst things you can do when lifting are reach a long way, or bend and twist at the same time.

So get as close as you can to the carousel, and lift from front on. Don’t let other people cramp your style, and don’t rush to grab your bag and do it the wrong way. Take the extra minute to find a place you can lift safely from and do it properly, your back will thank you.

I take a massage ball when I travel in my carry-on luggage. I use it to massage my hamstrings, plantar fascia, and glutes to keep them loose. You can also use it when you get to your hotel room to release between your shoulder blades. A foam roller water bottle is also a good idea – you need a bottle to stay hydrated, and having a foam roller at the other end is a godsend after that 24 hour trip to the other side of the world.

The other key thing is to keep moving. I don’t sit a lot at airports. I’m about to be sitting for a long time, so I walk around, do a couple of little stretches, and drink lots of water before I board. That way if I do happen to get stuck drinking gin n tonics for a few hours watching B grade movies I’ve at least given myself a good headstart. Same in transit – walk the corridors of the transit airport, stretch, get the blood flowing. The more you move, the better you’ll feel at the other end.

Safe travels and if I don’t see you, have a fantastic holiday period, take some time to relax and recuperate, and my best wishes for a happy and health 2020!

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Sanarte exists to make a better you. Paired with professional support we enable all people to have an active role in the self-management of their physical wellbeing.

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