There’s no denying that 2020 was a long year. Many of us are finally back to traveling after spending all of quarantine stuck at home. No matter if you’re traveling by car, train or plane, long trips can sometimes causes body pains. Long travels can cause unwanted body stiffness in the back, legs, and neck. Try these stretches to eliminated travel pains and make the most out of your trip!
Repeated back bend
This is one of our favorite exercises, but it does involve standing. However, most of us are itching to stretch our legs during a long trip! This exercise will help prevent and decrease back pain when sitting for a long time. Start with feet shoulder width apart and place your hands in the small of your lower back. Slowly bend backward as far as possible without forcing the movement. Your knees should only be slightly bent at most. This movement is not a stretch so go as far as possible, but stay only 1-2 seconds maximum. Come back to starting position and do it a total of ten times. You can try this exercise when stopped at a rest stop or when waiting in line for the bathroom on a plane.
Upper trap stretch
Upper traps can get really tight when sleeping with a travel pillow, but this stretch can revive you! Strat by sitting up straight in your seat and bend your head to one side. Then, place your hand on your head and gently pull down to increase your stretch. Once you feel the stretch, hold for ten seconds before slowly returning you head the starting position. Perform this exercise five times on each side to get some relief after waking up with a stiff neck!
This exercise is great for loosening the muscles at the back of your neck. You might want to try it after waking up from a nap on the plane or in a car. It can be done in sitting and is simple to perform. Start by sitting up straight and gazing straight in front of you. Next, push your head straight back into the headrest, as if creating a “double chin”. Once you bring your head as far back as possible, slowly return your head to the starting position. Try this exercise ten times and feel the difference in your neck!
Seated gluteus stretch
Sitting too long can definitely leave you with a sore behind, but not to worry! This stretch will keep you pain free and ready for the trip ahead. When sitting place your ankle onto the opposite knee. Let your lifted knee relax downwards for a moment and then begin to lean forward from your hips. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Then, do this on the other side to even yourself out, even if you only have pain on one side. Give this stretch a try on your next trip!
If you’re unsure how to perform any of these exercises, check out a video here!
If you want to learn more travel stretches or have any questions stop by or call us today! Direct Access in NJ allows you to come in without having to see your Doctor, probably quicker than you could get that appointment, while also saving you both time and money!
Please, call us to schedule your student’s evaluation at one of BeneFIT’s locations, Bridgewater (908.203.5200) or Chester (908.879.5700) with one of our highly trained Doctors of Physical Therapy!