The holidays are a time to travel and visit loved ones. But the truth of the matter is, travel can be stressful not only on your body, but also your mind and your spine. We will give tips and tricks on how to keep your immune system, mind and body healthy during the holiday season. Whether you’re catching a flight, jumping on a train, or taking a road trip, keep these tips in mind for stress- less holiday travel.
Don’t forget the Vitamins. Make sure you are taking vitamin D, vitamin C and multi-vitamin as well as Omega’s and a daily probiotic to keep your immune system in tip top shape during the holiday season.
Avoid setting your bags down in public restrooms. While you might think that the toilet is the germiest spot in the place, it’s actually the floors! Instead look for the hooks on the wall or door to hang your bags instead of setting them on the floor.
Wash your hands regularly…don’t forget the kids. Sounds like common sense, but it’s easy to forget when you’re on the move. Frequent hand washing will help reduce the amount of germs on your hands. Studies have shown that frequent hand washers have fewer cold and flu symptoms.
Watch sugar intake. It’s a celebratory time of the year, but it’s important to keep an eye on too many sweet treats. Just two cans of soda can weaken white blood cells’ ability to kill germs by 40 percent!
Keep your spine in line! Proper spinal alignment not only helps you feel fine, but also gives you an immune boost. Regular chiropractic adjustments can boost your immune system by 200%!!!!
*Take a moment to breathe* It can be easy to get a little stressed out during the holidays, especially if you are traveling. Deep breathing techniques can help slow heartbeat, stabilize blood pressure and circulate more oxygen throughout the body. Try some diaphragmatic breathing techniques (previously published blog) before you take off and land, which can help keep you feeling calm and relaxed.
Practice Gratitude. The holidays are about so much more than just presents. Be mindful of where you are and who you’re with, the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday. Stay present and relax in the company of the friends and family around you. If you stay present and feel grateful for the time you get to spend with friends and family- you’ll stress less.
Get enough Sleep– It can be hard to sleep in a different place if you are traveling for the holidays, but it is SO important so get 6-8 hours even during the holidays. Our bodies cells actually talk to each other and repair when you are sleeping. The holidays can be taxing if you are traveling, so you need to get enough to sleep to counter the extra stress.
ICE ICE BABY. Dreading a long flight due to back stiffness? Plan ahead and pack a gallon size zip-lock bag in your purse or carry on bag. Once you take flight and get settled the flight attendants will be around to offer beverages. Get your zip-lock-bag out and ask for ICE to put in the bag for your back. Using ice on the flight will reduce inflammation which will prevent post flight stiffness and soreness.
Bring your own pillow. If you’re flying or using public transportation, you can rest easy knowing your pillow is clean and ready to go. Also, if you’re staying at a friend or family members home, you can never really predict what someone else’s bed or couch is going to do to your back. An ergonomic pillow designed for better sleep posture can make a huge difference.
Don’t put things in your back pockets. If you’re sitting for a long period of time, keep posture in mind. Your wallet, cellphone or other devices stored in your pants pocket can cause unbalanced sitting posture, throwing off the alignment of your hips and spine. The sciatic nerve lives in that region and can become impinged if you are placing items on top of it and sitting for hours at a time.
Use a rolling suitcase. We know how heavy those suitcases can get around the holiday season. Don’t risk a lifting injury! Instead of carrying al that weight on one side of your body, while booking through the airport, try investing in a rolling suitcase if possible. A rolling suitcase can vastly increase your ease of travel and decreases your risk of injury.
Schedule a homecoming visit with your chiropractor Even if you take precautions, travel can be incredibly hard on the body. Fear not- we are here to help! When you return home, schedule an appointment with your chiropractor they’ll be able to address any travel-induced pain and discomfort you may have. It’s a great idea to stop in right before and after traveling for a spinal tune up.
If you need to get in to see us before the holiday season give us a call at 515-278-9678 to get scheduled today!