Healthy Travelling Tips
Healthy travelling tips by Departing POGO Senior Physiotherapist & Avid Backpacker Scott Cook.
- Pack Light: Nothing like lugging 25kg of backpack/suitcase around to bring on a lower back injury whilst away. Do you really need the spare pair of stilettos ‘just in case’?
- Plan your eating; with more budget airlines than ever, there is a fair chance you won’t be provided food on your flight. Plan ahead, take healthy snacks to last you until your destination and stash them in your hand luggage. Try not to get roped into the Pringles + muffin combo!
During the Flight
- ‘Water please’ NOT alcohol. Alcohol causes your blood to become ‘sticky’ which increases the Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Other side effects include jetlag and annoying other passengers.
- Consider flight socks; if you’re over 60, have poor circulation and/or have diabetes then compression on your calves may help limit DVT risk. DVT’s form when blood pools in veins (usually calf muscles). This normally happens with periods of long inactivity when the muscle isn’t activated to help push blood back towards the heart. Therefore compression socks can act like an artificial muscle contraction – lowering your risk.
- MOVE in your seat. Particularly by squeezing your buttocks, thighs and calf muscles regularly.
- MOVE out of your seat. It is NOT rude to get up for 5 mins every hour. TIP: drink lots of water – This will ensure lots of bathroom breaks and force you to keep moving and keep the blood pumping + keep hydrated.
On Arrival: Beating the Dreaded Jetlag
- The easiest way; reset your watch, eat when the locals eat, sleep when the locals sleep.
- **TOP TIP*** Gentle exercise (e.g. walking) in direct sunlight will help your body reset it’s natural circadian rhythm. Note: circadian rhythm is our bodie’s relationship with night & day – ever heard how ‘night shift’ is so bad for you even if you sleep 8 hours? This is why. Help reset it quickly by feeling the sun on your skin.
During your travels
- Don’t let your routine go. Travelling is no excuse to put on weight and let your physical fitness slide (I know this could be controversial!). In fact, without a full day of work and with lots of activities on the agenda, it could be a great opportunity to boost your fitness.
- Walk, walk, walk (or if you’re like me – run). Fortunately, most of us seem to get this. It is the best way to see a new place. Why pay for a taxi/bus when you could walk? I guarantee you’ll get more out of your destination.
- Consider a resistance band or body-weight exercises. Enough said. It is impractical to carry a dumbbell rack around during your travels, so use the handiest resistance available – your body weight.
- Use 21st Century technology: There are a ridiculous amount of smartphone/tablet apps with great ideas for exercise. Tabata timer is a favourite for body weight exercises as are apps such as Hot Yoga Dr.
- Find something you enjoy. This is the key to fitness. If you enjoy exercise, you will do it. If you don’t, well, you’ve got a battle ahead.
Departing POGO Senior Physiotherapist & Avid Backpacker
Scott Cook (previously POGO Senior, currently avid Backpacker) is currently enjoying the Vietnamese culture.