Whether you own a home down the shore, visit and stay regularly over the summer, or even just take a few road trips down the shore, you want to return as healthy as when you left. Here are our six top chiropractic care tips for keeping healthy when day-tripping or vacationing down the shore this summer.
1. Pack lightly
When packing, pay attention to the weight of your bags. We get it. No one wants to carry lots of bags back and forth. However, a few smaller bags will be a much better option than hauling one large suitcase in and out of your car and likely up and down a few stairs. No matter what you are lifting, pay attention to the way you pick it up and put it down, remembering to bend from your knees.
2. Watch your posture
Driving to the shore from Bryn Mawr or the surrounding areas can take from 1.5 hours to 3 hours, depending on traffic. Good posture during the car journey is crucial to arrive pain-free. If you are the driver, make sure the seat, mirrors, and seat are comfortable before you depart. If you’re the passenger, pay attention to how you are sitting, especially if you are looking at your phone. Traveling with your neck bent over and looking at a screen for a long period of time can result in text neck. For more information, check out a previous blog post on travel tips for countering sitting down for long periods.
Remember, posture is important all the time, not just when traveling. Try to make a conscious effort to think about your posture throughout the day. If you find yourself slouching, sit up straight, and press your shoulder blades back together. Hold for a count of 5 and then release. Repeat two to three times.
3. Be mindful on beach days
Beach days should leave you relaxed, not in pain. First off, a beach cart is excellent for getting all your beach paraphernalia to and from the beach. Just be mindful of the way you pull the cart and that it isn’t too heavy.
Whether you like to sit in a chair, lounger, or sit on the sand, remember to get up and stretch often. Even better, take a walk down the beach for a few minutes. If you love to lay on your belly, make sure you set a timer and get up often. If you’re an avid reader, remember to keep your book up at eye level.
Remember to stay hydrated. Our spinal discs are mainly made up of water, so remember to nourish that spine. Plus, being hydrated can result in muscle cramps. Finally, please remember to apply that sunscreen and sit in the shade when you can.
4. Take your own pillow
If you are staying in your own beach home while down the shore, then hopefully, your mattresses and pillows are comfortable and supportive. If you are staying at a hotel or beach rental that isn’t yours, you aren’t going to get much say over the quality of the mattress or pillows.
We recommend investing in a travel pillow that you can take with you so at least you know your neck is supported well. While no one can travel with a mattress, you can stretch. Stretching is always a good thing, but a must when sleeping in different beds.
5. Travel with a tennis ball
Dr. Crooker never vacations without a tennis ball. In a previous article, we explain how one simple tennis ball can help with circulation, aching feet, and back and neck soreness. You can read the full blog here.
6. Remember to stretch and hydrate
We have covered stretching and hydrating above, but they deserve to be mentioned again. Staying hydrated has a number of benefits, from keeping your joints lubricated to regulating your body temperature. Crucially important if you are out in the sun all day.
Stretching can really help our muscles to stay supple and stop them from tightening up and pulling our joints and ligaments out of alignment. This is especially important when doing things that are bodies aren’t used to, like playing catch on the beach, sleeping in different beds, or hauling beach chairs on our backs.
We hope you have found these tips for keeping healthy and well while down the shore useful. In a previous article, we cover what to do if you do injure yourself while away. You can read that post here. If, when you return, you are still in discomfort, please give us a call so Dr. Crooker. Using a holistic chiropractic approach, he will diagnose and treat your injury.