Summer is just around the corner and of course that means many families are planning vacations. Vacations often involve road trips—traveling longer distances than usual. Add in some extra summer activities and a stressed out and painful back can result!
Here are a few tips to consider when spending a lot of time in your vehicle:
- Any sustained posture for long periods of time isn’t ideal for your body. Changing your seat position from time to time can help prevent irritating discomfort.
- At least every 2 hours get out of your car and move around a little to help get your blood flowing and to relieve stress from being in a sustained sitting posture.
- When getting out of the car, do not twist especially while bent at the waist.
- Immediately after getting out of your car, do the following simple stretches:
Back extensions: these reverse the sitting posture, thus relieving stress.
Chest extension: When driving your arms are holding on to the steering wheel. The chest extension is the reverse posture to this and can give you much relief–and even help you to breathe more deeply.
Hamstring stretch: When we sit, our hamstrings shorten. Tight hamstrings can affect our backs. Stand approximately 3 feet from your car with your legs straight–shoulder width apart. With your hands on the car for support, bend forward at the waist with your head level, looking straight ahead. This will help your hamstrings return to normal length and help protect your back.
Take advantage of those ubiquitous rest areas to let the kids out and run off some pent-up energy. Let the children join in on the stretches. Each family member could even take a turn leading the stretch session! You will all arrive at your destination with less stress, more energy and family vacation experiences already underway!
Need a handy laminated reminder card of these stretches plus a few others? It even folds up to a convenient wallet size! F.I.T. has them in stock! Check out the Backsafe® website for more info.