5 Portable Items Everyone Should Travel With

And How To Hack Your Traveling Environment

Traveling and being pain free don’t often coincide.  Being in the car for 8 hrs a day, cramming yourself into a tiny airplane seat next to people who clearly don’t understand arm rest etiquette, or sleeping on hotel beds can all create an environment ripe for stiff necks, achy backs, and tight hips.

However, there are some tools you can travel with, which can be packed into any suitcase, which allow you to turn any hotel room into a movement and rehab mecca.  Maybe over stating that a bit, but these 5 things will allow you to workout and perform body maintenance while on the go!

1)      Compression sock/pants

Did you know the calf’s nickname is “Heart of the leg”?  This is because the powerful contraction of the calves help pump blood back up through the leg to the heart.  When we sit, our calves go through very little contraction which decreases blood flow. This restricted blood flow will create tension and trigger points in the feet and calves which tightens the entire posterior chain, setting the stage for pack and hip pain.  Finding good compression gear to wear during your travels will improve your blood flow, and keep this tension to a minimum.

2)      Tennis Ball

This one thing could completely change your life when it comes to traveling, and it seems so simple.  Every morning, take 2-3 minutes to smash the bottom of your feet with a tennis ball.  This will rehydrate tissues of the feet and also mobilize the 30+ joints of the foot and ankle which is critical if you are wearing dressier shoes throughout the day.  You can also sit down and press the ball into sore spots in the calves, glutes, or back as well.  A good rule of thumb is to hold “comfortably uncomfortable pressure” for 15-20 seconds, release and move on to the next area.

3)      Body Band

This is essentially a thick rubber band. It can easily be looped around any door handle and they come in a variety of resistances.  These can be used for resistance with push-ups or squats, anchored to a door handle and used for great core exercises, or used to help get deeper into stretches.

4)      Resistance loop “14 inch

This is probably the most travel friendly of all and serves an extremely important purpose, waking up sleepy glutes!  When you sit all day for travel, your butt goes all Ferris Bueller and checks out.  When the glutes aren’t firing correctly the pelvis and lumbar spine are destabilized making you high risk for pain and injury.  Wrapping a band like this around your knees and doing glute bridges, side planks with clam shells, lateral walks, or monster walks is a great way to wake that butt up!

5)      Suspension Trainer

These are slightly less travel friendly but still only take up as much space a pair of shoes.  Make sure yours also comes with a door jam that you place at the top of any door in your room.  Hang this up and do some rows, place the feet in the straps and do some planks, or stretching out the chest and back with this will allow you to build strength, open up the chest, and take away that upper back or neck pain.

http://ebay.to/2iGhhN2 (Here is a link to a cheap, portable trainer)

As with anything regarding pain, consistency will be what makes a change for better or worse.  Most pain isn’t earned with one long car ride, and you don't loose all your muscle tone by skipping one day at the gym, so don’t get discouraged if your symptoms are still there after the first session.  Give yourself 10 minutes every morning or evening to work on these things; you owe it to yourself to be pain free so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor!

For more information on treatment or online coaching for sustainable exercise and pain relief, visit www.ChiroStrength.com or call the office 931-321-1414 to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Dunaway.