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Travel tips for the holiday season

Lots of people are travelling over summer – and long trip times make getting enough personal movement challenging. And travel doesn’t always offer you healthy eating options.

So – be prepared….

Nutrition hacks for travelling

Snack healthy. Don’t default into ultra-processed food – it’s been designed to be 1) easy and 2) super-addictive. It might give you a fast energy fix – but it won’t last and you’ll feel worse.

Healthy travel snacks

Food ideas:

  • A bunch of baby carrots and a bag of apples – not only give your brain an energy shot, but your jaw some exercise (and that’s the strongest joint in your body). Chewing creates an endorphin boost, so it’s calming as well as energising.
  • Pack some unprocessed nuts and seeds – especially walnuts for your heart and brain and selenium rich brazil nuts helpful for your thyroid and cancer prevention.
  • Dark chocolate coated dried blueberries (or pumpkin seeds) can be a festive addition. As can a small amount of Naked Ginger.

Beverage thoughts:

  • Make sure you have plenty of your favourite form of “sky wine” (water) in the car.
  • Consider packing a portable water filter for long trips, so you can top up without spending a fortune.

Caring for your limbs and muscles

Keeping your body flexible on a long trip can take some planning and creative thinking.

Here are some ideas to play with that can help care for your body.

Movement really matters. Sitting is now seen as the new cancer, so long trips may significantly increase your risk.

Squats when you refuel

Do 10 squats (at least) when you stop for fuel or a rest. Your calf muscles are your “second heart” – pumping the lymphatic fluids that pool around your muscles when you sit for a long time. (Good to help manage any “sleepies” too.)

Compression stockings

Use in-flight compression stockings (especially if you have to drive a long way) – there are several grades of firmness – talk to your pharmacist. This is particularly important if you’re at risk of blood clots.

Wedge cushion to ease your psoas

Cushions for posture

Invest in the right shaped cushions for your body to position your legs so that your knees are lower than your hips. This will lengthen your internal muscles (psoas) and prevent lower back pain. (Which are the “right” cushions? That depends on your height and spinal curvatures – experiment with different shapes – I find a wedge shape works for my body.)

Take your spiky ball travelling

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One of my friends takes a spiky massage ball and puts it on the floor of the passenger compartment. She can give herself a gentle foot massage – and keeping her leg muscles doing micro movements helps her hips to be more flexible (so she can actually stand up straight when she gets out of the car).

Occasionally her partner would “borrow” it and put it between his shoulder blades to relieve a stiff neck. (So now they go travelling with a his-and-hers set – in the day pack beside the water bottles.)

Be safe and well as you enjoy year end’s festivities. Consider gifting yourself or a loved one a ‘health reset’ early next year. See my Home Page for an Initial Consultation Questionnaire to fill in and email back to me to get you on your way.

Thankyou everyone for your support this year in allowing me to provide a useful, valid primary Health Care service to the community.

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