How can I avoid back issues on a summer road trip?
Thinking about taking a road trip this summer? Would it put you in the driver’s seat for a half day or more? Spending time in the same seated position can take its toll on your back, shoulders and legs. And with recent studies discovering the negative effects of sitting too long, it’s a good idea to have a strategy in mind before you leave. Following are a few tips for your trip, starting with your hot tub.
How Can My Hot Tub Help?
You can’t take your hot tub with you, but that doesn’t mean it can’t give you an ideal beginning and conclusion to your trip.
Try this approach. Get ready, and then load your luggage into the car. Now take the time for a 20-minute soak before you get in the car and start your trip.
In your Caldera hot tub, the water’s buoyancy will help decompress your spine and the warm water will help improve circulation throughout your back, loosen it up and make you feel more flexible.
Use the appropriate jets to massage your lower back and your shoulders, two places that tend to tire when you spend hours in a car.
Your soak will also help put you in a pleasant, more relaxed state of mind. Anyone who’s left in a rush knows how stressed you can feel at the beginning of a trip.
We think that starting your drive with a refreshed outlook, flexible muscles, loosened joints and a positive state of mind is the ideal way to start any vacation.
What Else Can I Do?
There are several ideas you can try during your trip to help you stay loose and alert.
You want to avoid sitting too long. Ideally, you’d stop every 30 minutes to stretch and move around. Realistically, few people will take breaks that often, especially if you have miles to go before you sleep. Compromise. Try to stop at least every hour or two. Spend some time stretching your back and hamstrings, then walking and moving. The movement will stimulate circulation, bringing oxygen and nutrients into your back. In between stops, try moving and stretching a little as you drive, but only when it’s safe to do so. If you can, share the driving duties.
Take advantage of your car’s design.
Most modern car seats are highly adjustable, but we seldom take full advantage of them. Take the time to adjust your seat into a position that best supports your back and makes you feel as comfortable as possible.
Adjust the headrest.
For safety, the top of your headrest should be at least eye level but preferably higher or level with the top of your head. It should be tilted at an angle of about an inch from your head. When you’re a passenger, learn to let your head rest on it so that your neck can relax.
Use heated seats if you have them.
If you’re driving in summer, it’s probably hot outside, and heated seats don’t sound very appealing. However, once you’ve cooled the interior air, consider using the seat warmer now and then to keep your back loose and comfortable. You might find that’s a great way to keep your back from stiffening up.
Remove your wallet.
Sitting on a thick wallet takes your posture out of balance, and can take its toll on your back, especially on a long trip. Removing it will help you keep your spine aligned.
Use cruise control.
On a long drive, your leg is held in a static position as you press the accelerator. If the highway you’re driving is open enough for cruise control, it can give you the freedom to adjust your leg position.
What Should I Do When I Arrive?
Is there a hot tub where you’re staying? If so, take advantage of it and loosen up after a day of driving. If not, stretch and move around to loosen up your back once you arrive. If you have time, take a walk to warm your muscles up and stimulate circulation.
When you return home, make sure you stretch and move before unloading heavy bags from your car. If you have the time, leave those bags right where they are and welcome yourself home with a relaxing 20-minute soak and massage. Once you’re loosened up and warmed up, unpacking will seem a lot more pleasant.
What Do You Think
Do you experience stiffness or pain during or after a long road trip?
Have you ever used your hot tub before or after, and how did it help?
Do you have any tips for staying loose while you drive?
We’d love to hear your experiences and any other ideas you can share in the comments below.
Looking for more Summer trip tips?
Would you like to download a free Caldera brochure and learn more about Caldera Spas and the wellness benefits they can provide?
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