Holiday season means lots of travelling to and from the homes of friends and family, by plane and car, for hours on end at a time. While the thought of seeing loved ones is exciting, traveling unfortunately means we may have to deal with stiff joints, muscle cramps, back pain and other physical troubles that can result. These obstacles are just another bump in staying healthy this time of year—so how can you make holiday travel a painless experience? Here are three simple exercises that you can do anywhere from the airport to gas stations or bus stops to alleviate those painful discomforts:
Sumo squats are a lot like the regular squats you may be accustomed to, with the only difference being the stance, in which your feet are spread much wider apart than shoulder width. You can do them with just your own body weight. Make sure to plant your focus on the bottom of your feet while going down slowly, then push against them on the way back up too. Always keep your spine straight and look forward as you go down and up. Make sure not to lean too far forward, or you’ll cause excess pressure on the knees.
Benefits: Loosens up sore hips, relieves lower back pain, promotes circulation through your legs, clears up knee aches and stiffness.
Toe Tapping is an unconventional method that is super helpful for bringing circulation back to the legs in a short amount of time. This exercise is perfect for that swollen feeling you get in your legs and feet when you’re flying on a plane or have been sitting in the car for a long time. You’re probably familiar with that feeling, so on your ride, try this exercise out (you can do it while sitting, too). Just extend your legs as much as you can and relax the legs. Then, tap your toes together spreading the feet as wide as you can then back up to tapping one another. Do this with the full extension so you can feel the leg loosening up from the toes all the way up to the hips. Your legs will start to ease up in pain, feel better, and your hips will take a breather from feeling so tight as well.
Benefits: Opens up the hips, increases circulation in your legs, alleviates leg pain, reduces swelling in the legs and feet, circulates stagnant energy down to the toes, reduces headaches, induces sleep.
Brain Wave Vibration
If you’re on-the-go and are weighed down by headaches, stress, or a cluttered mind, Brain Wave Vibration is another unique method to use while travelling to reduce stress and pain. Think of it as engaging your core and shaking the stress away from your head! You can do it anywhere while sitting or even standing. Here are the easy steps:
1. Keep the bottoms of your feet flat against the ground and form a closed-fist with your hand, placing your thumbs inside of your closed fingers. Loosen your shoulders and keep your back straight.
2. Use your fists to lightly tap in repetition against your energy center (dahnjon) at a spot two inches below your belly button and two inches deep into your abdomen behind that spot.
3. As you tap, gently shake your head from side to side with your eyes closed as if you’re shaking away the dust and heaviness from your brain. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.
4. As you exhale, concentrate on letting out all of the heavy energy.
5. You will feel energy and heat leaving your head, neck, and shoulders and building in your abdomen. Repeat this for about 5 minutes or so, or until you feel the heaviness from your body leaving you.
Enjoy a great wave of mental and physical peace!
Benefits: Clears the mind, release tension from neck/shoulders/back, builds heat in your core, melts away stress and headaches
During your holiday traveling this year, try taking a break to do any one (or a combination!) of these exercises every so often in order to break up the time and alleviate any extra pains brought on by the sitting and stress. It’ll be sure to make a difference in the way you feel during and after your long treks! Now it’s time for you to enjoy a painless holiday season.