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I am someone with bad posture, and you can tell when you see my travel pictures.
But travellers can follow some simple steps to ensure that they maintain good posture, whether they are on a beach holiday or a quiet safari break.
Kara Froula, an ergonomic expert and founder of BackEmbrace, shares how you can maintain posture on your next travel trip:
Pack an extra sweatshirt or towel
Most car or plane seats are curved, which can result in a hunched posture. To avoid this, pack a sweatshirt or a towel that you can roll up and place on your lower back for extra lumbar support.
Apply a heat and ice type of therapy to the lower back and neck
This is perfect for when you are relaxing in your hotel room.
“Apply a salve with essential oils that contain cooling/heating agents like wintergreen or peppermint to the area. Or you can use OTC lidocaine (plus menthol) temporary patches,” suggests Froula.
Use a roller bag and backpack
You may want to reconsider the heavy suitcase next time you travel.
According to Froula, heavy suitcases and picking up large items can wear you and your posture down.
“If you do opt to carry a bag, choose a backpack to balance the weight and prevent shoulder misalignment.
“Try removing items from your handbag and use a bum bag or lightweight fanny pack,” she says.
Invest in a posture corrector
The great thing about a posture corrector is that you can wear it inside your clothing. Froula says it provides “instant shoulder retraction to correct hunching and slouching”.
She elaborates: “It also activates your posterior muscular chain, allowing you to stabilise and maintain a strong upper torso, ideal for those long travel days.”
Ask a medical specialist to recommend the correct posture corrector.
Froula is a firm believer in seated posture exercises. These can be done on road trips, on the plane or at your hotel room.
Here are some of her suggestions: “For every hour you travel, take five minutes to do these simple seated exercises. Complete one set of 8-10 reps of chin tucks and spinal twists. Also work lower abdominal muscles, where you pull your belly button in toward your lower back. Hold for 15 seconds, relax and repeat. Or contract your back, which entails pinching your shoulder blades to activate and fire your posterior chain (back muscles),” she advised.
Travellers should first consult with an expert if they have any medical issues.