June was the month of travel for me and my husband. I spent every weekend on a plane, in a car, or on a train. Each destination was beautiful and full of family, friends, and sunshine! That was the upside. On the downside, I was feeling all sorts of discomfort from sitting more than my body is used to. After the first trip, I changed things up a little and made a mini workout in the seated position. If you travel for work or leisure, try out any or all of the following tips to get rid of discomfort.
1. Sit on your sits bones. Most people lean back in their chair and curl their tail. Over time this can overstretch your low back and tighten your hip flexors which gives you discomfort.
2. Sit with your knees bent to 90 degrees. If you need to, sit on a pillow, or put something under your feet. Bending more can tighten the muscles and other connective tissue that support the joint.
3. Bring your belly button to your spine. This engages transverse abdominus, a deep abdominal muscle that will support the whole core, front to back. Work on engaging the muscle for 90 seconds and repeat a couple of times. You want to breathe through the sides of the ribs while you engage. You can hug yourself to feel the expansion during the inhale and the contraction during the exhale.
4. Engage your pelvic floor. There are 4 ways to engage the pelvic floor, but we will stick with the one that's easiest to grasp for now. Bring your attention to the muscles that stop the flow of urination. Think about pulling them in and up. Hold for 10 seconds to start and then work your way up to 90 seconds. This seems very simple, but you can really work up a sweat and an inner awareness when you connect to your pelvic floor. Take your time and really try to isolate this engagement.
5. Stretch your neck. This is a 3 step process. First bring your right ear to your right shoulder. From that position, bring your nose to your shoulder, then bring your nose to the ceiling. Hold each position for at least 10 deep, slow breaths and then repeat on the other side.
If you have any tips or tricks that help you when you tavel, I'd love to hear them! Feel free to share them with me so that we can help others get out of pain together!